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Beowulf

(Beowulf #1-3)

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3.37  ·  Rating details ·  7,003 ratings  ·  312 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 hideo
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Paperback, Graphic Novel, 120 pages
Published March 13th 2007 by Candlewick Press (first published 2007)
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3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,003 ratings  ·  312 reviews


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Calista
I read Beowulf in School and I remember thinking this was a good story. It had it's mythical overtones, but the language was not modern and I had a hard time making concrete pictures in my head of what was really happening in this epic famous poem. I think this works so well in Graphic novel form. It's perfect and I just became a huge fan of Gareth Hinds for bringing this amazing story to life.

The colors and details in the art are amazing. The story is full of action and that Viking mentality.
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David Schaafsma
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: gn-lit-based
When I initially read this it was the first graphic version of the epic tale that I had read. Mostly visual, with little words to help us, it seemed to be a great adjunct to the teaching/reading of the story we read in British Literature classes. Colorful, poetic.

Now that I have seen Santiago Garcia and David Rubin's version, which gets at more of Beowulf's story and captures more of the drama and power, I am inclined to say this is still good artwork, and maybe still the best I have seen of Hi
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Jessica
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
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Louise
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Jen
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's missing a lot of the prose, but still a nice collector's edition for Beowulf fans.
William Galaini
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beowulf is a difficult thing to review and perhaps even more difficult to accurately interpret given its multitude of translations and revisions with various intentions in mind. Approaching this material is a daunting task to the wise, and a futile task to the unwise.

So which is artist Gareth Hinds? Wise or unwise?

As we first open this volume, we are met with the illustrator's notes regarding the chosen translation as well as a vocabulary bank to help guide us through some of the more obtuse lan
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David
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.75

I have always wanted to read Beowulf and so when I saw this graphic novel I thought I would give it a shot. I think I should have stuck to reading Beowulf as this version bit if more than it could handle. It felt like I was reading spark notes on the spark notes of Beowulf. I think this is a situation where this doesn't translate into a graphic novel. The art was interesting and I am glad I read it, but it just seems as if it is missing too much.
Cat
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
The art in this was great, but honestly the storytelling fell a bit flat in terms of writing. It's the Beowulf story I expected, so there's not much new here, but the illustrations are really nice. There's some really great double-page spreads that you can't look away from too.
Kelley Ross
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Devon
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
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Cathleen
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Rich F
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
The king of heroic epics gets a lavish visual interpretation in Hinds's full-color mixed-media gem, originally self-published as three separate issues in 2000. He begins with a credit to two versions of the familiar story (A.J. Church's 1904 translation and that of Francis Gummere), in which a vicious monster named Grendel terrorizes the great hall of King Hrothgar for 12 winters, and the hero Beowulf arrives from afar, to try to defeat the creature and succeeds—with his bare hands. Then he must ...more
Ali
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.

Jus
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Tom Ward
May 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
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Jshifrin1
Mar 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
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Sam
Jul 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Christine
Sep 27, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Cwn_annwn_13
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.
Chris Bass
May 16, 2012 added it
Shelves: grad-school
Great read along with the full version. If anyone is interested, I wrote a grad paper comparing the traditional text and graphic novel. Also, I met Hinds at NCTE, and I realized that I knew a little too much about him.
Gabrielle
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
Micahb
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I hadn't read this since 9th grade. I think it was easier when I was reading it with the class and talking about it with the teacher. Still, a good story (even if there are are a few too many sidenotes).

Meredith
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
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.
Piyali
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Spectacular visuals accompanying a well known story makes for a fascinating experience.
Janine
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
The most enjoyable part was that Lucas asked me to read it to him.
Madelyn Whitlock
The pictures certainly helped me follow the story.
David Stephens
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
One of things that's always struck me about Beowulf is its vagueness. It, of course, has no official author, only scores of translators, and there are major questions of when it was written down and how much it's changed since its inception as an oral tale. But beyond this, many of its physical descriptions are hazy and incomplete as well. No location, event, or warrior is ever perfectly filled in. Grendel is clearly big and scary and likes to eat people, but the nebulous descriptions of his cha ...more
Rebecca
Jun 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: middle school & up, but beware gore & violence
Shelves: graphic-novels
You know how in most action comics, the hero gets neatly punched on the jaw -- no blood in sight? Not so this one, Beowulf the original superhero story, in all of its blood-spattering, tendon-snapping, bone-crunching glory. The text is a spare, lovely translation that precedes the three sections which follow Beowulf's three battles: the monster Grendel, Grendel's vengeful mother, and the dragon.

The art is incredible, with obvious command of anatomy and martial arts. The middle section, painted
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Jake
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
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Gareth Hinds is the creator of critically-acclaimed graphic novels based on literary classics, including Beowulf (which Publisher’s Weekly called a “mixed-media gem”), King Lear (which Booklist named one of the top 10 graphic novels for teens), The Merchant of Venice (which Kirkus called “the standard that all others will strive to meet” for Shakespeare adaptation), The Odyssey (which garnered fou ...more

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