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GRENDEL Mass Market Paperback – Dec 12 1975


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Mass Market Paperback, Dec 12 1975
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (Dec 12 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345250761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345250766
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 336 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,121,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
The old ram stands looking down over rockslides, stupidly triumphant. Read the first page
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
Great book, but don't waste your money on the hardcover: it is a paperback edition pasted (not bound) into a hard cover. Save your money, buy the paperback.
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By Eli Graham on March 7 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great reworking of Beowulf. I read it before I read the original, and drove my Anglo-Saxon classmates in university completely crazy because I continued to root for the monster, the mother, and the dragon.. The monster is a sort of Viking-age eco-terrorist. His behaviour is totally understandable in the face of the onslaught of the encroaching humans on his pristine forest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 31 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm going to be truthful in the fact that I did not enjoy the epic poem, Beowulf . Yet, I did enjoy the modern novel, Grendel. Grendel was a story less about egotistical men and more about a tormented creature trying to find the point of his isolated life. Due to the fact that I found the characters in Beowulf self-absorbed, I was humoured by Grendel mocking and torturing them. In addition, this tale was enlaced with nihilistic views that questioned existence. This agonized soul ponders the purpose of being: is there any point in living if everything is predestined? Not only did it question life, but also government, religion, ethics, and morals. I would recommend this novel due to the fact that it is intriguing with an underlying theme that is simple and direct.
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Format: Paperback
Clever, touching, creative, and thought-provoking, _Grendel_ is a work of art that, through the perspective of a naive monster, comments on the hypocrisy and anthropocentric nature of humans. John Gardner's mastery of creative fiction writing is evident in every word of this book. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
This is the Beowulf story from the monster's point of view and, in some sense, the coming of age story for the monster. He starts out as a young monster briefly lost from his mother and trapped in a tree by the future king and his group. He's saved at the last minute, and becomes fascinated with the strangely acting humans who are somelike like him but mostly not.
From forest shadows, he views--through his primal lens--the duplicitous, scheming and barbaric true nature of the king's growing empire and the warring clans around it. No animal, points out Beowulf, would treat his own kind so cruelly.
Later in the novel, as Grendel grows out of young adulthood into complete monster maturity, he begins to interact more fiercely with the humans. He wants to show them how wrong they are, how vulnerable, how false their gods. To his surprise, however, the beauty of Beowulf's queen--who is completely inaccessible--enchants him. Rather than seriously persue the queen, however, he views the king as unworthy of her and this feeling builds his resentment toward the king and his domain.
Outside of the monster Grendel, there are two arresting figures in the book. The first is the dragon, who sits in a subterranean lair and, more importantly, stands outside of time and thus can see eons of events at glance--before and after they occur. From this perspective, the dragon attempts to school the young monster in the finer points of space-time. This is an entertaining sidetrack from the novel's main thrust, and the dragon's viewpoint of time (analogous to surveying a plain from a mountaintop) leaves a lasting impression on the reader. To Grendel, of course, the concepts are beyond him and the dragon becomes upset at Grendel's obvious boredom and disquiet.
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By A Customer on Dec 12 2003
Format: Paperback
Grendel has a sarcastic and cynical mind, which serves to entertain both him and the reader. Through his expositions of situations, we see humor where others would simply see violence, and irony where others only fact. These others are the humans, the Danes, unwitting neighbors of Grendel, forced to stand night after night of slaughter. What is a traumatic and terrifying experience for them, is simply a game to Grendel, and the reader. Grendel bursts in on the Danes, ready to kill, and they squeak. They are funny in their fear, laughable in their drunken fighting. The reader is focused on Grendel's perception of the Danes. The deaths go by easily, because of the humor involved. It does not cross the reader's mind that these are people Grendle is killing. The humor allows the reader to sympathize with Grendel's position, that of the predator. The prey is not meaningful, only nutritious and entertaining. It is a macabre humor, which accentuates how no death is noble, it is simply death. By making the Danes un-heroic and un-ideal, cowards and drunkards, the author is presenting the reality through the humor.
In contrast to the drunken lurching of the others, Unferth comes toward Grendel with speeches and bravery. He is a puffed up as a peacock, proud and ready to die for his king, his people, his ideal. Grendel simply states, "He was one of those." Grendel sees Unferth with a clear and unbiased mind. He is ridiculous. His exaggerated heroism, his words, even his first move, to scuttle sideways like a crab from thirty feet away, is laughable. Grendle does with him what he does with no other Dane in the story, he talks.
Unferth offers Grendle death, and Grendle sends back taunts. The reason this scene is funny is because the taunts are sharply accurate.
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