Monday, January 31, 2011

Review of Beowulf

Blood, guts, destruction, bravery and all glory and honor to God Almighty, lumped into one little package! My daughter and I loved Beowulf by Michael Murporgo which is actually a retelling of the classic epic poem in a children's book format, complete with full color illustrations.

If you're not familiar with the story, it's told in three parts: Beowulf, a mighty hero, is called in to save the day. An evil fiend had been brutally terrorizing folks in a mead hall in a nearby kingdom. What's a "mead-hall?" It's something like a local pub where citizens get together and have a pint or two and talk about the good ol' days. Beowulf kills the creature Grendel, barehanded. But before the victory gets back into full swing again at the mead-hall, trouble brews once more out on the moors. Evidently, Grendel, the defeated foul foe, had a mother and now Beowulf's got to get rid of her as well. She is sea hag-like and just as wicked as junior. Beowulf goes to her evil under water lair, which is guarded by several diabolical sea-serpents and brutally cleans Grendel's mother's clock with a mighty sword. In the third act, Beowulf has gone back to his homeland a hero and becomes king after the passing of his father. Years later a vicious dragon is awakened after someone does something really stupid, (*warning: never steal gold from a sleeping dragon) and Beowulf must save his own people from the dragon's venomous fire. I won't tell you the outcome but it's extraordinarily exciting!

The illustrations in this children's story book are as brutal as the descriptive language which make it all the better! No watered-down "Walt Disney-ish" reprogramming here, so reader beware! Beowulf, is a true hero who actually fights and kills monsters with his bare hands and it ain't pretty...But it's good!

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