Reader reviews for Beowulf

i decided to read it because im really intrested in middle age battles and heros and because after seeing the movie i wanted to get a better understanding of the movie. after reading the book i know completly understand what the story was about and why hathguar was cursed and why beowulf got cursed. the movie was also great very good animation and graphics. so if you like the novie then you will like the book.
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I enjoyed Seamus Heaney's choice of words for this translation. A pleasure to reread.
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So good I decided to try to learn Old English/Saxon. Undulating, flowing, gruff and severe: Heaney's translation chants you into a trance of beer halls and thanes and monsters and gore. If you enjoy this work, I highly recommend John Gardner's modern masterpiece "Grendel." Beautiful stuff, all of it.
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I've always loved Beowulf and this is by far the best version I've read. Of course, the last version was many years ago, and the first version was a (prose?) version back in high school.I have to give kudos to the publisher and to Heaney for having the old English next to the translation. I've gotten to the point that I will always go with a dual language version over anything else so that I can try to see what the translator is up to. Obviously, it's nice when an accomplished poet like Heaney takes on a verse translation.
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This translation (by Seamus Heaney) of Beowulf has a plain-spoken elegance. The layout - original Anglo-Saxon on the left page, Heaney translation on the right -- makes it possible to read the original poem aloud for its gorgeous alliteration and rolling rhythm. Still, the world of the poem is dismal. Life is hard; death is fated. Men kill one another, or monsters kill them. Everyone is so poor (by modern standards) that an individual shirt of ring-mail is a family heirloom, handed down for generations, or given by a king to a follower as a major mark of favor. In such a world, listening to good poetry might be one of the few lasting pleasures. The story of Beowulf is tedious; the poetry, transcendent.
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Another re-read prompted by the desert island books conversation. this is just fabulous. I know the original derives from a oral tradition, and I feel that this is designed to be read aloud, not to oneself. the meter is unlike the iambic rhythm we're so used to now, but the alliteration works and the lines sort of trip of the tongue. It's never a dull "te tum te tum te tum" thing - the words almost have a life of their own.
Add to that it's a swashbuckling story from the heroic to the unbearably sad and it just sweeps you away. Takes a bit of concentration, but that's no bad thing in a book.
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Review of David White translation: While there might be translations that do more in terms of translating both the sense of poetry and all the particular literary forms of the original work, Mr. Wright's translation has the distinction of being very readable while still retaining some of the flavor of the literary style. I also quite enjoyed the introduction where Mr. Wright discusses his reasons for a prose translation and explains some of the background and allusions to be found within the tale. Beowulf himself represents the honorable warrior - the man who seeks for glory for all the right reasons. His exploits are exciting and amazing, yet the author of Beowulf never lets the reader forget that fortunes change, all men die, and glory fades.
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This is a great translation. I enjoyed every line of it. If you combined this with Tolkien's translation of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", you'd have an evening of purely escapist medievel literature. (yeah, I know, Beowulf's not strictly medievel. whatever) Very good stuff.
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Reading a bilingual version is great just to compare the similarities in the languages.
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The absolute best version of "Beowulf" out there. I love the original Old English (Anglo-Saxon) text on the facing page.
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