For anyone interested in Norse mythology who wants to explore the original sources (or the closest we have to them, anyway), this text is indispensable. A thirteenth-century Icelandic collection of legends, tales and customs, this translation offers a direct link to the oral traditions of the northern peoples.
The Edda is divided roughly into two sections; the first deals largely with the gods, the Aesir, and their adventures, while the second is primarily concerned with human heroes, largely the long and tragic sequence surrounding Sigurd and Fafnir's gold.
This translation is a really good one, seeming to retain the rythyms and language of the original verses while rendering them into easily comprehensible English. The translator has made notes on any meaning that may still remain obscure, as well as background material that informs the tales. The good thing about the Kindle edition is that that all these notes are hyperlinked, allowing the reader to zip back and forth at will, or simply skim past them if simply reading the poetry.
The poetry itself is anything but flowery, bearing obvious relation to other heroic epics such as Beowulf. The wording is earthy and often violent, as befitting the culture it came from, and the various verses contain some of the finest stories in mythology, as well as interesting lists intended to teach about names and customs. Their origins as spoken tales told to an audience is evident, too, with distinct pacing and often repeated 'choruses' to emphasize certain passages.
All in all, an essential purchase for those of us who love the tales of Thor, Odin and Loki, as well as a fascinating look at a lost world so different from our own. I heartily recommend the younger, or prose, edda as a companion, as well.