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Rhinegold Hardcover – 1984

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1984
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 870 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718137434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718137434
  • ASIN: B003UO8J5G
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.2 x 5.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,153,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Swords, dragon and stolen gold.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stephan Grundy took on a massive task when he decided to turn the great Northern epic into a novel. It must have taken a good deal of courage to begin the writing, as it would be so easy to trivialise what is an important part of heritage to many people. What came out of his work is nearly 900 pages of epic storytelling.

When I first bought the book, I remember thinking, "I hope this is good, because it's a long read if it's rubbish !" Suffice to say I read it in less than three weeks and found the experience not only interesting, but in places inspirational as well. We have to remember that this book is telling the tale of one of the greatest Germanic / Norse myths. How easy it would have been to just turn it into another fantasy novel. The author didn't fall into this trap however, and has succeeded in blending supreme story telling with a writing style that actually retains the mythic element of the tale. For me it was not just a good read, but an experience which I won't forget in a hurry. Wagner told this story in his Ring cycle, but this is not very accessible for the man in the street who neither likes opera or speaks German. In this regard, "Rhinegold" is very much THE book to access one of the greatest stories of European culture, and I was surprised to find out just how much of it is based on actual events and people in history. (The author provides a brief historical note at the end). Of necessity in retaining the mythical element of the writing, many ancient words are used, however the author has provided a comprehensive glossary at the back of the book for those who might need it, although it is surprising how many of these words continue in use today either in the same spelling or something similar.
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Format: Paperback
This is a full and very long version of the ancient stories of the Volsungs, The Taking of the Hoard of Fafnir, the Court of the Burgundians at Worms and its defeat by Attila and the vengeance of Gudrún.

Each part of the whole is given full weight, the characters are drawn from the legends, but given life and humanity by the author. Starting with Wals, it follows in full the story of the discord at the marriage of Sigilind and its grim aftermath, of the escape of Sigimund and his life as a warg, of the conception of Sinfjotli, their vengeance, their return to Germany and their fortunes leading up to the conception of Sigifried.

He then follows Sigifried as the tool of vengeance wrought by Regin the dwarf and the slaying of Fafnir the dragon. This part ends with his meeting with Sigrdrifa the Valkyrie, who here is also Sigilind reborn. They declare their undying love and she tells him that he will find her again as Brunichild.

The final part tells of the betrayal of Sigifrith's love by magic and how he instead falls in love with Gudrun, sister of Gundahari. This in itself would be a minor tragedy except that Gundahari seeks to marry Brunichild, but needs Sigifrith's help to overcome the magic preventing lesser mortals from reaching her. Sigifrith keeps faith with Gundahari by lying with Gram between himself and Brunichild for the three nights they are together. However, this is not enough and things go from bad to worse as the two wives meet, leading to the embitterment of Brunichild and the death of Sigifrith. Gudrun is then married to Attila and the brothers are left to face their fate.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant book. This is the third one I've bought as people keep borrowing them and they enjoy them so much. They don't come back!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read it before and will keep reading it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for a certain mindset. 2 Dec. 2001
By Brighid N - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I deeply enjoyed and appreciated "Rheingold" when I first read it. It's a well worded retelling of the myths, to be sure. But the main strength here is the sincerity and devotion to detail. Grundy writes as one who respects and knows the people and Gods that the myths deal with. One probably needs to be Forn Sidh/Asatru to fully sympathize with the spirit this book is writen in. True, the Gods are presented mythically as well as mystically, but the devout will approach this book with holy recognition. At the least, one should have a background in migration era Teutonic culture to see the well used details.
True, Grundy will probably never be as good a writer as Wagner was a musician. But Wagner's christianized, Romanticized, bowdlerized wanna-be Ring Cycle plot is far flatter than the mythic awe Grundy compells. (I love HEARING the Ring Cycle, but the libretto is egregious.) What Wagner treated with sublimated condescention, Grundy exposes and reverently handles. That alone is worth the ticket for those who see the greater truths in the stories.
If one is looking for a "sword and sorcery" romp, "Rheingold" is bound to be a disappointment. Many historical novel types will probably be neutral on it's metaphysical emphasis as well. It's a specific and special audience that will understand "Rheingold"'s importance.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks like ya either love it or hate it....and I love it! 13 April 2000
By Rachel E. Watkins - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've read all the reviews here thus far and now figure that you either love it or hate it. I loved it as well as the sequal Atillas treasure. I can see how the charachters can get tiresome as some of the reviews have said, but Grundy is also working from the Nebeilungelied here and has made a good atempt to stick to Myth.
You may also be intererrested to know that this author has writen other books about Asatru(norse religion) under another penname.....the books are Teutonic Religion and Teutonic Magic. I reccomend both of those although his style is a bit flowery on the rituals for my taste.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice try but, regrettably, no cigar! 4 May 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Much as I love this stuff and thought that Grundy has done a more than credible job in creating modern text to retell this ancient Nordic myth cycle, I had to admit, after reading about three quarters of the way through, that the material just doesn't lend itself to the novelistic form which Grundy utilized. Perhaps it's not entirely the author's fault -- others have taken similar challenges on with no better results -- but in the end this book flops. In 816 pages of quite respectable prose, the tale of the gold which Odin and Loki stole from the dwarves, and the curse placed upon it (which wreaks havoc on generations of Germanic men, culminating in the destruction of the hero Sigfried the Dragon Slayer by his Burgundian allies) unfolds before the reader. It has some very good sections, particularly at the start, but Grundy's characters grow tiresome after a time, perhaps because they are not his at all but rather his versions of figures best left to the myths they came from. Difficult dwarves, sneaky gods, grasping sorcerers and the heroes they engage may do better, in the end, in their own milieu. A tighter plot line would also have been preferable -- though it would not have been true to the myth cycle either. Perhaps that's why Homer only recounted events surrounding a single incident toward the end of the siege of Troy when he worked with that legendary cycle (yes it was even legendary in his time) rather than attempting to capture it all in a single work of fiction. Well perhaps the sequel, Attila's Treasure (or something like that) is better than this book. But I'm not about to shell out the cash to find out. By Stuart W. Mirsky (
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An in depth recreation of ancient Germanic culture 2 Nov. 1997
By - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book drew me in with its descriptions and dramatisations of ancient Germanic culture. The mixture of mundane politics and the otherworld inhabited by gods and dragons reflected, for me, the mind set of the ancient Germans. For a person wanting to know what it felt like to live in the 5th Century CE, this is a good historical fiction novel.
The hardback edition is a beautiful book, worth searching for.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great adventure/tragedy on a Germanic scale. 22 Nov. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I love this book.It was the first book on mythology that I ever read.For me it has a special place in my heart.At times of great tragedy of wagnerian proportions in my life I find myself turning to this book.I am just reading it again after about 8 years and still enjoying every minute of it.It reminds as that today we need a hero of Sigifreids scale.Top class story telling
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