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by John Gardner

Download Grendel eBook
John Gardner
G K Hall & Co (June 1, 1971)
215 pages
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Grendel is a 1971 novel by American author John Gardner. It is a retelling of part of the Old English poem Beowulf from the perspective of the antagonist, Grendel. In the novel, Grendel is portrayed as an antihero.

Grendel is a 1971 novel by American author John Gardner. The novel deals with finding meaning in the world, the power of literature and myth, and the nature of good and evil. In a 1973 interview, Gardner said that "In Grendel I wanted to go through the main ideas of Western civilization – which seemed to me to be about.

Published in the United States by Random House, In. New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great early epic Beowulf.

John Chaplin Gardner, Jr. author of Grendel was born on July 21, 1933, in Batavia, New York. John Gardner taught fiction writing. He wrote two books on the subject, The Art of Fiction and On Becoming a Novelist, that are considered classics for classes in writing. His father was a farmer and his mother a teacher. Both of his parents were lovers of Shakespeare and would recite the verses often together. His book On Moral Fiction was so controversial that he became a regular on talk shows and in the media for a while. Because he spoke out on the moral ambiguity of classical authors such as John Updike and John Barth, he was ostracized from some publishing companies.

by. Gardner, John, 1933-1982. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Delaware County District Library (Ohio). Uploaded by sf-loadersive. org on February 3, 2010.

John Champlin Gardner was a well-known and controversial American novelist and university professor, best known for his novel Grendel, a retelling of the Beowulf myth. Gardner was born in Batavia, New York. His father was a lay preacher and dairy farmer, and his mother taught English at a local school. Both parents were fond of Shakespeare and often recited literature together.

John Gardner received wide acclaim for his novels, his collections of short stories and his critical works. He was born in Batavia, New York in 1933 and taught English, Anglo-Saxon and creative writing in Oberlin, Chico State College, San Francisco State, Southern Illinois, Bennington and SUNY-Binghamton. His books include The Art of Fiction, The Art of Living, Grendel, Jason, and Media, The Life and Times of Chaucer, Mickelsson's Ghosts, Nickel Mountain, October Light, The resurrection, The Sunlight Dialogues, Stillness and Shadows, and various books for children.

Grendel, by John Gardner. This short novel is based on the epic Old-English poem Beowulf, but is NOT some dry academic exercise you should undertake thinking it's good for you. I first read it 30 years ago in college, and still re-read it every few years. Gardner's version of the story is narrated by Grendel, the monster that Beowulf arrives to fight, and is nothing like the original poem in its tone. This time the hero tale is laced with modernist themes, and Grendel is the quintessential outsider who exposes the darker aspects of human nature.

John Champlin Gardner Jr. was an American novelist, essayist, literary critic and university professor. As a child, Gardner attended public school and worked on his father's farm, where, in April 1945, his younger brother Gilbert was killed in an accident with a cultipacker. Gardner, who was driving the tractor during the fatal accident, carried guilt for his brother's death throughout his life, suffering nightmares and flashbacks. The incident informed much of Gardner's fiction and criticism.

Book by Gardner, John
  • Vushura
This brief book is a brutally powerful conjuring of the monster Grendel from "Beowulf." The story is narrated in first person by John Gardner's reimagined Grendel, who is both horrifying and sympathetic: a savage, ruthless, lonely creature. The prose is often wonderful, earthy yet poetic, laced with wit. In addition to the inhuman Grendel, the book includes a shorter, very striking evocation of a dragon who sees both past and future. I also particularly liked the thread about the minstrel and the impact of his craft both on Grendel and on the humans.

I liked most of the book very well, including the opening chapters, and the later appearance of Beowulf. However at times, such as the opening pages of chapter 7, I found the tone of Grendel's perspective jarring and discordant. At other times, such as the closing pages of chapter 7 (I had trouble with chapter 7!), I found Grendel's perspective so repellent I wanted to stop reading. Although the nastiness seemed consistent with the story, it was thoroughly unpleasant.

As with many first person narratives, the book provided no explanation of how, when, and to whom the story was being told. This weakened the impact of the end for me. Yet the voice of the first person narration is part of the strength of the majority of the book, part of what put me under its spell.
  • Naril
This is one of my favorite novels, and, in my opinion, a masterpiece that should be read by anyone who enjoys reading fiction. The way Gardner takes a character that you thought you knew and adds layers upon layers upon layers of depth to him is absolutely astounding. This novel is probably the best character analysis I've ever read. It's not light reading, and it's not a typical action-heavy fantasy novel, but it is one of the most intellectual and thought provoking fantasy novels out there.

(I would recommend you read Beowulf before reading this novel if you really want to fully understand its greatness.)
  • Tygokasa
Grendel, one of the monsters that Beowulf defeats in the epic Beowulf, tells his side of the story. Grendel is frequently challenged for violence and Grendel’s nihilistic view of the world seen throughout the novel. There is violence in Grendel and some of it is explicit however at a high school reading level this sort of violence is not inappropriate. Most high school students have seen more violence on TV then they will read in this book. As for Grendel’s nihilistic view of the world, the entire novel refutes it. One of the themes in this novel is that having a positive and more hopeful outlook on life is better than wallowing in nihilism your entire life. Grendel is not the hero of this novel, in fact he is the complete opposite, and he is not even an anti-hero. Grendel is given a choice in the novel whether to choose the Dragon’s negative nihilist view or chose the Shaper’s positive more hopeful view and Grendel chooses wrong. From that point onward Grendel’s nihilism is viewed in a negative light. Eventually at the end of the book, Beowulf, who could be viewed as a hero of the novel, defeats Grendel. Beowulf who stands for the Shaper’s views defeats Grendel who stands for the Dragon’s views. In fact Beowulf is even depicted as a dragon in the last scene. Beowulf is a dragon of hope whereas the Dragon is a dragon of egotistic nihilism. While the book is from Grendel’s view the novel depicts him and his views as wrong or evil. This novel actually promotes a hopeful out view on life and therefore has no reason to be banned.

Gardner, John. Grendel. New York: Knopf, 1971. Print.
  • Hono
Grendel is not really a story about a monster, it's the story of an isolated person trying to make sense of the world. In that sense, it's a smashing success. Grendel's internal conflicts drive the story, and his attempts to understand the universe and his place in it are frustratingly complex and saddening.

The book also serves as a fantastic critique of humans and their behavior, as Grendel doesn't seem so much like the monster when you've finished reading the book.

If you're familiar with Beowulf, then you should really enjoy this. Even if you haven't read the poem, Grendel is easy to understand on its own.

Be advised, it's got some incredibly abstract and complex parts that will baffle you, but they exist for a reason.
  • Connorise
This book is incredible. Grendel is a sly, poetic, introspective "monster" who embodies the monster that is in all of us.

If you are a fan of Poe, Vonnegut, Orwell, Wells, or you just enjoy mind-blowing fiction then read this.

  • unmasked
This book has been described as "a triumph" - and it is. Gardiner's unique perspective transports us into the world of the legendary monster of Beowulf, from the perspective of that monster, and in so-doing, takes the reader on a journey which is utterly unexpected.

Yes, it s unusual to read a book written from what we perceive to be the perspective of the "bad guy", and that in itself is fascinating. But this book covers a great deal more of that as the narrative progresses. The power of words and legend, the very nature of good and evil, interwoven with humour and the observations of a true antihero, whilst he rationalises internally, deals with his mute mother, mocks and taunts humans between murdering them, and tries to match wits with a fatalistic, philosophising dragon (sounds stranger than it is, in context) - this book covers a great deal of ground.

One of my true favourite books - Very much worth your time and effort.
  • Hamrl
My daughter loves the book. (She's still reading it.) Because the book is written in Grendel's point of view, she is better able to connect, understand, and even sometimes like and appreciate him, in spite of his wicked ways! Thank you.