by Gin, December 10, 2007 11:58 AM
It's easy to find oneself in the thrall of hanks of blond hair and mead-fueled heroism, but it is a more difficult task to regard, with care, the heart of a monster. The monster (but is he?) in question is Grendel, an introspective animal who loves his mother and also has a taste for Danes. Gardner's novel is an accounting of the tale of Beowulf from Grendel's perspective; it's a story of a monster's hunger, love, and grief, and also those of men. Consider the original poem Beowulf: How is it that the happy endings of men and their stories are those that are soaked in blood?