Recently evacuated to the British countryside and with World War Two raging around her, one young girl is struggling to make sense of her life. Then she is given a book of ancient Norse legends and her inner and outer worlds are transformed. Intensely autobigraphical and linguistically stunning,... show more
Recently evacuated to the British countryside and with World War Two raging around her, one young girl is struggling to make sense of her life. Then she is given a book of ancient Norse legends and her inner and outer worlds are transformed. Intensely autobigraphical and linguistically stunning, this book is a landmark work of fiction from one of Britain's truly great writers. Intensely timely it is a book about how stories can give us the courage to face our own demise. The Ragnarok myth, otherwise known as the Twilight of the Gods, plays out the endgame of Norse mythology. It is the myth in which the gods Odin, Freya and Thor die, the sun and moon are swallowed by the wolf Fenrir, the serpent Midgard eats his own tale as he crushes the world and the seas boil with poison. It is only after such monstrous death and destruction that the world can begin anew. This epic struggle provided the fitting climax to Wagner's Ring Cycle and just as Wagner was inspired by Norse myth so Byatt has taken this remarkable finale and used it as the underpinning of this highly personal and politically charged retelling
Publish date: September 8th 2011
Pages no: 177
Edition language: English
Series: Canongate Myths (#17)
First, Canongate Myths is a series of novellas in which each book focuses on a different ancient myth. Each book in the series so far is written by a different author and each can be read independently of the series.A young girl tries to escape the brittle world around her by diving into a book abou...
My first impression of this book was "I thought it would be thicker".My final impression is "I wish it was thicker".I know it is impossible; author chose to focus on Ragnarok, not Norse or Germanic mythology in general. The long introduction of dramatis personae is merely so we would feel more conne...
Update (8/15/12): A week or so ago I listened to the Audio CD and was impressed - again - with just how good this book is. The reader (whose name I've forgotten) does an excellent job, and I gained a better understanding of what I had read from listening to it.Update (6/6/12): I found the short stor...
Rating: 1* of five (p41)"...Airmen were the Wild Hunt. They were dangerous. If any hunter dismounted, he crumbled to dust, the child read. It was a good story, a story with meaning, fear and danger were in it, and things out of control."I have Byatted for the last time. I love the Norse myths, and t...
A brilliantly imagined retelling of the apocalyptic Norse myth.