Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Odd and the Frost Giants

Odd and the Frost Giants
By Neil Gaiman, read by the author
Published 2009 by HarperCollins

Odd pretty much lives up to his name. He hasn't had the best luck but he's tried to remain optimistic. Now, he finds himself on an incredible journey to save Asgard from the Frost Giants. Can he do it?

This review will probably be terribly short; you've been warned.

I consider myself a fan of Neil Gaiman but, frequently I find myself wondering if I'm more of a fan of the man than of the author. My relationship with Gaiman's works have been of two varieties: absolutely adore and want to treasure forever (Neverwhere, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Fortunately, the Milk) or wanted to like more than I actually did (Stardust, Coraline - though I think I might need to revisit that one).

So where does Odd fall for me? Surprisingly, more in the latter camp. I wonder if it has to do with listening to this book rather than reading. Don't get me wrong - Gaiman is a lovely narrator. He voices the characters well and, reading his own book, does an excellent job with the pacing and emotion behind the words.

But. This is a very short book - around 100 pages - which means a very short listen, which is probably not the best idea for me. You see, I listen to audiobooks while I am doing other things - commuting to work, running, and, quite often, working at my desk. With the first two, usually it is the act of listening to an audiobook that keeps me motivated to do either of those things. But with the last, I can get absorbed in my work (as I should be) and find my attention dragged away from the audio. I believe that's the case with this book.

So, my own bad habits are probably what makes this book not quite a favorite for me. I'd like to revisit it in print in the future because I imagine I'd actually quite enjoy this tale. It has all the makings of a delightful read; it's my own fault for not paying enough attention.

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