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Grendel Paperback – May 14, 1989
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Grendel is a beautiful and heartbreaking modern retelling of the Beowulf epic from the point of view of the monster, Grendel, the villain of the 8th-century Anglo-Saxon epic. This book benefits from both of Gardner's careers: in addition to his work as a novelist, Gardner was a noted professor of medieval literature and a scholar of ancient languages.
From Library Journal
George Guidall's crusty but spirited narration is perfectly suited for the monster Grendel. Gardner's 1971 classic takes the Anglo Saxon Beowulf epic and uses varying translations of the poem and other writings from the period to tell the story from the poor monster's viewpoint. Most first-person narratives translate well to the audio format, and Grendel especially enchants, casting a spell not unlike a grown-up "Lord of the Rings." The monster observes humans from a revealing and telling vantage. Just like a child in the schoolyard, Grendel picks up certain curse words and takes joy in repeating them. This has resulted in Gardner's book being challenged at the many schools where it is rightfully part of the curriculum. Guidall's voice is familiar enough for a still-fresh tale. This is storytelling at its best.?Gerald A. Notaro, Univ. of South Florida, St. Petersburg
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top customer reviews
(I would recommend you read Beowulf before reading this novel if you really want to fully understand its greatness.)
Gardner, John. Grendel. New York: Knopf, 1971. Print.
Yes, it s unusual to read a book written from what we perceive to be the perspective of the "bad guy", and that in itself is fascinating. But this book covers a great deal more of that as the narrative progresses. The power of words and legend, the very nature of good and evil, interwoven with humour and the observations of a true antihero, whilst he rationalises internally, deals with his mute mother, mocks and taunts humans between murdering them, and tries to match wits with a fatalistic, philosophising dragon (sounds stranger than it is, in context) - this book covers a great deal of ground.
One of my true favourite books - Very much worth your time and effort.
If you are a fan of Poe, Vonnegut, Orwell, Wells, or you just enjoy mind-blowing fiction then read this.
Wonderful book. You'll enjoy it -- In a long line of books revealing the humanity of the monsters of our cultures. Are they more human than we?
Most recent customer reviews
Uninteresting characters and plot holes are present, no good.