Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Gospel of Loki

Part three of four of my Moderate Book Haul!

I think I have established in previous posts that, as a kid, I went to the library with my mom about once a week, and that I usually borrowed encyclopaedia. I still remember that on one of these visits I found a sort of Edda for kids in the children’s non-fiction section. I devoured that book. Then I returned it, and never found it again. Really, working in a library only convinces me more that books grow tiny little legs in the night, and run around only to be found (if at all) in the craziest places.
Still, it was a very accurate book, and most of my knowledge about Norse mythology comes from that book. Over the past few years it has been supplemented by Marvel and a user called Humon, but all in all I really don’t know the details.
So then this book caught my eye. Probably because it’s shiny. And I snorted- because really, how could this not be a funny book?

Let me copy down some introductions in the beginning of the book so I can show you what the book feels like:

These are the people you’re going to meet in the pages of this book. A word of advice before you start: don’ trust any of them.
The Gods (aka the Popular Crowd)
- aka One-eye, Allfather, the Old Man, the General. Leader of the Aesir. Knows how to sell himself (and others). Would throw his brother to the wolves (and did) for a percentage.
Thor- the Thunderer. Likes hitting things. Not a fan of Yours Truly.
Sif- his wife. Nice hair. Also not a fan of mine.
Balder- god of peace. Yeah, right. Known as Balder the Fair. Handsome, sporty, popular. Sound a little smug to you? Yes, I thought so too.
Bragi- god of poetry. Two words: expect lutes.
Idun- wife of Bragi. Likes fruit.
Freyja- goddess of desire. Vain, petty and manipulative. Will sleep with practically anyone as long as jewellery is involved.
Sigyn- handmaid of Freyja. Adoring wife. Possibly the most annoying woman in the whole of the Nine Worlds.
Heimdall- the Watchman. Not a fan. Has it in for Yours Truly.
Honir. The Silent. Never shuts up.

Basically, the book tells the Edda from Loki’s perspective, and he doesn’t always try to talk himself out of the situation, but I can’t help but think that his explanations make a whole lot more sense than what I remember from that one book so many years ago. And I love how the author weaves in modern slang and references to modern culture.

“Heimdall’s the best shot in Asgard,” Odin said. “The Vanir call him Hawkeye.”
I shrugged. “So what?”
“So you’d better be good.”
I grinned again. “I’m Loki,” I said. “Good doesn’t enter into it.”

… “Funny how even the most determined of women can be swayed by the prospect of nicely clipped hedges”…

“Feeling jealous, are we?” I said.
“Not on your life,” said Angie [Angrboda]. “I’m only keeping in touch with you for the sake of the children. Way to look after our son [Fenris], by the way. I let you have him for the weekend and before I know it he’s chained underground, awaiting Last Times and stinking of mead.”
“Ah. That.”

I loved this book. Definitely in my top ten of this year’s books. And I will recommend it to everyone who is halfway interested in Norse mythology. By the way, did I mention that Joanne Harris wrote it? (You might know her from Chocolate)

I am really hoping there will be an audiobook of this book. And I really, oh my god you wouldn’t believe how much, would like it if it was read by Tom Hiddleston who played Loki in the Avengers. I read the first few chapters in his voice anyways, but still- that would make my day.

Until next time,


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