When I was ten or eleven, I read every mythology book I could get my hands on. In Mexia, Texas, long ago, that wasn't a lot of books, and most of them were retellings of Greek and Roman myths. But somewhere in there I became familiar with some of the Norse myths, as well.
Later on, my knowledge of the Greek and Roman stories came in handy, as I taught a course in mythology for several years. I also taught the first semester of world literature, which included the Ilaid, Odyssey, and The Aeneid, along with a good many Greek dramas. The Norse stories fell by the wayside, which was why I was so surprised at how well I remembered some of them that Neil Gaiman retells in his new book.
The biggest surprise of all, though, is that a collection of Norse myths has become a big bestseller. Who would ever have guessed? Not me.
Gaiman retells the tales in simple prose that reminded me of the books I'd read so long ago. My memory on that point is vague, but I suspect that Gaiman wanted to recapture some of that simple, straightforward way of telling things. Naturally he slips in his own stuff, including humor, in the dialogue and rounding out of some of the characters, especially Thor. One character that doesn't get any rounding is Loki. When I was a kid, Loki really bothered me. I could never see any reason for his doing the things he did. The killing of Balder bothered me a lot. As a supposedly wiser adult, I have the same problem. Loki's father was a giant, so maybe that's part of it. He's clever, he delights in tricks, and he doesn't seem to care for anyone but himself. Maybe it's motiveless malignity in the Iago manner, but that doesn't seem to be it. He looks forward to the deaths of the gods and the ending of the world at Ragnarok.
If you know nothing about Norse mythology, this book would be a fine place to learn a bit. If you know a little but have forgotten a lot, it's probably even better. Either way, it should occasionally surprise and delight you.