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Grendel

Gardner, John

(Book - 1989)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Grendel
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The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great early epic BEOWULF, tells his side of the story.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1989, c1971
Edition: Vintage Books ed
ISBN: 0679723110
9780679723110
Branch Call Number: FICTION GARDNER 1989
Characteristics: 174 p. :,ill. ;,21 cm

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Beowulf is the earliest recorded piece of Western Literature. Even this early story has a villain who has his own motivations for acting as he does.

Beowulf is the earliest recorded piece of Western Literature. Even this early story has a villain who has his own motivations for acting as he does.


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Oct 24, 2014
  • eferry rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

While the description on our site calls Grendel merely a re-telling of the story "Beowulf," it's a lot more.

Grendel focuses on the titular character, the monster Grendel, as he lives, plots, and imagines in his life in Denmark in the early years AD. Most of the story is written using modern terms (sometimes in a hilariously anachronistic way) and is much more accessible than the original epic.

It's a short read, but (as any high-schooler might tell you) there are innumerable ways to interpret Grendel and his way of thinking.

Try it out!

Nov 09, 2011
  • MeeisLee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"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." -Amazon.com

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I found Grendel to be an interesting take on the Beowulf epic. I actually read Grendel before reading Beowulf, and it changed how I viewed the original epic. Grendel, a monster, reflects some of the confusion and questioning present in humans. The setting is in 4th century AD in Denmark but his language is obviously modern. I don't think it takes away from the story as I found the old English in Beowulf overbearing and confusing.

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