Saturday 10 January 2015

Book Review: From Asgard to Valhalla by Heather O'Donoghue

Title: From Asgard to Valhalla
Publisher: I. B. Tauris

Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 232
Format: Paperback
Genre: Non-Fiction/Folklore & Myth
Source: Xmas Gift
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

This is the first book to show how the Norse myths have resonated from era to era: from Viking-age stories of ice and fire to the epic poetry of Beowulf; and from Wagner's Ring to Marvel Comics' Mighty Thor. Heather O'Donoghue considers the wider contexts of Norse mythology, including its origins, medieval expression and reception in post-medieval societies right up to the present. From Asgard to Valhalla is a book that will intrigue and delight anyone with an interest in how the Norse myths have so profoundly shaped the western cultural heritage. (Goodreads Synopsis)

I found From Asgard to Valhalla to be an interesting read. The author begins with several chapters offering an overview of the myths, before launching into an assessment of their place in popular culture. I didn't always agree with everything the author stated and felt she missed some important and obvious comparisons - particularly in relation to The Lord of the Rings and Marvel's Thor, but even so, this is an entertaining and insightful piece of writing and a worthy addition to the bookshelves of anyone interested in Norse myth and/or the place of myth in modern culture.


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