Book Reviews of Grendel

Author: John Gardner
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ISBN-13: 9780679723110
ISBN-10: 0679723110
Publication Date: 5/14/1989
Pages: 192
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 104 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

11 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Grendel on
Helpful Score: 3
Being an english teacher and studying Beowulf, this point-of-view reversal is amazing!
reviewed Grendel on
Helpful Score: 3
It was really different reading for me, but I enjoyed it.
reviewed Grendel on + 283 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
My son had to read this in his high school British Literature class so I thought I'd give it a go and it is WAY better than Beowulf, which I had to read! Grendel is a sympathetic monster whose observations on humans are cagily insightful, and the Zodiac theme makes the book more enjoyable if you know to look for it. Recommended.
reviewed Grendel on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Grendel retells the story of Beowulf from the point of view of the monster, I think one of the first books to try this approach. It's obviously meant as satire - it absolutely eviscerates the human tendency to justify killing others while calling *them* killers - but unlike most satires, you get genuinely caught up in the story and with Grendel.

The monster Grendel is a huge, hairy mass of angst, with not much in the way of brainpower, but with a scathing wit and no tolerance for bulls**t. A born carnivore, he has nothing but contempt for puny humans and their need to create gods to justify simple power-grabbing. And yet, alone as he is, he craves the company of other sentient beings and is drawn to the transformative magic of human myth-making. His dilemma is unsolvable, but his frustration is comic gold.

The story does slow a bit in the middle as Grendel gets more interested in the metaphysics of history, but it's a short book and well worth pushing through to the end.

Many years after I read this book, I picked up "Wicked", which I thought would be a similar retelling of the Wizard of Oz from the monster's perspective, but I hated "Wicked". "Grendel" is much, much better.
reviewed Grendel on + 68 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I always feel bad for beowulf and grendel, but well written and liked.
reviewed Grendel on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was depressing. It's the world through a monster who hates happiness and light's view.
reviewed Grendel on + 636 more book reviews
Blech. I REALLY didn't liked this book. I've had it since my junior year of high school, from when we read _Beowulf_ and I think I bought it to read for extra credit, or because I had genuinely liked _Beowulf_... but I never read it. We rented the movie _Beowulf_ so I decided to read it. I fount it to be very boring... so boring, in fact that I almost didn't finish it. Maybe if I had read _Beowulf_ more recently... well, I don't know, but really, it was boring!
reviewed Grendel on + 20 more book reviews
The monster from the epic Beowulf tells his own story. Interesting.
reviewed Grendel on + 2 more book reviews
A bit hard to read, but all in all not bad
reviewed Grendel on + 249 more book reviews
The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great, early epic, Beowulf, tells his own side of the story in a book William Gass called "one of the finest of our contemporary fictions"
reviewed Grendel on + 175 more book reviews
Beowulf tells his OWN side of the story in a book William Gass called "one of the finest of our contemporary fictions."