Once Upon a Time: How Myths Teach Us the Truth of Life

Mont_Saint_Michel_Castle_Sunset_HDR_2012

One of my great regrets in life is having not discovered Neil Gaiman sooner. I was first introduced to his writing two years ago when I picked up a copy of American Gods at a local bookstore. Soon after, I began swooping up editions of his Sandman series, scaling Londonโ€™s mystical underworld in Neverwhere, and fighting dark spirits with his magical tale The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Today, I am hopelessly compelled to read everything he writesโ€”an obligation for which I have no complaints.

Gaiman has built a career as a master storyteller, accumulating a wide array of awards and leaving his fingerprints all over popular culture. To date, two of his books have been adapted into films (Stardust and Coraline), he has guest written for Doctor Who, and some have gone so far as to credit him as one of the pioneers of modern comics.

As a child, Gaiman recalls begging his parents to leave him at the local library while they went to work. It was there that he fell in love with authors like J. R. R. Tolkien, Gene Wolfe, C. S. Lewis, Edgar Allen Poe, and G. K. Chesterton, among others. Around the age of six, he discovered the Marvel comic books where he was first exposed to the Norseย gods Odin, Thor, and Loki. This seemingly modest encounter sparked within him Norse Mythologyaย flame that has yet to be extinguished for the Nordic pantheon.

That passion led him to write his latest book, Norse Mythology, a modern retelling of the Asgardian gods that debuted at number one on The New York Times bestseller list in its first week of publication…

*You can read the rest of this post at Fathom Magazine.

Illustration Courtesy of Mike Norton.

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