Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ragnarok by A.S. Byatt

Rating 3/5

What an odd little book. This is the first book I've read in the Cannongate Myths series, which is a collection of stand alone books by different authors. From Byatt's afterword, I gather most of them are written as novels that rework the myths into a modern form, and I like that sort of thing. This book was different - it wasn't really a story, just a retelling of the myths from Byatt's own perspective when she read them as a child in Wagner's Asgard and The Gods. In between forays into the story of Ragnarok (the Norse Gods' Armageddon) we see glimpses of the child's life in a country village during WWII, in which she endlessly names the plants and animals she sees around her and occasionally questions the other myths she learns in church. As such, there isn't really a plot here, which Byatt readily admits. Still, she is obviously a very skilled writer, and I enjoyed the myths.

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