Ragnarok is narrated by Harriet Walter and retells the finale of Norse mythology. A story of the destruction of life on this planet and the end of the gods themselves: what more relevant myth could any modern writer choose? Just as Wagner used this dramatic and catastrophic struggle for the climax of his Ring Cycle, so A.S. Byatt now reinvents it in all its intensity and glory.
Ragnarok is the story of the end of the world. It is a tale of destruction of life on this planet and the end of the gods themselves. What more relevant myth could any modern writer find? As the bombs rain down in the Second World War, one young girl is evacuated to the English countryside. She is struggling to make sense of her new wartime life. Then she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods - a book of ancient Norse myths - and her inner and outer worlds are transformed. War, natural disaster, reckless gods and the recognition of impermanence in the world are just some of the threads that A.S. Byatt weaves into this most timely of books. Just as Wagner borrowed from this dramatic Norse saga for the climax of the Ring Cycle, so Byatt reinvents it for our time in all its intensity and glory.
Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant, this is a landmark piece of storytelling from one of the world's truly great writers. Harriet Walter narrates with much feeling and integrity.
©2011 A.S. Byatt (P)2011 Canongate Books