Please note: it gets 2 stars because it made me snicker (candy!)/giggle...like, maybe twice. So, yay. Two stars.
Why do I hate thee, O Grendel, let me count like a few ways. Or maybe just 13 ways, since there's totes 13 ways of looking at a blackbird and, you know...other...stuff...
1. The prose style made me nauseous. Seriously, I'm blaming the last seven chapters of this book for making me so sick to my stomach I couldn't go to class to talk about this book the next day.
2. To qualify the above: it reads like really bad James Joyce...like he rewrote Dubliners about a bunch of really hairy, whiny, deformed Irish people on crack...oh wait...- ignore that, the Pebbles loves Irish people. They're so...Irish...y...
3. Por ejemplo (back in the kitchen now, discussing Grendel in a scholarlylular way): "The old ram stands looking down over rockslides, stupidly triumphant. I blink. I stare in horror. [so do I, as I read this god-awful first page of a novel that is 174 pages long and think to myself "God, what a wonderful world that this cwaep gets published]. 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...[bla bla bla Deep-Sounding-Cryptic-Rambling-Grammatically-Cwaeppy-Text-bla bla bla] 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!" YES! FINALLY THE AUTHOR REALIZES THIS IS A HORRIBLE BOOK!- wait...oh...nevermind.
4. Screw the list, I got bored. Let's just say Monseigneur Gardner reminds me of one of my least favorite people- Virginia Woolf. Don't get me started- she drives me up the wall with her rambling prose and constant whining about how life is unfair, and she's unhappy, because she has all these deep thoughts (translation: she was a fwaeking emo).
5. Also, this reminded me of Patrick McCabe's The Butcher Boy...yeah...Irish novel about a kid who chops some poor woman up and buries her in a pig sty...because he's a nutcake.
Grendel is also a nutcake, first class. He whines, he gets all emo, he gets all environmentally conscious, he then proceeds to leave a crying and helpless baby bird to die so some fox can eat it (oh yeah, he's a real keeper) and then (if that wasn't bad enough) he then kills a poor unsuspecting mountain goat. That did it for me, because I love goats. I've had two, I think they're adorbzableness incarnated into something that can not only eat your rose bushes, but a can of paint too and never have a stomach ache...(I'm easily impressed by an ironclad esophagus) and though they can be infuriating, I'd never like, brain one with a rock as it innocently scaled a rocky mountain path, picking it's way up towards the tippymost top for no reason. But this seems to piss Grendel the fwaek off to no end, so he (I imagine symbolically) brains the poor goat with a series of large rocks. I found this disturbing. Like, I put away the book and wanted to cry myself to sleep because HE STONED A GOAT!!! What a JACKASS!!! Of course, this is undoubtedly some symbolic moment of...grossness...or something, but it was lost on me because I prefer to not imagine the gruesome murder of Mr. Fluff-Mountainous (yes, I named the goat...symbolically as thus, and verily you might say, I give unto him a name and thus identity thereby personifying his goat-ness so that he is no longer simply animal, but also...ummm...vegetable and...uh...mineral...as well...whatever). Clearly, I'm supposed to derive something other than the heebily jeebilies from this portion of the book (because otherwise, why did Mr. Gardner write such cwaep?) but I couldn't. Mr. Fluff-Mountainous met a horrible end, not to mention that wittle baby bird earlier in the book, and now I just want to rip off Grendel's arm (and other appendages) myself.
In conclusion (and all that rot), I do not like this book. I do not like in a tree, I do not want it next to me, I do not want it with a dead goat, nor do I wish it on a boat, I do not want it in the house, I would not wish it on a louse, I do not LIKE it, Grendel you twit...so I think perhaps I'll just burn it...
Edit: I decided it has to be 1 star, because in The mirthless House of Mirth Edith Wharton's woebegone heroine doesn't brain any helpless animals and I gave that 1 star...and I probably cracked up when she accidentally offed her emo self so...this gets 1 star too. (less)
Okay, so I love this book, really I do. However, sometimes I wonder if I'm just reading an Old Skool Romance with a bunch of sword fighting where the...moreOkay, so I love this book, really I do. However, sometimes I wonder if I'm just reading an Old Skool Romance with a bunch of sword fighting where the prose sometimes borders on purple. There might be some clues that you're writing an Old Skool Romance (and no, contrary to popular belief, an Old Skool Romance of the 60s/70s and even 80s didn't always have a happy ending- sometimes the poor put upon heroine would end up losing the "love interest" hero like halfway through an 800 page book and then had to boink a series of other, far lesser human beings in order to survive the remainder of her long, sad years). You might have some "space rape" as we call it (Star Trek...where Captain Kirk has a thing for "forcefully making out" with just about every unsuspecting ensign and bosun that has the misfortune to cross his path while he's on space drugs), you might have melodramatic protestations of twu twu wuv, you might have tragedy (translation: the dude dies), and you'll definitely have virgins. However, a big heads up might be if the following phrase appears in the book:
"Her loins still ached from the urgency of his lovemaking"
I haven't heard the word "loins" used since I watched Batman Beyond: The Joker and the Joker said something about "the spawn of his loins"...so that's the voice I hear whenever I read the word "loin", even if it's on pork or beef at the grocery store.
In conclusion: I do love this book, but it cracks me up sometimes- which is a good thing, because it makes me feel as though I'm not cheating myself out of the joys of reading nothing but the yon bonny romaaaaance. (less)