In this fresh, contemporary translation Rossel and Conroy have endeavored to �preserve for the English-speaking audience the engaging duplicity of Andersen�s style, the tension of play between his sympathetic conversational tone and his use of the studied effect.� This is a tension between the simplicity of stories intended to be read aloud to children ad the subtlety of the allegory skillfully woven into each for the adults who would be listening and �must have something to think about,� as Andersen said.
The introductions provide an overview of Andersen�s life and struggle to become an author, as well as an analysis of his contributions as an artist and storyteller. Each story has also been provided with an endnote giving publication dates, information about the genesis of the tale, and relevant comments by Andersen and other.
Readers who remember with nostalgia such tales as �The Ugly Duckling� and �The Little Match Girl� may be surprised to find the biting satire in many of the stories, such as �The Nightingale� and �The Gardener and the Lord and Lady,� the revealing self-portraits of the author in �The Sweethearts,� �The Butterfly,� and �The Shadow,� the mysticism of �The story of a Mother� and �The Bell� the prophetic quality of �In a Thousand Years Time,� and the complexity and charm of �the Snow Queen.�
The book contains the drawings of Vilhelm Pedersen and Lorenz Frolich that originally appeared in the first illustrated Danish editions of Andersen�s tales and stories.
Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
A storm is coming . . .
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.
But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.
Relevant and prescient, American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.