The Gospel of Loki
Saturday, Aug 11, 2018
For many readers, Joanne Harris will forever be known as the author who brought them the delectable Chocolat. They'd likely be as shocked as I was to discover this gem from Harris, a collection of Norse myths all written from the perspective of the diabolical Loki!
(Sorry, Loki . . . I just couldn't resist!)
Anyway, The Gospel of Loki offers a chronological look at Loki's existence following his initial meeting with the Aesir, the Norse gods of Asgard. Obviously, as far as narrators go, Loki is about as unreliable as one gets. However, the strength of this book--aside from the stories themselves--is its attempt to provide motivation for Loki's myriad acts of mischief. I find this important because this slight tweak in the storytelling brings about the unexpected: It actually makes Loki a realistically sympathetic character. Additionally, due to the change in perception, readers also get to see these characters and events from a different angle, which helps to flesh out a thing or two you may not have thought about (like, say . . . just how did Loki steal Sif's hair?).
Fans of Neil Gaiman's excellent Norse Mythology will no doubt enjoy this book; in fact, for fellow audio readers, Allen Corduner's narrative work compares favorably to Gaiman's in terms of sheer affability and enjoyment, as he completely nails the character's coy, playful spirit. I'm already looking forward to the recently published sequel!