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Beowulf (Graphic novel)
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Beowulf (Beowulf #1-3)

3.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,628 Ratings  ·  251 Reviews
This exhilarating graphic-novel edition of an ancient classic honors the spirit of the original as it attracts modern readers.

The epic tale of the great warrior Beowulf has thrilled readers through the ages — and now it is reinvented for a new generation with Gareth Hinds’s masterful illustrations. Grendel’s black blood runs thick as Beowulf defeats the monster and his hid
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published March 13th 2007 by Candlewick Press (first published 1912)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 21, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Snatched this up at the recent Gathersburg Book Festival, saying aloud to myself, "Shut UP, there is a GRAPHIC NOVEL of BEOWULF?!"

Yes, yes there is!

So I'm giving this book four stars because it's a GRAPHIC NOVEL OF BEOWULF. And it's done very beautifully, the art is amazing and freaky! But I wanted to love it more, and what I didn't love was the text. I would have killed to see Tolkien's or Seamus Heaney's translation used, something nice and poetic and in the spirit of the original. But it re
I never thought of Beowulf as a superhero story... but it surely is.

Gareth Hinds shows that the graphic novel media is perfect for telling this story to modern audiences.

These drawings would be even more amazing in large format.

The book is well designed, carefully laid out and printed on a good grade of glossy paper.
Mar 01, 2011 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5201, graphic-novel
This graphic novel was included in the 2008 YALSA list. Gareth Hinds does graphics for computer games and apparently reinvents classics as graphic novels in his spare time. He’s done Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” and “King Lear” and just published The Odyssey in January. The illustrations of Beowulf and Grendel on the front and back covers indicate that the drawings will be dark and gritty. I’m hoping for a more creative classic adaptation than P&P&Zombies — something that could ...more
R.S. Carter
It's missing a lot of the prose, but still a nice collector's edition for Beowulf fans.
Dec 27, 2014 Cathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I should start with the caveats. First, it's been 23 years since I read Beowulf, and though that senior high school English class where I was first introduced to the story was probably the most important academic event of my life, I remember little about the original epic poem save the most basic of plot points. Second, I feel vastly underqualified to review graphic literature. Though it's only recently getting the credit it deserves, this format has a rich tradition and requires exe ...more
A.E. Marling
Beowulf is a superhero of a bygone era, tackling monsters with his bare hands. So strong was he that swords broke whenever he hit people with them, “so they conferred no great advantage.”

I loved the brutally beautiful phrasing. To speak, Beowulf “unlocked his word hoard.” He entered the hall, and “majesty lodged there.” He wore armor of “webbed mail.” He battled a dragon with “molten venom,” who was “threatening the night sky with streamers of fire.” When Beowulf crushed someone, he “wrecked his
Kelley Ross
Jan 28, 2010 Kelley Ross rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Let me just say that I am completely biased when it comes to Beowulf. I love Beowulf! However, I felt that this graphic novel made the story more accessible and 'real,' in a way.
Aug 28, 2012 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Take me back to a time where men where brave and monsters ruled the earth.
Take me back and remind me that before the skyscrapers and the planes and the ships there where vessels, hovels, and Lords.

I have this thought quite often. I love history ( beyond AP USA) and am often drawn to novels which depict hero's in their prime. Beowulf is possibly the most powerful of all these epics. Not only does it pull you in with its vivid story but it itself is a testament to the changing english language.

Mar 20, 2011 Jshifrin1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A world wear monsters and dragons roam the earth terrorizing human kind there is a hero who was born to slay them his name Beowulf. This place exists in the graphic novel Beowulf by Gareth Hinds, based on the poem Beowulf. This book takes place in 1000 A.D. is about a warrior who slays beasts and monsters to defend his people. In the beginning of the book Beowulf enters as the prince of a far away land he has come to free Hrothgar’s great hall from the beast Grendal. This is just one example of ...more
I'm not saying that Gareth Hinds did a bad job on this version of Beowulf. In fact, it seems to be a very accurate rendition of Beowulf as I remember it from school-boring, confusing, and at times, disgusting. I guess what I'm really saying is, I hate Beowulf.
I don't think I am the right person to review this, as I found it difficult to absorb any of the plot or meaning, I was reading the words but not really understanding them.
Perhaps I will enjoy this more when I am not forced to read it for uni.
Jul 24, 2010 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, language
Although this is not a verbatum version of the Beowulf saga, it is an excellent version for those unfamiliar with the original text/translation or for those who want to read a more accessible version of the story. The artistry is superb and illustrates the story well. Each of the sections has a slightly different feel to it, giving the reader a clear sense of divide between each of the epic challenges Beowulf faces. I did find some scenes difficult to follow but this is more related to the fact ...more
Apr 16, 2016 Cindy rated it liked it
It's BEOWULF in GRAPHIC NOVEL form! That alone earns it 3 stars. However, the art was lacking and I really didn't give a damn about any of the characters. I wanted more. I wanted to give a damn about their fate. Anyone's fate.
Beowulf has been one of my favourite legends since I was a little girl, so when I saw this after reading another of Gareth Hinds' illustrated/graphic novel adaptations, I had to check it out.

I liked it better than most adaptations of Beowulf I've read. I particularly liked how real the clothes, armour, ships, and surroundings in general looked. I've never before seen someone depict the sea monsters in Beowulf's boast-tale as actual sea creatures, either, which was interesting.

It also lent more c
Douglas Overbeck
I really enjoyed this adaptation of Beowulf. While they had to cut much of the poetry of the original, they did keep it where they could and I noticed they even improvised a few lines just to keep it all flowing without sounding like they forced those lines. For that alone I am pretty grateful and impressed.
I also really enjoyed the art for this graphic novel. While I had read other graphic novel depictions of Beowulf, this is up there as my #2 version for its depictions and level of emotion in
Aug 25, 2015 Devon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard book to review. Beowulf is one of my areas of study, so I tend to be more of a stickler than I might be with other subjects, but I am also interested in seeing different interpretations in art, especially comics and graphic novels, which I find an interesting and multifaceted genre.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this retelling of Beowulf. The art was often hit and miss for me and there were a lot of choices I didn’t agree with, or didn’t understand.

I’m not sure I agree with portr
Devonne West
Jul 04, 2014 Devonne West rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, 2014
Why did I wait so long to read this?! What an awesome poem/story about good vs. evil! Beowulf has come from another country to help a king who had been kind to his father by offering to help kill an enemy that has terrorized the land for a long time. When the so-called warriors of the king's land basically say, Hey Beowulf, you ain't so 'bad. Beowulf responds by saying if you were the warrior you think you are, this enemy would never even have considered pilfering and terrorizing the land like h ...more
Jenn Basel
First, the text:

As this isn't a translation or academic take on Beowulf, and is an adaptation of a translation I have not read, I will refrain from commenting on the quality of said translation. As an adaptation to suit a graphic novel, the text is well-suitable and easy to follow, if not what I usually look for in a reading of Beowulf. There are certain things that were left out for pacing that I would have liked to see, but I can't be overly harsh on that front as it is an adaptation, not a tr
Tom Ward
May 09, 2014 Tom Ward rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An unfortunate telling of Beowulf, lacking all the nuances that make the story great.

The main focus is Beowulf's three fights against Grendel, Grendel's Mother, and the Dragon. The first two books, those about Grendel and Grendel's Mother, are hard to read because the art is so messy and the panels are arranged so that people unfamiliar with the poem would probably have a tough time. The artwork in the third book is much better, and the dragon is well done. Hinds did leave quite a bit of direct
Hannah Cobb
Oct 13, 2015 Hannah Cobb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
An epic legend repackaged as a middle school level graphic novel. There have been a LOT of "classics retold as graphic novels" in the past decade. Some are great, some are terrible. I think Hinds' artwork does a wonderful job conveying the spirit of the story to a modern young reader. I wasn't as big a fan of the text, which is extremely condensed and less-than-poetic. Once in a while I wasn't sure if there was enough context for a teen to actually understand what was happening in the story, but ...more
Through detailed artwork, artist and story teller, Gareth Hinds creatively brings the classic epic poem of Beowulf to life on the pages of this graphic novel. The legend of Beowulf itself isn't a terribly exciting one, though. Beowulf is certainly heroic as he battles the formidable Grendel, Grendel's mother and a fearsome dragon before he ultimately perishes. If there is a lesson to be learned from Beowulf and his story, however, I'm afraid it escapes me, hence the three star rating.
Feb 25, 2016 Lydia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really wish I could give this 3.5 stars.

Overall story is the Beowulf mythos; fighting Grendal, Grendal's mother and than in Beowulf's old age, the dragon. What this version got right: the graphics. They are stunning! They fit the era and the dramatic, epic feel of the saga, they were brilliant, no issues with them. Where the mistakes were made: the prose. There's a reason this story has survived so long in it's original forms and I think it's a mistake to "dumb down" (I mean translate) the pros

Nienna Li
Beowulf, the oldest British literature ever discovered, is a heroic myth about the legendary experience of the warrior Beowulf.

In Beowulf, the joy of success was transient. In the first battle against Grendel, Beowulf took one arm of Grendel and hung it high, but the joy was soon broken by the second attack of Grendel. Another obvious transition from joy to sorrow happened at the end of the novel, where Beowulf’s success on killing the dragon was overwhelmed by the sorrow of his upcoming death.
Caiden Wallace
Feb 20, 2016 Caiden Wallace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The art of this graphic novel is shocking and ASTOUNDING. It puts an AMAZING artistic taste in your mouth 1 spoonful at a time. It's nearly artistic genius of modern day art! The art is INCREDIBLY dramatic, a little disturbing on a few pages (not in a sexual way whatsoever), dark, and full of astonishment. There's completely new INCREDIBLY interesting new takes on character designs, which aren't your normal character designs for this old, classic viking story. It's incredibly interesting and uni ...more
This is a portion of translations of Beowulf accompanied by art done in the comic book veign. I thought the art captured the feel of Beowulf very well. I actually went out of my to buy a hardcover edition of this after already having the trade paperback a few years back.
Robert Summerhays
This book is about how a king builds a great hall and has many great things happen with it but then a terrible monster named Grendel who changes Beowulf’s life.

So in this book the king builds a great hall and has many big and magnificent parties in it. But then one night a monster named Grendel comes and destroys the guard’s guarding the hall. And this happens all lot after this. And finally Beowulf hears about it and he comes and decided that he will best Grendel in a fight.

My favorite part of
Oct 28, 2014 Allison rated it liked it
Recommends it for: YA & Up
Recommended to Allison by: Display at Rochambeau
This a well-done adaptation of Beowulf, enough to soak my palette for the whole thing. You see, I am one of the only folks my age that I know of who did have to read the long form of Beowulf at some point between 7th grade and graduating from college. I've wanted to read it for many years but have never made the time for the original. If I'd bothered to find out this graphic novel version was out there then I would've read it sooner.

The illustrations are great and the language that the author us
Isabela Schwarz
I wasn’t really a big fan of Beowulf. I understand why so many people did enjoy it because it’s a fun adventure story written in a fairly unique way. However, I thought it was too difficult to understand. If I hadn’t seen it performed just a few months ago, I think it may have been even harder to enjoy. As it is, I already had to consult sparknotes several times while reading it. In addition to the fact that it was a bit of puzzle, I was also not a big fan of the story. It was kind of repetitive ...more
Sameem Khwaja
Jan 07, 2014 Sameem Khwaja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This graphic novel/classic is very upbeat and exciting. Beowulf is divided into three stories, each describing a part and journey about his life. Beowulf is a courageous man who goes to another town to protect it from all types of creature. In part 1, he must defend the town from Grendel. Grendel is a dark monster who usually does not encounter with humans. In the second and third part of the book beowulf must defeat creatures (including a dragon and a snake sea monster.)

I can understand why Be
Will Kimball
Beowulf is a newly written book that was about a fable during a time far from our day in the noble pastime with vessels and castles and all of those fantasy like figures.

This book is about a kingdom called Hrothgar where a king reigns, and one day they decide to build a massive hall to solidify their kingdom, but only to find that the fen did not like their decision to build such a thing. Soon they send a beast named Grendel and massive ogre like figure comes to hall Hereot in silence and destr
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Gareth Hinds is the creator of several acclaimed graphic novels based on classics. About THE ODYSSEY, he says, "It was incredibly exciting to work with this material. Gods, monsters, flawed heroes, battles, and all the best and worst of human nature, set against an ancient Mediterranean backdrop. It’s a dream project."

Gareth Hinds lives in Watertown, Massachusetts.
More about Gareth Hinds...

Other Books in the Series

Beowulf (4 books)
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  • Beowulf: Doom of Glory

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