The Design of Thunder Road

Marla Thompson

Thunder Road, written by Chadwick Ginther, is book one of a trilogy. It is enriched with Nordic folklore that educates the reader and also grasps their attention. The book would be categorized under the genre fantasy fiction.  Its form and design work well with the plot. The form of the book allows the reader to have quick and easy access to background information that is needed to understand the plot and characters of the novel without having to read an extra piece of work to know what Ginther is talking about.

Thunder Road’s cover is simple and corresponds with the plot. The story is about a group of individuals who go on a road trip across the Canadian prairies to find Mimir’s head. The publisher of the book is Ravenstone and is in charge of the book design. The cover picture is a road that is not a main road because it is a two-way road. The road on the cover would be a road that is placed somewhere in the prairies the group of individuals drove on. The cover has some sort of creamy, beige colour that could be wheat or any kind of crop. One of the individuals, Ted Cullan, possesses the powers to summon and control thunder, lightning, and wind. He has the capability to do this because he has the Mjolnir tattooed on his hand. The Mjolnir is Thor’s hammer that he uses as a weapon.  In most altercations, Ted is unable to control his anger and creates a lightening storm wherever he is present on the road trip. The title, Thunder Road, is also a title of a song by Bruce Springsteen. The song is about two people who know they are no longer young and that all they can do is drive, “So you’re scared and you’re thinking / That maybe we ain’t that young anymore” (Springfield, Bruce). Ted is not young anymore.

Next, Thunder Road has two characters that are called Huginn and Muninn. They are ravens that once perched on Odin’s shoulders and would fly all over and return with information. Ted is new to this whole Norse thing, as are the readers. Ted and the readers learn together as the ravens speak to Ted, and give him explanations or background information on the subject. The ravens warn Ted about Loki, the trickster, with flashes of scenes; “He always betrays. Loki knows nothing else. See how he caused the best of Odin’s sons to be struck down. See how Baldur died” (Ginther, 93). The ravens say this because Loki makes a joke about how he would need more than mistletoe to kill Ted.


Image: (c) Marla Thompson.

Located at the back of the book is an appendix which the reader can fall back on for support and understanding of all the names and characters that are brought up. The appendix gives a brief summary on a number of characters like Odin, Hel, Loki, Surtur, Thor, and many more. The pages of the novel are heavy and thick, which means it is good paper. The quality of the paper indicates that the book would be durable and less likely to tear as thinner pages tend to do. However, the cover of the book is paperback and would be more prone to folding and ripping.  Since the book does not have a hard cover it is less expensive. The cost of the book is sixteen dollars Canadian. The chapters are not long, making it easy to read a number of chapters a day, but still easy to read through the novel quickly. On average, the number of pages per chapter is twenty and often takes about twenty-five for half an hour to read the chapter. The style of the font is not decorative, making it easy to understand what is being said along with being able to read it quickly. The size of the novel is W x12.6 cm/ Lx 19cm. The size of the novel is not awkward to hold, and makes it easy to fit on the average shelf size. Although the titles for the chapter’s font is not decorative, the title of the novel and title of the chapters are. They give the effect of worn out, maybe tire marks that are left on the road. The font of the main text is not difficult to read.


Image: (c) Marla Thompson.

Thunder Road is a book that is different from the mainstream topic of “Gods”. The book is about Norse Gods, and usually when a reader thinks about mythological Gods, they tend to think about Greek and Roman Gods because they are talked about more often in school or in entertainment series such as movies or television shows. The book gives a different sense, and it makes the readers learn something new. The book is both educating and interesting, making it a great book to take on the road. Thunder Road would be a book that would stay on the shelf for a long time, it may not be read often, but would be a useful document because of the appendix that is located at the back of the book.

Thunder Road is written by Chadwick Ginther, who is from Morden, Manitoba and presently continues his work in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The features like the appendix and the characters that Ginther includes, help readers to understand the novel. The novel’s font and title page portray what the storyline is about, but the font also gives off an artistic decorative aspect which is appealing to the eye.

Works Cited

Ginther, Chadwick. “Thunder Road” Winnipeg, Manitoba:  Ravenstone, 2012, print.

Marchand, Philip. “Open book: Thunder Road by Chadwick Ginther” National Post. December 14, 2012. Image.

Springsteen, Bruce. “Thunder Road.” Born to Run. Columbia Records/Sony 1975. iTunes)

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