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4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Folio Society (1974)
  • ASIN: B000O8QRZA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,412,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Charles Keeping 16 Oct 2013
By Hatchoo
Format:Unknown Binding
I thought it was worth adding a note about the illustrator Charles Keeping. Keeping rose from very humble origins to be a significant and influential postwar illustrator. His work was unconventional and always conveyed a stark emotional intensity that sits particularly well with Beowulf. He never patronised his audience and that sometimes means you have to work a little harder than you are used to engage with his artwork, it also means that when they work, his illustrations genuinely add to the experience of reading. His book "Through the Window" and his edition of "The Highwayman" are particularly good as are his illustrations for the books of Alan Garner.
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good beginner for Beowulf 1 Oct 2003
By Erin
I am reading this children's course for my graduate class in children's literature. It is a great recreation for children and uses literary devices in the actual beowulf. It is a little gruesome, as Beowulf typically is, and the illustrations aren't entirely intriquing and are only in black ink. However, they go well with the story. I would recommend this to young readers.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beowulf (for children) 12 Jun 2010
Personally, I should have liked an indication that this book was intended for children. However, the quality of the translation and the empathy which Kevin Crossley-Holland has for Anglo-Saxon and Norse literature, negates any criticism. This should be in the library of everyone proud of their Anglo-Saxon heritage.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intro to medieval literature. 14 Jun 2003
By Tom Brody - Published on Amazon.com
My 6 1/2 year old liked this from start to finish. The book is easy for a young kid to read, though there are some harder vocabulary words, such as "forfeit," "burnished," and "precipice." Her favorite part was the section where Grendel takes a victim:
"Grendel . . . lurched towards the nearest man, a brave Geat called Leofric, scooped him up and, with one ghastly claw, choked the scream in his throat. Then the monster ripped him apart, bit into his body, drank the blood from his veins, devoured huge pieces . . . swallowed the whole man, even his feet and hands." There is a nice Glossary at the end, telling the reader how to pronounce the English and Danish names (and names of swords!). If you are a parent, why teach your kid about King Arthur and Robin Hood, and stop there? There are other fine tales about knights, et al., i.e., Beowulf. The illustrations are stylized pen and ink, that is, they tend not to be literal representations of monsters and dragons. If you are teaching your kid about early English history, e.g., about William the Conqueror or about King Henry II, then this version of Beowulf makes a good accompaniment. Another excellent book, which narrates relationships more subtle than monster-hunting, is Canterbury Tales, retold by Geraldine McCaughrean (this is not a typo) with delightful illustrations by Victor G. Ambrus. None of Chaucer's baudy tales are in this kids' version. Instead, you'll find tales of faith, devotion, and trickery, all suitable for the age of five and up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful introduction to Beowulf. Exciting and well-written. So-so art. 3 April 2009
By Quickhappy - Published on Amazon.com
This quick (50 page, less many, many illustrations) book makes for an exciting introduction to Beowulf. It's not an easy read, but it is well worth making the effort. I think that the tale will work best as a read-aloud to kids younger than ten. Children ten and up should be strong readers with good stamina, who can push through the difficult words. AND, the book can be read by adults only! I read this book without my 6 year old, and really enjoyed it.

The vocabulary is quite challenging for young ones. Consider on just one page: pyre, faggot, brooches, salvers, barrow, bequeathed. The book is laden with such vocabulary. And the old English names are difficult as well. Hrothgar, Aeschere, Wealhtheow, Heorot, Unferth,Ecgtheow, Hygelac, Healfdene, Scyld, and more. The art is on the abstract side: better for adults. The art does help to explain the story, but that is not its driving purpose. I liked it fine, but I think more straightforward art would have been beneficial, particularly to the young reader.

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien would do well to buy this book. Clearly, Beowulf's battle with the dragon was inspiration for The Hobbit. Adults should not shy away from this read. It does not condescend. Thus it offers a fast and truncated, but still worthy, version of the old English tale.
4.0 out of 5 stars The penultimate Anglo-Saxon epic 29 Aug 2011
By Enjolras - Published on Amazon.com
[note: this is a review of the poem generally, not this particular translation]

Beowulf is one of those Medieval works of literature that many have heard about but few have read. However, it's worth reading, if only to experience a story so different from modern sensibilities. The poem extols Beowulf's physical courage and bravery against monsters and dragons. It's an odd mix of early Christian and warrior ethos. Beowulf is not a modern hero. There's not much to recommend him to modern readers - he's boastful, relies on brawn not brains, and his search for glory ends up putting his kingdom at risk. Still, it's fascinating to read this type of story and realize how far away it is from our own times.

Because this is a translation of an Anglo-Saxon poem, it's worth saying a word about the text itself. It's readable, but isn't smooth reading for the uninitiated. I'd say this - if you don't like reading English-language poetry, you probably won't enjoy reading this poem. If you do make the effort, I'd recommend really making the effort. Go slow and make sure you understand the story. Don't skip over a few lines thinking they're not as relevant.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A childrens book 20 July 2011
By gary vanhaaften - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Would have been nice to know that this was a children's book. But other than that the sender did what they said.
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