Book - 1989
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The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great early epic Beowulf , tells his own side of the story in this frequently banned book. This classic and much lauded retelling of Beowulf follows the monster Grendel as he learns about humans and fights the war at the center of the Anglo Saxon classic epic. This is the book William Gass called "one of the finest of our contemporary fictions."
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1989, c1971
Edition: Vintage Books ed
ISBN: 9780679723110
Characteristics: 174 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Antonucci, Emil
Call Number: GARDNER, J


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Sep 25, 2017

Oh I absolutely LOVED this take on a new perspective... the monster, and the monsters... who's the true monster? I read Beowulf in the 10th grade or so, and found it brutal. The whole "hero's archetype" thing. Well, this is rather horrifying, but one begins to sympathize and truly see through Grendel's eyes. His flaws, Beowulf's flaws, the world and society and their flaws. But not the book itself-- this book is great!

FW_librarian Jun 19, 2015

Not having read Beowulf, I didn't have that connection that friends of mine relayed to me about this novel but, I do feel it's a good YA discussion book because teens can readily relate to the feeling of being an outsider looking in and trying to understand (and wishing) how to be included in a larger (popular) group.

Oct 24, 2014

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!

MeeisLee Nov 09, 2011

"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."


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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