So, can I just say it was COMPLETELY unnecessary to re-release one of my personal childhood favorites, Norse Gods and Giants by the D'Aulaires, in a new edition with introduction by Michael Chabon? I can't stand Michael Chabon and whatever screed he penned was clearly stuck in there to help move copies of the book, which really should not need any extra moving because it is so wonderful. When I think back on how much I liked that book as a nine-year-old, I'm surprised I didn't grow up to be a Valhalla-I-am-coming metalhead. It was also a little weird to find such a book about a land with many gods and all of them weird in the Catholic elementary school library, but at the end I think the authors have all the gods slay each other or something and One God emerges to rule the earth, which probably placated the administrators as well as answering any questions little kids might have about why we aren't all bowing down to Odin right now.
I also noticed that the new edition had ditched the original cover of the multi-eyed monster for one featuring a flying horse. It's true the flying horse picture has more "action" in it but I can't help but feel they changed it because today's parents would worry too much about the kids being scared by the monster pic. Which was precisely what was fun about the book---it's quite true to the original Norse myths and, hence, gruesome. I remember that somebody---is it Loki?---eventually gets punished for his misdeeds by getting tied down with snake poison dripping into his eyes. Naturally I found that sort of thing extremely interesting, as do most bloodthirsty little childe-beasts. Anyway rather than buy any re-released crap with Michael Chabon's drivel in it, I went on ABEBooks and bought an old copy with the good ol' familiar monster on the front, so I can rediscover Freyja and Baldur and Loki and Odin and all those other people without vowels in their names.