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Grendel Book Review Summary

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Grendel

This is a retelling of the epic poem Beowulf, told here from the monster Grendel's point of view. The book begins with Grendel telling us that he is in the twelfth year of his war with Hrothgar. Each year seems to be much the same as the last, and Grendel feels trapped in an endless pattern. Chapter 2 tells of Grendel's memories of his childhood: how he grew up in a cave; how he eventually left the cave and entered the world of sunlight once grown; how he came into contact with humans for the first time; and how men feared him and fled. In chapter 3, Grendel comes into contact with the Shaper and is enchanted by his songs, but is angry because the reverie of the songs cannot replace his own reality. Chapter 4 brings Grendel to the village in an attempt to befriend the villagers, but the ignorant humans attack him. Grendel visits the Dragon in chapter 5. The Dragon gives Grendel advice. Grendel accepts his role as a monster in chapter 6, deciding that humans are his enemies. Chapter 7 brings Hrothgar's wife, Wealthow, who brings such a sense of peace that the villagers begin to feel safe again. Hrothgar's village enters the modern age of nation-states in chapter 8, where we are introduced to the scheming Hrothulf. In chapter 9, Grendel has a discussion with an old priest concerning the village's god. In Chapter 10 Grendel thinks about his unhappyiness with men. Beowulf arrives in chapter 11 and Grendel sees him for the first time. The 12th and final chapter brings Grendel to the sleeping hall where he hopes to surprise Beowulf and kill him. Beowulf, however, tricks Grendel, seizing him by the arm. Beowulf is victorious in the battle and Grendel goes off to die at the end of the novel.
The review of this Book prepared by Billy Pashaie



Grendel was a relatively minor character in Beowulf; this is his story, from his perspective. He's a large, hulking, man-eating beast, but he is also extremely intelligent and cynical. He lives underground in a cave with his mother, a fat and ugly beast who Grendel can't help but hate for her stupidity and inability to speak; similary, he hates most of the animals around him and is extremely sardonic when it comes to men. The bulk of the story describes Grendel's adventures with men and his theories about life; in the end, true to the original story of Beowulf, a group of huge men from across the sea arrive in the land and one of them (Beowulf himself) kills Grendel.
The review of this Book prepared by Maushmi Sabat



Grendel was a relatively minor character in Beowulf; this is his story, from his perspective. He's a large, hulking, man-eating beast, but he is also extremely intelligent and cynical. He lives underground in a cave with his mother, a fat and ugly beast who Grendel can't help but hate for her stupidity and inability to speak; similary, he hates most of the animals around him and is extremely sardonic when it comes to men. The bulk of the story describes Grendel's adventures with men and his theories about life; in the end, true to the original story of Beowulf, a group of huge men from across the sea arrive in the land and one of them (Beowulf himself) kills Grendel.
The review of this Book prepared by Rick Passero








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Chapter Analysis of Grendel

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 10%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   cynical or dry-wit FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   search for identity/new understanding Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Age:    -   long lived adults

Setting

Terrain    -   Water    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   general past Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   explicit references to deaths How much dialogue?    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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John Gardner Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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