Beowulf: The New Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds

November 19th, 2007 by Brian Leave a reply »

The new movie is out, receiving mixed reviews, and so Candlewick Press decided to re-release Gareth Hinds’s comic book/graphic novel of the epic poem.

Arm-ripping good time

  1. Amidst the comic is the actual text from A.J. Church’s 1904 translation. It was picked for its readability, but there are some drawbacks (check below).
  2. Beowulf is right up there with Gilgamesh as the granddaddy of modern comic books and anything Star Wars. Expect lots of action (which is unexpected for students from something originating around 700AD-850AD).
  3. It’s fun to say Hrothgar, Unferth, and Geat. “Geat! Sweet!”

Mother issues

  1. ┬áThe translation is lacking. Beowulf wasn’t quite your underdog hero. He was known as a good foreign king because he stole (really well).
  2. Graphic novel it is. Definitely, definitely a high school book. I would not recommend it for junior high libraries. I was pretty excited about the book, but then I can’t put it on the shelf (no matter how many dress-up doll stickers I can use to clothe Grendel’s mom).

The final strike: If you are a high school librarian and want to spice up World Lit or AP English, get it.

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