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Grendel Paperback – May 14, 1989
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In the poem Beowulf, Grendel is a very flat character. He is, in fact, the epitome of evil, unfeeling and cruel. He comes, he kills and eats people, he leaves. Then he comes back. This book gives Grendel a personality. He knows he is a member of the fallen (Cain�s) race, and accepts that fact. He is lonely, and cannot even get companionship from his mother, who has long ceased to communicate. In fact, his only real �friends� are the Danes he kills. Still, he knows he is dependent on Hrothgar�s survival. �If I murdered the last of the Scyldings,� he muses, �what would I live for?�
This book gives excellent insight into the character of Grendel, and will definitely change the way you look at the poem Beowulf. Gardner�s Grendel is a creature who determines to kill Beowulf for the honor of Hrothgar, so that his thanes will not have been outdone by a newcomer. I highly recommend this short work for anyone interested in the great old English epic.
Grendel is sad, lonely, and bored. His only friend (besides his mother, who offers little conversational companionship) is a wise ancient dragon who sits on a massive treasure hoard and mentors the young beast in the significance of being a monster, that having the power to terrify and brutalize is just as much an affirmation of life as killing to eat. And killing is Grendel's forte: He repeatedly targets the thanes of Hrothgar, king of the Danes, who, as descendants of the blessed race of Abel, intrigue him; voyeuristically he spies on them in their meadhalls, sardonically observing their folly, believing that he provides for them a healthy challenge to their complacency. He particularly enjoys the ineffectual assaults of a warrior named Unferth who seeks hero status by trying to slay Grendel numerous times and whom Grendel always spares out of spite, to dishonor him and amplify his ineptitude.
If Grendel were human, he'd be called a sociopath. He hates himself, men, and the world, but he turns his extreme negativity into a strange attitude of superiority -- he likes to show his enemies that he can always beat them, that they're defenseless against his aggression and foolish as well.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
OK... so this book has me really confused. I'm halfway through with no plan to stop. The writing is beautiful, even poetic. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jennifer Poole
Interesting novel which explores the mental state and story of Beowulf's famous nemesis: Grendel.Published 4 months ago by Myles Wilcoxson
A wonderful piece of satire. Each time I read it, I find something a bit different in it that catches my eye. Is Grendel truly the monster in the epic of Beowulf? Read morePublished 6 months ago by Thomas Prettyman