Monday, December 22, 2003


Brad DeLong reminds me of a fantasy novel that may be of interest to Tolkien fans or to people generally interested in the body of Northern European, or Teutonic, myth that was part of the wellspring from which Lord of the Rings is drawn. The book is called Rhinegold, by Stephan Grundy.

Partially dedicated to Tolkien and to Richard Wagner, this is a recasting of the legends of Siegfried (here, Sigifrith) and the mysterious gold of the Rhine river. It is also one of the densest books I've ever read: readers who have difficulty with Tolkien's language will positively choke on Grundy's. Also, as one of the Amazon reviewers notes, Grundy is not entirely successful at blending his bardic prose with coarse dialogue. I've been meaning to re-read this book for years -- like DeLong, I am not even sure to what degree I like it, but I've never forgotten it since I read it nearly ten years ago. (I bought it at sight when it first came out.) Maybe I'll add it to the 2004 Reading List that I'm putting together, since I'm already planning on reading the Nibelungenlied, Parzifal and the Sagas of Iceland.

Grundy has also written novels about Attila the Hun and about the Gilgamesh legend. I haven't read any of those, however.

No comments: