Grendel by John Gardner

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Book Information  
AuthorJohn Gardner
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Pete 
(Feb 09, 2006)

An unusual and interesting book by a largely mainstream author, based on the legend of Beowulf, but seen from the view point of the monster Grendel. The idea of taking a character out of a well known story and writing about them is not new and has been done very successfully recently by Gregory Maguire in his books ‘Confessions of an Ugly Sister’ from the Cinderella story, ‘Wicked’ based on the life of the Wicked Witch of the West from Oz stories, and ‘Lost’ based on the life, or rather afterlife of Scrooge.
Grendel is in a similar vein but was written much earlier in 1971, but was probably an old idea even then. It is suitably dark but sympathetic to Grendel who is seriously misunderstood by the normal characters in the Beowulf saga.
It is something I have read several times and enjoyed equally well each time. An oddity that deserves more attention.

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