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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odin would be pleased
An excellent and rounded book that feels like an essential to anybody interested in Norse myth, Heather O'Donoghue's book is less an exploration of the myths themselves than a delve into the way they have resonated through the ages and been interpreted and used by successive generations. Although all the myths that O'Donoghue explores are first presented, it certainly...
Published on 25 Oct 2007 by Paul Harris

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3 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this book
This Wrighter Has No Idea What She Is Wrighting About.
I Grew Up With These Myths In Denmark,
And She Is Fantacising Wildly On Origen Of Names And History!!!
Don't Waste Your Money On This Wrighter!!!
Published on 18 Feb 2009 by Bruno Antonio Marchi


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odin would be pleased, 25 Oct 2007
By 
Paul Harris - See all my reviews
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An excellent and rounded book that feels like an essential to anybody interested in Norse myth, Heather O'Donoghue's book is less an exploration of the myths themselves than a delve into the way they have resonated through the ages and been interpreted and used by successive generations. Although all the myths that O'Donoghue explores are first presented, it certainly helps if the reader has at least a passing familiarity with Norse mythology prior to comign to this book.

That said, the book starts off very well indeed. It's (thankfully!) not a dry academic tome, but is written in a chatty, almost conversational, tone that makes it an easy read in spite of the occassional difficult to grasp concept. Many of the areas covered have clear links to the Norse myths O'Donoghue links them to and she goes further, explaining and clarifying the way in which people have drawn from the full myth only the parts that they want. Early samples of spin doctoring, perhaps?

A familiarity with various pieces of culture and history are also helpful in reading the book, from understanding how various peoples down the ages have tried to claim descent from a race of Norse superbeings, to Wagner's use of the myths in his Ring cycle of operas and the Nazis' subsequent appropriation of them in their theories of Aryanism.

I did find it slowed a little in the final third and the links became a little more tenuous, but overall this is still an absolute must for those interested in the Gods of Asgard and how their stories continue to to be used right into the present day.

The only nitpick I have (and I freely say here I'm a big fan of Marvel comics) is when the Mighty Thor is mentioned, he is referred to as 'Marvel Comics' Mighty Thor, published by DC'. If you're not a comics fan, then you won't have a clue what the problem is. If you are, you're probably shaking you're head right now. However, if that's the worst thing I can say about this book, it just goes to show how good it truly is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting survey, 29 Mar 2010
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This review is from: From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths (Paperback)
I didn't know much about the Norse myths and this book covers the topic in a way that is interesting and informative for a general reader. It does become a little unfocused towards the end, when the author describes some of the more recent adaptations of the myths, but there are still fascinating insights and anecdotes. There are long passages in the later sections in which dead writers are awarded marks according to whether their views accord with modern sensibilities. (Tolkein gets a qualified pass; Carlyle gets an 'F'.) Overall, though, I would recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Asgard to Valhalla and Back Again, 10 July 2012
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This book provides an excellent overview of the influence of Norse mythology providing the reader with information on the earliest sources right through to modern incarnations such as graphic novels. The book provides a comprehensive introduction to the main figures in Norse patheon and how this mythic structure has been used right up to the present day. O'Donoghue provides a study to the writers and groups that have cited Norse myth over the years including Tolkien, Wagner, white supremest groups,Neil Gaimen and Stan Lee. This demonstration of how so many different readings can be taken from the same source material should provide the reader with a lot of insight into this exciting area for study. I personally would have liked a bit more analysis but a grand book all the same.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Discovering Our Mythology, 19 April 2014
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V. E. Wood (North Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Whilst classical mythology of the Greeks and Romans is interesting it is not actually our (English) mythology. Northern Europeans have a rich heritage as complex as that of the Mediterranean. Perhaps, for a while, our mythology fell into some disrepute because of its exploitation by Nazism. Allowing it to remain neglected because of this is wrong. We need, if anything, to recover it from this distortion. Dr H O'Donoghue writes in a clear and readable way and provides an excellent insight into the beliefs of our ancestors.
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3 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this book, 18 Feb 2009
By 
Bruno Antonio Marchi (DENMARK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This Wrighter Has No Idea What She Is Wrighting About.
I Grew Up With These Myths In Denmark,
And She Is Fantacising Wildly On Origen Of Names And History!!!
Don't Waste Your Money On This Wrighter!!!
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From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths
From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths by Heather O'Donoghue (Paperback - 30 Sep 2008)
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