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Beowulf Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An epic, exciting tale. It is impossible not to develop some investment in these epic characters and let the story and Kiernan's rich and flowing language wash over you as you read." -- SFCROWSNEST.COM --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, and is the recipient of numerous literary honors. Originally from England, he now lives in America.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperEntertainment (September 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061341282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061341281
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,674,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Walker on November 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kiernan has provided a fine retelling of the Beowulf saga. While it is based on the Gaiman screenplay, she has obviously pulled from many other source materials, including the original, to create a fresh view of an old and fascinating story. It is certainly not a 'cliff's notes' version - if that is what you want you should go buy some 'cliff's notes'. This is a dark, gritty and magical world not seen since "Grendel" by John Gardner. Like her other original works, this novel speaks to the hero and the monster in us all.
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Beowulf. The oldest surviving piece of English literature, dating back from the 9th century. Legendary stuff. Anyway, this is the graphic novel based on the '07 movie with Angelina Jolie, whose character is drawn perfectly sexy in this. She almost looks like Salma Hayek in her From Dusk Till Dawn days... Well done. The way the story is told in this feels like it actually could've made the movie better, in art direction and fight scenes. The artwork is awesome, again, BETTER than the movie. I hope someday the movie gets remade but more like this. Darker, bloodier, more seductive, and profound lessons. Beowulf looks more like a Scandinavian warrior in this too. Grendel is hideous and colossal, he's more like a Ray Harryhausen-monster in this. All skull-smashing and bone-crushing. The shadowing is great. And did I mention Grendel's Mother? Yeah, she's so sexy its to die for... I don't usually prefer these over their original source material, I like both in the same respect. But this graphic novel is way cooler.
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This graphic novel is essentially an abridged version of the movie with a handful of minor changes to a few scenes. If you are a Neil Gaiman enthusiast and like having a complete collection, you make want to snag this if it's for the right price. If you've never seen the movie, I invite you to read it and enjoy Neil's unique take on the Beowulf legend. This graphic novel would not be half as good as it is without the work of renowned comic artist Gabriel Rodriguez.
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It's an exciting, readable, visual telling of the classic story. It has all the heroic essentials, including manly combat, seductive but evil beings (guess where Angelina Jolie comes in), terrible monsters, sword-swinging, and lots more. If you're already eager for the movie to come out, this appetizer gets your taste up for it, making you want that coming movie even more. Hey, that's the job it's supposed to do (in addition to lifting a few more bucks from your pocket). Good story, good art, and an interesting connection to super-hero stories a thousand years old.

My sister in law teaches medieval English lit - she even had a dog named Beowulf. She won't like it. It's not true enough to the original story. It's too cartoony. It's not respectful of the tradition. It doesn't take the serious story seriously enough.

Well, she doesn't read comics anyway. I like the fact that it puts the old stories in front of new audiences, something that probably wouldn't have happened without a fair bit of modern retelling. That's true to the original oral tradition though: retelling it again for each new generation, keeping it alive and relevant as the world changes around it. And who knows, maybe this will stir a few readers to hunt down a traditional version (I recommend Beowulf: A New Verse Translation). Would that have happened without the popularized redering?

-- wiredweird
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Personally, I very much enjoyed this novelization. The departures from the orignal "epic" poem were quite interesting and well written, and definitely kept me hanging on. The intense action scenes and vivid descriptions lend themselves well to the mind's power to invision the author's intentions. Though this is not her "typical" work (as it is such an understatement to call her work "typical" in any reference), still a success for Kiernan.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
From the depths of my memory the name Beowulf rings a bell after seeing the movie trailer inside the darkened theater and I told myself that I'll watch that movie when it opens in theaters but sad to say, due to time constraints (because I wanted to read the original epic translation of Beowulf first before watching the film version) I somehow missed it and worse, I couldn't find the original epic book version.

But it looks like the heavens are with me because an officemate gave me this movie-tie in book version by Caitlin R. Kiernan as a belated birthday gift (to you who gave me this, thank you!). I was planning to read this last November 2007 but I kept putting it off maybe because it wasn't the original translation and because I didn't get to see the movie the whole three weeks it was showing in theaters.

It was only during the Christmas break that I finally got around to reading it because of the fact that I have nothing new to read and I remembered I still have Beowulf gathering dust as he waits for me to remember, go back to and get to know him.

Having zero knowledge about what the epic Beowulf is all about except for the fact that he is some country's long forgotten hero and the fact that his song is in the list of the world's best literature that my high school English teacher enumerated with such a brief description it completely slipped off my mind and was easily relegated to the darkest recesses of my memory. Of course, I'm too lazy to Google it at that time (because what I might read on the net might ruin the suspense for me) and, like I said before, I'd like to be surprised and be entertained when I read a story.
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