Saturday, April 20, 2013
18. Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
Writer: Neil Gaiman
First Publication: 2008
Challenge: Once Upon a Time VII
As I suspect it was for many people my first exposure to Norse mythology was Marvel Comics Thor titles. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby adapted numerous characters and elements into their creation. Thor, Odin, Loki, Asgard, etc. were taken and modified to make their series. I remember my surprise when Roy Thomas introduced a red headed Thor and explained that his character was based more on the original myths. Thomas also wrote about another version of Thor in All-Star Squadron at DC Comics. Over time, I collected some books by Poul Anderson that used the Norse myths but I have never gotten around to reading them. I plan on reading some of them this summer.
I wish I had a copy of “Odd and the Frost Giants” when my sons were younger. It would be a great book to read to your kids. I think it would make a good animated movie. The tale of a young boy who does not fit in and how he goes on an adventure is one that would appeal to many children and adults. I do not want to give away too much of the story because it is one you should experience for yourself. The one thing I will comment on is the solution Odd develops to “defeat” the frost giant. Using your wits can sometimes achieve much more than physical strength. I was wondering how Gaiman was going to handle Odd’s confrontation with the frost giant but he came up with an appropriate answer.
After reading and enjoying “The Graveyard Book” and this one (also some of his comic books), Gaiman is climbing the ranks of writers I want to read more of.
Highly recommended, especially for younger readers.