‘Grendel’ offers readers interesting story of character battles

Grendal Book cover

Grendal Book cover

Not many villains in stories end up with their own autobiographies.  Grendel, a monster with human like tendencies, was derived from the ancient book Beowulf. The novel, written by John Gardner, was spontaneous with Grendel being an emotional and unpredictable character. Although it provided great background information for Beowulf, Grendel’s book was entirely too confusing and odd.

Grendal Book cover

Without prior knowledge from  reading the book Beowulf, readers may be left struggling in the book.  Originally, Grendel was this evil figure that ate drunken men during the night.  He fought Beowulf and lost, only to have 15 minutes of fame in the book. Throughout this book however, Grendel battles with his humanly emotions. To people, he is nothing more than an evil monster which eventually causes his resentment toward humans.  The way his character is portrayed makes him seem bipolar and unpredictable.

The relationships between Grendel and other characters can throw readers off at times. For readers, it is never clear whether he is actually a friend or an enemy to people before deciding to attack them all. A lot of the other animals in the story don’t speak to Grendel through words but communicate through strange actions that may be hard for the reader to understand. His own mother cannot communicate with him and has a very abstract way of showing emotion due to her monster like nature.

From a creative perspective, the book does have a sense of humor and tends to spark an imagination for readers. It is also written in vivid detail creating wonder mental images in the heads of readers. Grendel can be a funny character at times that can make up for his confusing and baffling personality.

Overall, the book was a creative fictional story that was just a little confusing and inconsistent. With prior knowledge, it does provide the reader with a good insight of Grendel’s point of view.