Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: John Gardner

Narrated By: George Guidall

Publisher: Recorded Books

Date: December 2003

Duration: 5 hours 32 minutes


World renowned critic John Gardner has received prestigious awards for his wide range of literary achievements including short stories, novels, and essays. When he turns his talents to retelling Beowulf, the earliest epic in British literature, the result is a work that combines extensive knowledge with a marvelous strain of pure fun. In Gardner's version of the epic, instead of lauding the helmeted hero, Beowulf, the spotlight shines on Grendel, a beast whose grotesque body and blood thirst condemn him to the life of an outlaw. Grendel is a horrible monster. He greedily gobbles up warriors in the Danish mead hall guarded by Beowulf. But within Grendel lurks a soul that delights in dark humor, dramatic pirouettes and pranks. Both young adult and adult listeners will revel in this powerful complement to a classic tale. George Guidall's narration captures a surreal landscape that shimmers on the other side of the original epic's heroic mirror. What we see is that there's a little bit of Grendel living is each of us. Also available: Beowulf


  • Caroline C.

    First of all, this book is amazing. The philosophical journies Grendel experiences are easily understood by the reader and Gardner's use of the motif of the astrological signs adds yet another intriguing layer to this work. This should be a much more famous "classic" than it is, for it's truly a noble work. Honestly it now tops the shelf as one of my favorite books I've ever read and taught. And I loved the voice of the narrator! I really enjoyed his style when he read words like "waaaa" and "heh-heh"... he kept me hooked right in there. His voice and delivery made me laugh, cringe (at the murdery bits) and it also made me cry. Overall, I'm a better, more educated person now after reading and listening to this book on tape!


by John Gardner

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Grendel, John Gardner