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Odd and the Frost Giants (World Book Day edition) Paperback – 3 Mar 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; UK open market ed of World Book Day ed edition (3 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747595380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747595380
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 11 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neil Gaiman is a tour de force of creative talent. He is the bestselling author of Coraline and Stardust, both of which are major motion films. Neil also co-wrote the script for Beowulf starring Anthony Hopkins and Angeline Jolie. He is the creator/writer of the award-winning Sandman comic series and has written several books for children. His latest title, The Graveyard Book, won the Teenage Booktrust Prize 2009. Neil has been immortalised in song by Tori Amos, and is a songwriter himself. His official website now has more than one million unique visitors each month, and his online journal is syndicated to thousands of blog readers every day.

Product Description

Review

Praise for 'Coraline': 'One of the joys of reading Gaiman is how he subverts our expectations of magic, horror, fantasy and the mundane' The Times 'Gaiman's ear is acute ... There is much more. There is the tender and beautifully judged ending ... ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, rise to your feet and applaud: Coraline is the real thing' Guardian Praise for 'The Graveyard Book': 'An extraordinary novel by a very gifted storyteller. Adults find it terrifying; children lap it up. It's utterly original, and written with elegance and power' Observer, Books of the Year 'The best book Neil Gaiman has ever written' Diana Wynne Jones --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

The bestselling, award-bedecked Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell are reunited once more in this irresistible epic Nordic fable, with hauntingly lovely silver ink adding to the sheer brilliance of the illustration and story --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Erinn on 26 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
Neil Gaiman really, really likes writing about gods, and that's okay. If American Gods is the solid, upstanding one that works hard and takes its job seriously and Anansi Boys is its younger brother that pops by in the middle of the night with some beer and a couple of friends, Odd and the Frost Giants is the youngest brother of all, the third child who goes around climbing into magical wardrobes when the others aren't looking (it wouldn't shut the doors properly, mind, because Odd is the type to know that it's very foolish to shut oneself inside a wardrobe).

In a Viking settlement in Norway, long ago, winter seems to be stretching on forever. Odd, a boy with a crushed foot who doesn't fit in with his stepfamily, runs away from home when he can no longer stand to be in close quarters with them. He ends up following after an unusually insistent fox, starting on an adventure that will throw him in with the gods in a fight to defeat the frost giants (well, giant, anyway) and save his village from endless winter.

Odd and the Frost Giants is a novella written for World Book Day as part of a promotion to get kids reading (schoolchildren in the UK and Ireland are each given a token that can be redeemed for one of the novellas specially written for the occasion). If this book doesn't work, I don't know what will; it's everything a children's book should be - high adventure, mythology, magic, talking animals, a good sense of humor, and a sensible, sympathetic protagonist. I really enjoy Gaiman's work, but sometimes it feels like his way with words is a sort of glamour, and with some of his books I wonder whether I'd like the plot quite as much if I weren't constantly distracted by his lovely language - which is a bit of an odd complaint, certainly, but it does bother me once in a while.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Azure Aurora on 4 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Neil Gaiman is not one for description and that works well in this entertaining little read for children. A good smattering of Norse mythology and an appealing hero, peril and adventure and a satisfactory (and not saccharine) ending.

Highly recommended. I would say ages 7 - 11 depending on reading ability.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By NODDY on 2 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a delightful book to read even as a grown up. Odd runs away after his father dies and his mum remarries. He encounters a fox, bear and eagle. With his three new found friends he embarks on a journey that takes him on adventures that result in him meeting the frost giant. I don't what to say much more about the story as it will spoil it. I recommend it for adults as well as young children either to free read or as a bed time story. Great little book for all ages worth five stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erin Britton on 23 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Odd and the Frost Giants began life as one of those slim World Book Day volumes (available for £1 or free with a voucher given out at school) designed to encourage children to read and if ever there was a mythical adventure sure to fire the imaginations of reluctant young readers it is this. In fact, the tales of Odd proved so popular that Neil Gaiman has expanded slightly the original story (from 112 to 144 pages) and re-released Odd and the Frost Giants as this smart little illustrated hardback.

Odd is a lonely, introverted young Viking struggling to fit in with his boisterous stepfamily (his mother having married Fat Elfred after Odd's father was killed during a raiding expedition) and to cope with his crippled leg. Not long after his father's death, Odd had attempted to fell a tree with his newly inherited axe only for the tree to fall awkwardly and crush his foot. In a Viking society obsessed with bravery, tall-tales and physical perfection, Odd's personality and disability have marked him out as an oddity (although, interestingly, the name Odd actually means `the tip of a blade').

As the harsh Norwegian winter stretches on and on, Odd decides that he can no longer cope with living in the oppressive environment of the village and so he runs away. Hiding out in an isolated, snow-bound cabin, Odd befriends a bear, a fox and an eagle. Each of these creatures is more than they seem and each has a story to tell. Rather than being regular forest animals, Odd's new friends are actually the mighty Norse gods Thor, Odin and Loki. Loki was tricked into handing over Thor's magical Hammer to one of the Frost Giants and all three gods were then exiled from Asgard and trapped in animal form.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE on 10 July 2011
Format: Paperback
Life's been tough for twelve-year-old Odd ever since his father died during a sea voyage while trying to save a horse who'd fallen into the sea. After his father's death, Odd severely crushed his foot while trying to use his father's heavy axe to cut down a tree and can only walk with the help of a crutch. Now his mother is married to Fat Eldred, who has little time for Odd and sees him as useless because of his disability. But worse is to come as the winter has not ended as it should have done and Odd is trapped in the village great hall with all the other villagers and Fat Eldred, who becomes nasty after drinking.

Keen to escape, Odd decides to escape to his father's cabin in the woods. There he comes across a fox and an eagle who lead him to a trapped bear and from there his life becomes really strange as they tell him a story about how the Ice Giants have taken over Asgard. Now Odd must embark on a journey to save the Gods, a journey that will require all his initiative and courage ...

Neil Gaiman's novella, produced for World Book Day 2008, is a charming and timeless tale of personal courage and initiative against great adversity. Odd is a delightful character - uncomplaining, cheerful and clever, he doesn't let anything get in his way and the way he tackles the Frost Giants in the story is quirky and clever. The depiction of the Norse Gods doesn't break new ground but is still done with Gaiman's usual deft touch and I've always had a soft spot for the trickster, Loki, who is shown here as having a wry sense of humour.

Mention should also be made of Mark Buckingham's illustrations, which help to bring the scenes to life.

All in all, it's a delight from beginning to end - by turns touching and funny and true - it's a story that will charm young and old alike.
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