|Grendel By John Gardner
Grendel lives in a dark and gruesome underground cave with his mother and dozens of cold, unmoving creatures. He is very curious and, in his early years, finds a way to escape this terrible place and enter the world. Every night he wanders outside his cave, exploring the land around him. One night, he gets trapped in a tree. A band of human beings led by King Hrothgar approaches and, after some hesitation, attacks Grendel. They close in for the kill, but Grendel's mother arrives just in time to save him.
Years after his encounter with Grendel, Hrothgar's power and influence grow until he rules an immense territory. He builds a glorious meadhall, the greatest in the land, and names it Herot. He builds roads to connect his kingdom and hires an immensely gifted Harper to play at special occasions. Grendel is fascinated by the Harper's music and tries to join the humans, but he is attacked by the frightened guards and must flee. Feeling lonely and rejected, he ...