Review of The Gospel of Loki, by Joanne M. Harris
The Gospel of Loki, by Joanne M. Harris
Just a little back story on this one. Yep, I was feeling a little down because of a few things that were happening in my life. I had been away from where I was living for a bit. I came home and had a moment to myself and was able to check my mail. I had a few books lined up to read for reviews. As I opened the packages I had received over the last week, the Gospel of Loki greeted my eyes. I know this may seem a little much, but I took this as a sign or perhaps a direction.
Let me back up a little, and at the risk of creating a bias in regards to my review, I would to state that Loki and I go way back. I have embraced Chaos with if not a religious fervor, at least as a guiding point from everything from friendship to personal goals. Along with Chaos, I officially adopted Loki as a Patron in roughly 1992. I have promoted him, written spells for him, based characters off him, included my long running character, Elcore, who is Loki’s son.
So, yeah, okay, I was stoked to read this book, you get it. I started into the book at once. The book outlines traditional Norse tales. These are the real stories you will read if you pick up books like Bullfinch’s mythology. However these stories are now presented from Loki’s point of view.
Loki speaks in first person, he is very intelligent and personable, and uses a modern method of language in that he is not stating things like thee, thou, mustuht or other such annoying things.
It was a thing of beauty. The book is a game stopper. For me at least, it drew me back in a way which helped me to focus on my own life. Loki gets shit on. He tries to make it right and then mostly just gets shit on again. He gets a few victories and gets some bragging rights, but don’t we all? When people he knows aren’t giving him a hard time, it is perfect strangers, or lovers, or his children.
The one thing that Loki keeps, not his pride, not his faith in others, not even his optimism, but he is closer to that, the thing he keeps is himself. He never stops believing he is right, special, and deserves the best. He does not give up and the thought of playing fair doesn’t even occur to him. Face it, like many of us, the odds are stacked against him and the odds are overwhelming. He is not the strongest, most beautiful, most popular, in the position of power….etc . Screw rules, screw playing fair. Embrace the struggle. You may not win, but strive. Give yourself every chance and use any and every tool you have.
Yeah, I like Loki. I liked him before and I like him even more now.
At the risk of letting my ego show through, (Oh Loki would hate that) in a more Jungian sense, I might be one of the foremost experts of Loki that will read Harris’ book and I would like to state that her vision matched mine very well.
I would like to thank her for this vision, because this was certainly no easy task and also thank her all her hard work.
The only downside I could think of mentioning here would be the use of common speech. I know she was trying to make him relatable, but I might have liked him to be perhaps a little more archaic in some of his thought process.
Still this book was a gift when I needed one. It inspired me in a way that I wonder if the author had imagined. It is better than the bible. Five Stars.