Ragnarok by A.S. Byatt
The End of the Gods (Myths)

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One thing both child and adult are sure of is that the story of a new and better world arising after Ragnarok is tacked on, not part of the old myth.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

Booker Prize winner Dame Antonia Byatt breathes life into the Ragnorak myth, the story of the end of the gods in Norse mythology.

Ragnarok retells the finale of Norse mythology. A story of the destruction of life on this planet and the end of the gods themselves: what more relevant myth could any modern writer choose? Just as Wagner used this dramatic and catastrophic struggle for the climax of his Ring Cycle, so AS Byatt now reinvents it in all its intensity and glory. As the bombs of the Blitz rain down on Britain, one young girl is evacuated to the countryside. She is struggling to make sense of her new wartime life. Then she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods - a book of ancient Norse myths - and her inner and outer worlds are transformed.

War, natural disaster, reckless gods and the recognition of impermanence in the world are just some of the threads that AS Byatt weaves into this most timely of books. Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant, this is a landmark.
 

About A.S. Byatt

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A.S. Byatt is the author of fifteen works of fiction including the Booker Prize-winning Possession, The Biographer's Tale and, most recently, the Man Booker-shortlisted The Children's Book. A distinguished critic as well as a writer of fiction, A.S. Byatt was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999. Visit asbyatt.com for more information.
 
Published February 7, 2012 by Grove Press. 193 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Ragnarok
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Tom Shippey on Feb 09 2012

One thing both child and adult are sure of is that the story of a new and better world arising after Ragnarok is tacked on, not part of the old myth.

Read Full Review of Ragnarok: The End of the Gods... | See more reviews from WSJ online

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Kate Carraway on Sep 16 2011

...while the good-vs.-evil stuff, the myth-as-metaphor so explicitly applied to the planet’s destruction is mundanely overfamiliar — is that her fault, or ours? — Byatt is still able to do something spectacular, something worth this scope...

Read Full Review of Ragnarok: The End of the Gods... | See more reviews from National Post arts

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