Vile and deadly, the monster Grendel rises from his dreggy pool in the night to seek out his victims and kill them in dreadful silence. Hrothgar, king of the Danes, sees no end to the bloodbath: too many of his brave warriors have been slaughtered.
Yet there is one man who remains unafraid, one man capable of standing up to the fury of the terrifying monster and his evil mother - Beowulf.
One of the world's great adventure stories, this tale was first told more than a thousand years ago. In Robert Nye's marvellous retelling, it is as spine-chilling as it was then.
From the author of Taliesin (1967), another goofy, spoofy write-up that gets right down to the basic epic and adds modern features. For those who savor greasy monsters, Nye's Grendel is a mass of messy kid bits: "it fed on living things and had grown so fat and swollen in its greed that bits of the people it had eaten dripped from its scummy lips and crooked teeth." The general format is as true to the original as other juvenile versions (Hosford, Serraillier, Sutcliffe) and Nye's adjustments poke gently at the steadfast tradition and project a hero with the heart of a milder man. It is absolute goodness that makes his grasp so deadly, his idea of bravery that gives him courage in time of danger: "That man is truly good who knows his own dark places." Nye casts, Beowulf as an apiarist, and this bee-keeping hobby, a source of distinction long before his Great feats of heroism, first provides amusement when the going is soft, then plays a part in his final victory, the Wiglaf-shared defeat of the firedrake. Whether taunting the firedrake ("You call yourself a dragon? You look more like a glow-worm") or nobly serving his lords, he is mild and mighty in a story that dwells on moral values - loyalty, generosity, courage - in merry, witty style. Alan Cober's distinctive drawings convey the fearsome intangibility with dexterity. (Kirkus Reviews)
Teenager / Young Adult
For Ages: 7 - 9 years old
For Grades: 7 - 9
Number Of Pages: 96
Published: 1st September 1995
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.0
Weight (kg): 0.1
Edition Number: 2