[Download ePUB] GrendelAuthor John Gardner – Memovende.co

If I could ADOPT that big, lug of a monster, I would be signing the papers right now because Grendel really, really needs a friend something awful That lonely, melancholy maneater gave my soul a migraine and his final haunting words spent me like loose change from the sofa I can t tell you though I m still gonna try how much I loved this book It is definitely being added to my list of ALL TIME FAVORITES I have rarely fallen so completely into a narrative as I did from the very first words of this retelling of the epic of Beowulf from the unique perspective of Grendel, to witThe old ram stands looking down over rock slides, stupidly triumphant I blink I stare in horror Scat I hiss Go back to your cave, go back to your cowshed whatever He cocks his head like an elderly, slow witted king, considers the angles, decides to ignore me I stamp I hammer the ground with my fists I hurl a skull size stone at him He will not budge I shake my two hairy fists at the sky and I let out a howl so unspeakable that the water at my feet turns sudden ice and even I myself am left uneasy But the ram stays the season is upon us And so begins the twelfth year of my idiotic war.The pain of it The stupidity Ah, well, I sigh, and shrug, trudge back to the trees. Grendel had me at hello stupidly triumphant and I was toast.Despite being less than 200 pages, this baby is multi layered and subtle and is one that you will likely want to spend some time getting to know and savoring each delicious nuance of Gardner s poetic prose The two overarching themes that Gardner raps about through his moody, meditative monster are 1 nihilism cynicism vs optimism belief and 2 the immense power of the artist and their art to shape humanity and give it the will to stretch beyond itself towards greatness Gardner s handling of both of these subjects is nothing short of breath stealing The story is told in non linear fashion and uses a series of flashbacks to show the reader Grendel s progression from an unthinking brute through his evolution as a philosophizing reluctant nihilist and finally to his embracing the role as the monster as a means of defining himself in the world around him and ending with his fateful encounter with BeowulfNOTE In order to fully appreciate Grendel, you should be familiar with the story of Beowulf as Gardner assumes the reader s familiarity with the original epicGardner s writing is so vivid and colorful and Grendel s worldview and voice are so unique, that it s hard to convey the impact of the experience other than to say, it a one of a kind Here s the not so skinny Early on in the tale, Grendel develops the capacity to perceive the world around him as being separate and apart from himself This is Grendel s I Am moment and it is where I took the quote at the top of the review Once he s able to establish this distinction between himself and the rest of the world, Grendel begins trying to make sense of the world around him However, he is continuously frustrated by what he experiences which appears to be nothing but a series of random, meaningless events without any deeper meaning This budding nihilism is later intensified and given shape by Grendel s pivotal encounter with a dragon yes, the one from Beowulf but with a much bigger speaking part The dragon has the ability to see and know the future and experience all time, past and present at once and this gift has given him a unique, and decidedly pessimistic, perspective on existence According to the dragon, the entire span of human existence is so fleeting and unimportant in the grand scheme of the universe that man s endeavor to give meaning to life through religion, poetry, history, etc., are meaningless He ends his lecture by saying to Grendel,My advice to you, my violent friend, is to seek out gold and sit on itI thought that was a great line The dragon s words resonate with Grendel but he continues to hope for a sense of meaning to the world This conflict eventually comes to a head when Grendel encounters the blind story teller the Shaper as Grendel names him who has arrived at Hrothgar s hall seeking employment In the Shaper, Grendel sees man s ability to create reality and impose order on the universe The Shaper, in trying to win a place at court, flatters Hrothgar with tales of Hrothgar s ancestors and the great deeds they performed as well as the still greater deeds that Hrothgar is destined to accomplish Grendel has seen the events that the Shaper speaks of and knows them to be false and yet the Shaper s words are so passionate and convey such certainty that Grendel finds himself believing them So he turns away, confused Thus I fled, ridiculous hairy creature torn apart by poetry crawling, whimpering, streaming tears, across the world like a two headed beast, like mixed up lamb and kid at the tail of a baffled, indifferent ewe and I gnashed my teeth and clutched the sides of my head as if to heal the split, but I couldn t. This frustration and conflict between what Grendel perceives and the reality that man creates for himself through his art remains the fundamental conflict throughout the story Even Grendel s acceptance as the personification of the evil man is meant to destroy is largely based on Grendel deciding that, in fulfilling that role, he will at least find a purpose, a meaning I had become something, as if born again I had hung between possibilities before, between the cold truths I knew and the heart sucking conjuring tricks of the Shaper now that was passed I was Grendel, Ruiner of Meadhalls, Wrecker of KingsAll these events culminate in Grendel s epic meeting with Beowulf who is actually never named.I loved this Gardner has created an entertaining, beautifully written and powerful statement on the universal theme of what s it all about This one was a life changer for me 6.0 Stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION IMPORTANT POST SCRIPT I listened to the audio version of this story read by George Guidall and his narration was the PERFECT compliment to the prose and I strongly recommend to those who listen to audio books to seek out this version It is among the best productions I have heard and I have listened to quite a few. Look, I ll be honest I m never going to win a triathlon Yes, scrubbing floors and wrestling dogs keeps me stronger than your average sedentary librivore, but my ecological niche is definitely chair shaped.Even so, I was surprised at how challenging this book was Take this sentence, for example I am aware in my chest of tuberstirrings in the blacksweet duff of the forest overhead.The first time is pretty much bwah The second time, your brain starts to adjust to higher altitude reading You say, okay, tubers are basically ground plants, like yams and such, and maybe I only understand duff as Homer Simpson s favorite beer, but the only place tubers can stir is in the dirt they live in, so he must be saying that he can feel the roots moving in the ground above him The third time, you ve done all the heavy lifting, so you can sit back and admire how pretty the sentence is, and pat yourself on the back for being such an enlightened reader.But let me tell you, doing that for an entire novel wore me right out.And maybe that s because I m too long out of college, with Dostoevsky and the less punctuated parts of Faulkner s oeuvre now six years in the rearview mirror Maybe it s because so much of the rest of the great American bookshelf is the equivalent of a nice, leisurely walk, where we waddle along enjoying the scenery and congratulate ourselves for being so far superior to those teevee watching schlubs who are even now forming covalent bonds with the butt groove in the couch Regardless, this book was a 200 page stairmaster marathon I m glad I read it, and I know it was good for me If I read it another couple of times, I d probably really enjoy it I see it does not lack for enthusiastic praise from truly erudite readers But at the end of the day, my to read pile is growing ever taller, and there wasn t anything in Grendel that makes me want to go suck out the marrow and wear its skin on my face.But let me not discourage you from doing exactly that even my corn fed intellect can tell that there is serious meat in these bones, for anyone willing to break a sweat cracking into them. Grendel, the famous monster from Beowulf, tells his side of the story here Philosophies clash, along with monsters and men This story of Grendel, told from his point of view, is an unusual amalgamation of Grendel s stream of consciousness thought which becomes clear and organized as Grendel grows and develops about his loneliness and self centeredness, his attempts to make sense of the world, and his cruelty and hatred toward men, while being drawn to them at the same time Grendel watches the Danes at Heorot at night, eyeing the old king, his young wife and family, and his thanes warriors , and listening to the heroic songs sung by a bard Grendel seems to toy with different philosophies nihilism, religion, existentialism, and solipsism all seem to be part of his worldview at different times in the story It helps a lot if you re familiar with these and other philosophies I m really not the only reason I can throw all those words around in my review is because I ve been doing a little studying the past few days and reading some of the analyses of this book D I could tell a lot of the writing was going over my head More erudite readers than I will probably get a lot out of this book than I did.It will also help if you re familiar with Beowulf, or at least the first part of that old poem I re read it well, the first 40% of it in preparation for reading Grendel, and being familiar not only with the plot and the characters, but with the way people spoke and thought back then, was tremendously valuable in helping to understand and appreciate this book But I still think that knowing about various philosophical ways of thought would have been even helpful.One cool thing was that each of the twelve chapters of this book takes as its theme the signs of the zodiac A ram appears in the first chapter, a bull in the second In the third chapter Gemini there is talk of animal twins and a two headed beast, along with symbolic discussion of double talk and the bard s creation of a second and false reality through his songs Along with re emphasizing the cyclical reality of Grendel s life and life in general, it was just plain fun to track how each zodiac sign appeared and was handled in the text It helped to amuse me when I was getting bored with the philosophical discussions I m kind of simple that way.I feel a little guilty for giving this book three stars It s a brilliant book in a lot of ways I appreciate it but I just didn t particularly love it If this sounds like it might be your cuppa tea, though, I strongly encourage you to read it ETA A funny thing happened A week or so after finishing it, Grendel is still creeping around in my thoughts, lurking in corners and jumping out occasionally to surprise me And his final words continue to haunt me So I ve decided it deserves 4 stars.Content advisory Lots of violence it s Grendel, people One or two F bombs Some crude sexual talk. Grendel is the ill fated monster from the ancient story, Beowulf This is his tale.There are very few details shared about Grendel in Beowulf I thought that this story would be an opportunity for the reader to get to know him.Unfortunately, we spend most of the time in Grendel s mind, circling endlessly around the ideas of time, brutality, nature and the meaninglessness of existence.I wanted to know about Grendel s mother, but there was very little about her.John Gardner wrote her as some kind of void filled slug monsterBehind my back, at the world s end, my pale slightly glowing fat mother sleeps on, old, sick at heart, in our dingy underground room Life bloated, baffled, long suffering hag Guilty, she imagines, of some unremembered, perhaps ancestral crime She must have some human in her Not that she thinks Not that she dissects and ponders the dusty mechanical bits of her miserable life s cursepg 10, ebook.Not like Grendel does, endlesslyI understood that the world was nothing a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears I understood that, finally and absolutely, I alone existpg 17, ebook.I think that was the biggest reason I didn t enjoy this read I believe every moment in life is, or can be, filled with purpose, meaning and happiness Grendel falls on the exact opposite end of the scale.In that way, Grendel is one of the biggest downers you could ever read He believes that life means nothing He acts and kills from this empty center.Out of this morass, the one part I kind of enjoyed was Grendel s conversation with a dragon in its hoard The dragon lives for millennia and sees the world from a view so wide that it is almost outside of time Again, there s a nihilist bent to his view, but the dragon brought a weird bit of humor to an otherwise bleak storyDon t look so bored, he the dragon said He scowled, black as midnight Think how I must feel, he saidpg 43, ebook.Yeah, think how I must feel All I wanted was the story of Beowulf from a unique perspective and what I received was a vague feeling of depression about the meaninglessness of it all. I feel a little ambivalent about this book It was definitely intellectually appealing, and the conversation that Grendel had with the dragon was very well done But Grendel didn t really do what I expect novels to do it didn t make me care about anything Part of that may be because it s only a meager 174 pages probably technically a novella but I think even in 174 pages Gardner could have engaged the reader.While I was able to scrape away a few enjoyable bits from this book out of sheer force of will and years of experience reading novels that take themselves too seriously and my love of Beowulf helped, too , I definitely feel that this is the type of book that makes students hate English classes Gardner s language, while sometimes engaging and original, usually sounded pretentious and deliberately mystifying to me It didn t help that Grendel was completely unlikable Not because he ate people or because he was the bad guy, but because he was so whiny, narcissistic, and weak He was also, to use one of his own phrases, tediously poetic Perhaps Gardner wanted to make Grendel unlikable, but I have the feeling that that wasn t what he was aiming for He seemed to want Grendel to be some kind of profound, outcast poet philosopher, but instead Grendel just came off as a cannibalistic English professor from the 1960s or a Beat poet who happened to occasionally go on murderous rampages If I wanted to read about a character full of self doubt, self loathing, and pretentiousness, I d read some Nabokov and have a better time of it. During a routine walk from the kitchen to the main room, he stopped mid stride and suddenly realized that no actual speech had escaped his mouth in what was, sadly, many years And even very few non lingual sounds aside from occasional coughs and heavy, anxious breathing ever passed between his lips and the world He scrolled through his long term memory for the last time he d spoken and before reaching a definitive answer he interupted himself with the realization that no matter what the specifics, it had been a very, very long time This made him feel unspeakably dreadful He decided that words needed to come out of his mouth right then and there He parted his lips, did something instinctive with his throat and a little staccato Ah sound sputtered forth and immediately halted It was then that he grimly realized how foreign the process of speaking had become Something within had atrophied Suddenly he felt about as intelligent as a tree stump This compounded the misery This was supposed to be effortless but it no longer was Then, as the purpose of language took hold, he expressed his fear, sorrow and frustration with perhaps the oldest language of all unfettered screams and moans All manner of such sounds came rushing out of him Bellows, wails, shrieks, unhinged cackles, hoots, feral pitch shifts, agonized AHHs and sickly, tattered OOOHs Lunging and stumbling around the cavernous main room, he indiscriminately hurled the products of his rumbling diaphram and vocal chords at objects, at space between objects, at the thoughts piling up inside himself, sometimes feeling as if he might knock them over or obliterate them with the force of his emotions becoming sounds He briefly envisioned himself as some monstrous, insane version of a symphonic conductor He caught a glimpse of himself in a distant mirror on the other side of the room and this only amplified the tremendously unnerving cycle of storage and relief that was moving through him He felt possessed by the sound He felt that he possessed it These alternating currents of channeling and being channeled through carried on for some time His throat had become raw and sore, his lungs ached, felt aflame He slumped upon the floor, back against the staircase He heaved atop the first few steps with his eyes closed He felt like weeping but no tears would approach He decided that getting noise out of himself was something he d need to do often He didn t exactly feel pleasant, but his head felt clear and his body lightened in a way it never had before and this was vastly superior to the alternative It wasn t until then that he realized just how backed up with words he d been How much of an island he truly was All he could think of after a while of laying there covered in evaporating sweat, finally regaining a steady heart rate, now feeling happily emptied was how he could make his noises louder. We know Grendel s ending, but what of his beginning Who cares, life is meaningless Grendel follows the nihilistic ramblings of the self proclaimed monster, and it turns out he s a sad boy with an attitude The existential philosophies are compelling in the context of the novel, but I ve seen humans far vile and far less intelligent than Grendel It would be interesting to explore his mind further I want either philosophy or story from Grendel I m left with the feeling that something is missing But maybe that s the nihilism speaking. Grendel WikipdiaGrendel, Livres Tlrama Le Nom De Grendel Est Beaucoup Plus Familier Aux Anglais Qu Nous C Est Celui Du Monstre Qu Affronte Le Hros De Beowulf, Ce Pome Pique Du VIIe Sicle Aussi Connu L Bas Que L EstGrendel John Gardner II Babelio Grendel, Qui Narre L Pope De Beowulf Du Point De Vue Du Monstre, S Est Impos En Moins De Quarante Ans Comme Un Des Grands Classiques De La Fantasy Anglo Saxonne Court, Brutal, D Un Humour Ravageur, Ce Conte Philosophique Frappe Le Lecteur Avec La Force D Une Comte, Dans L Blouissement Grendel Elbakin GrendelCamlia, Une Chevalire D Exception, Escorte Grendel, Le Dernier Dragon De Son Espce, En Lieu Sr Mais Ce Dernier Est Convoit Par Les Autres Royaumes Et De Nombreux Ennemis Sont Leurs Trousses Grendel Manga Sanctuary Grendel Est Un Manga Cr Enpar Mako OIKAWA Grendel Est Class Dans La Catgorie Seinen Et A D Abord T Prpubli Dans Le Magazine Comic ZenonL Oeuvre Est Dite En France Par Komikku Editions Et Comportetomes En Tout Termin Au Japon Grendel Belgique WikipdiaGrendel CRM And More For The Financial Professional Grendel Is Built From The Ground Up For The Financial Services Industry We Integrate With Custodians, Performance Engines, And Financial Planning Platforms We Understand Compliance And How It Affects The Teams That Rely On Our Software CRM Is The Center Of Our Platform, But Accounts For Only About % Of What We Do Our Tools Are FlexibleScotia Grendel Scotia Grendel We Have A Large Variety Of Quality Metal And Resin Models And Scenery In A Number Of Scales For Wargamers, Miniature Painters Or Collectors From Micro Armour To Mm Sci Fi And Fantasy Miniatures, Vehicles, Monsters And Scenery, There Is Something Here To Suit All Tastes Grendel Novel Wikipedia An Australian Produced Animated Movie, Grendel Grendel Grendel, Based On Gardner S Novel, Was Released In , In Limited Quantities On VHS The Film Features The Voice Of Peter Ustinov As Grendel, And As With The Novel Is Related From Grendel S Point Of View SparkNotes Grendel From A General Summary To Chapter Summaries To Explanations Of Famous Quotes, The SparkNotes Grendel Study Guide Has Everything You Need To Ace Quizzes, Tests, And Essays Every once in a while a book comes along that is so beautifully written it shames me to think I should ever consider putting verse to paper This is one such book m An existential crisis told from the monster s point of view Grendel tells of everything before Beowulf, a prequel This was far abstract and philosophical than I expected incorporating Grendel s arc from fumbling child learning his environment to elder bored with existence I understood the world was nothing a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears Then the wars began, and the war songs, and the weapon making If the songs were true, as I suppose at least one or two of them were, there had always been wars, and what I d seen was merely a period of mutual exhaustion But they were doomed, I knew, and I was glad No denying it Let them wander the fogroads of Hell I enjoyed this a great deal, especially the interlude with the dragon 3.5 stars rounded up Pick an apocalypse, any apocalypse A sea of black oil and dead things No wind No light Nothing stirring, not even an ant, a spider A silent universe Such is the end of time, the brief, hot fuse of events and ideas set off, accidentally, and snuffed out, accidentally, by man Not a real ending of course, nor even a beginning Mere ripple in Time s stream.