Grendel, a 1971 novel by John Gardner, tells the story of Grendel from his point of view. The novel is written in prose and narrated from the first-person perspective of Grendel himself. The work explores Grendel’s internal thoughts and feelings, questioning humans’ perceptions of the universe and their place within it. The novel is set in the fictional world of “Beowulf,” retelling that epic poem from Grendel’s point of view. Grendel views humans as being foolish and limited in their understanding of the world; they do not possess his ability to see beyond their predetermined patterns and emotional reactions. Gardner’s Grendel is a fascinating character who has been widely acclaimed for his complexity and depth. In the novel, Grendel often observes humans with a sense of detachment, but as the story progresses, he comes to empathize with them and feels compassion for them. The novel ends with his death at the hands of Beowulf and his final thoughts are of regret and remorse for the pain and suffering he has caused. Although some critics have praised Gardner’s vision and insight, others feel that his message is too ambiguous and that his work is more interesting than it is important.