Thursday, January 22, 2015

Popular Tales from the Norse

Librivox can be hit or miss, even in a single book. Some "tales" in this collection were read with such thick accents I could barely understand them. Others had way to much "enthusiasm." There were even a few that were done really well. There were many short tales - some that seemed to have more space dedicated to the "librivox introduction" than to the actual tales. But, that is enough about the narration.

The book starts out with a long introduction. Then it jumps into a large number of Norse tales. Then we get a bonus West Indian tales featuring Anansi. (Scandinavia and the Caribbean. Uh, yeah, I see the connection.)

Some of the tales have been popularized (albeit in somewhat different forms) by Disney movies. Others seem to be half complete. There are plenty were the humble guy gets a great advantage by his smarts. There is also a good deal of supernatural behavior.

One tale had a man sell his soul to the Devil, then trick the Devil out of taking it. Since he was not a good guy, he was left without a place to leave and had to sneak into Heaven. The moral? Uh, not sure. But it is an interesting yarn.

While there are some moralizing, it seems that many of the tales are primarily for entertainment. Some are good, while some are bad. This collection would be better skimmed in print than listened to on audiobook.

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