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Publisher's Summary

"The North" is simultaneously a location, a direction, and a mystical concept. Although this concept has ancient roots in mythology, folklore, and fairy tales, it continues to resonate today within modern culture. McIntosh leads listeners, chapter by chapter, through the magical and spiritual history of the North, as well as its modern manifestations, as documented through physical records, such as runestones and megaliths, but also through mythology and lore. 

This mythic conception of a unique, powerful, and mysterious Northern civilization was known to the Greeks as "Hyberborea" - the "Land Beyond the North Wind" - which they considered to be the true origin place of their god, Apollo, bringer of civilization. Through the Greeks, this concept of the mythic North would spread throughout Western civilization. 

In addition, McIntosh discusses Russian Hyperboreanism, which he describes as among "the most influential of the new religions and quasi-religious movements that have sprung up in Russia since the fall of Communism" and which is currently almost unknown in the West.

©2019 Christopher McIntosh (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Textual Scholarship on Aryan Legend & Religion

Important, fascinating, useful. Pagan rituals and deities, masked holidays, Atlantis, Shambala, Hyperborea. What's left? Not much.

The authors do a wonderful job of leaving no stone unturned as they rifle through the existing scholarship, including both hot and lukewarm trails, spinoff cultures, and the connections that make a book like this tantalizing. Moreover, Odin's characteristics are not neglected, which turns out to be the rug that ties the room together.

Siman Vance does an outstanding job as narrator for this book, having somehow the perfect voice, tone and accent to pull it off without ever seeming to be mechanical or dry.

8 people found this helpful

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Will be listening again

This book was an overview that wandered far and near. As a condensation of, and introduction to, Nordic mysticism and Nordic mythology (not a run down of the gods that we all pretty much know, but how they have ebbed and flowed in followers) a lot of ground was covered.

I found myself wishing I had taken notes of all of the various sources mentioned so that I could review them, thus my need to relisten to this book. Some sources seemed credible, others seemed to come out of fringe history. That said there wasn't a lot of value judgement placed on the sources, leaving it up to the listener to do their own research and form their own opinion.

What I really loved was the last chapter that covered the Nordic and "neoNordic" music and their influences starting with Led Zeppelin. Happily my very favorite band, Sigur Rós was mentioned. Other bands from the Faroe Islands, Germany, Scandinavia, and elsewhere have given me some new music to checkout.

Simon Vance is an excellent narrator. I pretty much always enjoy his reading.

4 people found this helpful

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Mostly fringe

I was expecting a more scientific and edifying exploration of concepts of “the north” in culture, literature, and music. Instead, this was a slog through fringe theories of lost civilizations, mysterious structures and neopagan beliefs. (Though I appreciated the fairly even handed review of how these threads link up to creepy neonazi, nationalist, and white supremacist groups in many nations today). Not recommended for the serious scholar or serious hobbyist of Norse and boreal cultures.

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Here there be some serious crackpot ideas

In the first few chapters "collective" human memory and Atlantian myths are front and center. of you're a fan of Bigfoot, Area 51 stories, and legends of the Lochness Monster, this is probably right up your ally. If you're more into actual history, avoid this book.

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exciting

first i was unsure if I would like the subject matter. but this author commanded organization and put something ethereal into perspective. We covered geographic, ethnic, time sequences, and science. chapters were defined in ecopy and title (unlike other books 'title 1, chapter 2')
it's like a professor or instructor...they can make or break the student in presentation. ive got a new realm of interest in folklore and origin stories.

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Intricate, beautifully written, scholarly

Not at all what I was expecting from the cover, but fascinating and thoroughly researched. Beautifully read by Simon Vance. Would recommend for those who like deep dives. Can't wait to listen again as soon as I finish. And glad to have the whole Easter bunny/Easter egg thing cleared up.

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heathens, history, occult, and...pop culture?

McIntosh does a killer job exploring "The Mystic North!"
Folklore, myths, legends, facts, geography, culture, spiritualilty, from past to present day- he does a really great job summing up the birth, death and revival of all things "viking"

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The research he’s presenting doesn’t seem that great

Especially in terms of Greek myths, it seems like he needs more sources. It doesn’t seem very credible to me.

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Intriguing Read

A thought provoking book that I can’t stop thinking and wondering about. My Swedish roots are perhaps influential in my enjoyment. Packed with lots of information and details that will require me to re-read it. I’ll be exploring more Nordic literature as this book has opened up new roads to explore.

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wealth of knowledge full of research

the book moved with enormous speed without sacrificing the constant flow of information. i will no doubt listen again as i was unable to fully concentrate on the story. would definately recommended.

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  • Kirsty R.
  • 01-24-21

Simply amazing!

Well researched, well written and well narrated. So fascinating and intriguing. I’m listening to it all over again! A real gem.

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Profile Image for Bibliophilia Barry
  • Bibliophilia Barry
  • 05-23-19

overview

the book provides a general and fairly detailed overview of the Nordic heritage. Good source material for anyone interested in comparative mythology.