I started in on “Chapter 2” of Mur Lafferty’s little tale. There’s an interesting scene where one of the characters uses a riddle stolen from Norse mythology, specifically of what Odin whispered to Baldur before he was borne to the pyre. As is the way with most books that borrow heavily from classical myth, this book didn’t really touch on the story very much (nor should it have, it would have jacked the narrative). This left me meandering around the internet and reading about the mistletoe spear and horses and Thor. I got about a third of the way into a story and found out a really important thing.
I cannot read Norse mythology.
It’s boring as shit and makes about as much sense as a Bible story. Actually, my feelings about this spread across most mythology. They frequently don’t have much of a moral, they almost always involve some “A Wizard did it!” logic. Loki isn’t ever really a trickster, he’s just an asshole. Odin isn’t ever really all that wise. Anansi is dumb as a brick. Don’t even get me started on the Greeks, which I can only hope filled the role of an early soap opera instead of some way of passing on a lesson. The individual stories are just about as “good” as the overall concept. They teach vague lessons about the benefits of laziness, or how regardless of what you do you’ll be killed by a twig, or they’re just the sort of meandering story written around a clumsy “thou shalt not do x unhealthy thing because of the LORD” monolog that makes up the large majority of the Bible. “I see, this underwater creature that ate my kid from the anus out taught mankind how to set bones and wants to sumo wrestle me?”. Please Japan. I’d honestly rather raise my kids on the lessons taught by 80’s public service announcements and power ballads. At least then they’d avoid huffing paint, going to a drive through stoned, and hopefully gain an appreciation for the good things they have prior to not having them anymore.