Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman. Read by the author. Let us now praise Neil Gaiman, for not only can he write well for adults and for children, for the page and for the screen, but he is also an excellent book narrator. In this short tale, only two discs long, we meet our hero, young Odd. He’s a young Viking lad, lame in one leg, with a dead father, a Scottish mother, and an overbearing, somewhat abusive stepfather. When, one year, winter doesn’t end and tempers in his little house begin to fray, he runs away to the woods. There he meets a sly fox, a slow but friendly bear, and a somewhat fierce eagle. During the night with them in his father’s old woodcutting hut, he hears them talk and learns that they are gods, trapped in animal form and exiled by the Frost Giants to Midgard. Odd decides that it’s up to him to get the gods back to Asgard and the Frost Giants out, which will both save the gods and stop the endless winter. The Norse mythology is solid, Odd an engaging and scrappy hero, and the interactions between the gods priceless. The print version, which I haven’t looked at, is illustrated by Brett Helquist, so there are delights to be had in either version.
Originally posted at http://library-mama.dreamwidth.org .