This is George Dasent's classic collection of Scandinavian folklore. This is not about Norse mythology per se; so if you are looking for tales of Odin, Loki, and Freya, etc., you will have to look elsewhere. Rather, this is an anthology of folk tales, similar to the Grimm Brothers', or Campbell's Popular Tales of the West Highlands. All of the usual suspects are in place, including giants, trolls, witches, evil step-siblings, magical boons and tasks, and anthropomorphic animals.
The introduction is exceptionally well written, and places various magical and other themes from the tales into the context of ancient Norse Pagan beliefs. It is a Victorian scholarly treatise, however (with the requisite rhetorical flourishes), and will mostly be appreciated by academic listeners. Once you get past the introduction however, the prose descends to the young adult level, and the delightful stories can be appreciated by listeners of all ages.
Daniel Thomas May performs these Popular Tales from the Norse with his warm, slightly gravelly voice, creating amusing personalities for the varying animals, creatures, and characters that populate the tales. His engaging style will charm listeners young and old.
The stories were translated into English by Sir George Webbe Dasent, whose interest in Scandinavian mythology and literature was sparked by a meeting with Jakob Grimm who, along with his brother Wilhelm, collected German folktales into some of the most popular collections of children’s stories ever. These stories similarly reflect a culture’s unique flavor while containing lessons, jokes, dreams, and fears that are universally relatable and enjoyable.
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There are some great tales and they are well told. There are several that have several variations of the same story and I don't think they all needed to be in the book. It made the book long and it started getting boring.
- Amazon Customer
Good Stories, Some Short, Others Very Long
This book reads like a compilation of Aesops Fables...some short, some long, usually with a lesson at the end.
The reader did an adequate job of changing voices for characters...not the best I've heard, but good.
The book is simply a compilation of tales or fables, many of them universal, not specific to Norse peoples. But it is a great introduction to Norse culture, if you've never heard it before. My son and I listened to this together. He is twelve and most of the stories were a little too young for him.
- Amazon Customer