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Grendel (1971)

af John Gardner

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5,9961071,619 (3.83)191
The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great early epic BEOWULF, tells his side of the story.
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    An Absolute Gentleman af R. M. Kinder (ehines)
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  3. 30
    Little, Big af John Crowley (sturlington)
  4. 20
    Wide Sargasso Sea af Jean Rhys (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Classics retold to give voice to silent characters important to their plots.
  5. 10
    Mickelsson's Ghosts af John Gardner (stellabymoor)
  6. 21
    Achilleus' sang af Madeline Miller (fugitive)
    fugitive: Another brilliantly retold classic by a modern author.
  7. 10
    Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West af Gregory Maguire (mcenroeucsb)
  8. 10
    Beowulf af Beowulf Poet (sturlington)
    sturlington: Grendel is a retelling of Beowulf from the monster's pov.
  9. 11
    Gojiro af Mark Jacobson (fugitive)
    fugitive: Another autobiography of a real monster.
  10. 01
    Orphans of Chaos af John C. Wright (infiniteletters)
1970s (52)
AP Lit (82)
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Viser 1-5 af 106 (næste | vis alle)
Beowulf's Grendel telling its side of the story. Is Grendel a ferocious monster, a mess-up child of a inattentive mother, or something else? Gardner has kept me confused. ( )
  podocyte | Feb 17, 2024 |
This parallel/companion novel to the legendary story of Beowulf is told from Grendel's perspective. Grendel is a monster who lives deep in a cave with his mother, whose precise nature is unclear, though she seems to be large, slow-moving and unable to communicate (in my head she looked something like a giant, monstrous larva, YMMV). Grendel one day ventures beyond the cave to hunt, at which time he encounters humans for the first time. He spends hours, days, years observing them, fascinated — but, you know, being a monster he's also hungry, so he frequently attacks and devours them as well.

The question I kept wondering throughout the book is what exactly is Grendel? He's certainly large and powerful with the ability to tear men limb from limb as easily as snapping a twig. However, he's also impulsive, overconfident and quite childlike at times. Every now and then we get a glimpse of a conscience. As a reader I wavered between sympathy (is it his fault he is the way he is?) and horror (so much violence and gore). The narrative occasionally wanders into philosophical territory, where I have to admit my eyes may have glazed over temporarily until the linear narrative resumed. I approached Grendel with a familiarity of Beowulf limited to what I had gleaned exclusively via cultural osmosis, so naturally I'm now significantly more curious to learn more about the original work. ( )
  ryner | Jan 21, 2024 |
4.5/5 Having taught BEOWULF for a number of years to my sophomore honors, why didn't I have them read this, too? This book is not simply a retelling of BEOWULF from the monster's point of view; it is highly intellectual and philosophical as Grendel seeks to find some sort of meaning to his life. Drawn to and repulsed by humans, he reminds me of Frankenstein's creature, who also seeks the purpose to his existence. Several philosophies are explored here, most of which I can't wait to look into. The trope of reading a story from the supposed villain's point of view is not new, but it is absolutely heart-wrenching here. I dare anyone who reads this not to be touched by Grendel's utter isolation and loneliness. What a read. ( )
  crabbyabbe | Jan 18, 2024 |
Tentative rating. Will give it another try. ( )
  A.Godhelm | Oct 20, 2023 |
How do writers do it? Have thoughts so strange and put them in words so powerful? I read a book of Gardner's long ago (October Light) and thought it remarkable, but it was nothing like this. One short text to encompass human existence and meaning. Or was it just a story? ( )
  JudyGibson | Jan 26, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 106 (næste | vis alle)

» Tilføj andre forfattere (9 mulige)

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John Gardnerprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Antonucci, EmilIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Ford, JeffreyIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Guidall, GeorgeFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Kassner, WendyOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Leonard, MichaelOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Miller, EdwardOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Penberthy, MarkOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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And if the Babe is born a Boy
He's given to a Woman Old,
Who nails him down upon a rock,
Catches his shrieks in cups of gold.
— William Blake
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The old ram stands looking over rockslides, stupidly triumphant.
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I touch the door with my fingertips and it bursts, for all its fire-forged bands—it jumps away like a terrified deer—and I plunge into the silent, hearth-lit hall with a laugh that I wouldn't much care to wake up to myself.
The sun walks mindlessly overhead, the shadows lengthen and shorten as if by plan.
And so begins the twelfth year of my idiotic war. The pain of it! The stupidity!
I understood that the world was nothing: a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears. I understood that, finally and absolutely, I alone exist. All the rest, I saw, is merely what pushes me, or what I push against, blindly—as blindly as all that is not myself pushes back.
What was he? The man had changed the world, had torn up the past by its thick, gnarled roots and had transmuted it, and they, who knew the truth, remembered it his way—and so did I.
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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.

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