Top positive review
Byatt has create a beautifully elegant envelope within which to both tell the Norse ...
on 16 September 2014
Byatt has create a beautifully elegant envelope within which to both tell the Norse apocalypse with vivid depth and to explore with a light and subtle touch the psychological relevance of old myth to the modern mind.
The passages about the Thin Girl (the wartime protagonist of the stories modern sections) never feel like they are weighing down the mythology and never go on for long. Instead they elevate your experience of the stories of old gods with insights into the ways they can infiltrate our experience of the world now (I realise this might seem at odds to her story being set during WW2 but i feel that that is modern enough to allow one to extrapolate).
The real treat for me though was in the swift and detailed telling of the Norse mythos. The flowing prose poetry of some of the mythological stories is so perfectly weighted - both immersive and cerebral.
I frequently found myself grinning with delight and fulled with mind nourishment.