Who’s Afraid of Beowulf? (1988)


This is all amusing setup with a barely functioning plot held together by Holt’s humorous and clever writing. It goes like this: ancient vikings wake up in the modern world and hunt a powerful sorcerer who evaded them in the far past, while maneuvering through the pitfalls of modern society.

Once the whole set-up for the story was out of the way and his main characters introduced, it felt like Holt had no idea how to proceed. So most of the characters move around haphazardly, try out some simple ideas to find and get rid of the enemy sorcerer, until the book runs out of plot and steam and just concludes for the sake of everyone.

Strangely, or maybe not, it’s not a bad read at all. Holt’s strength lies in his amusing writing, which doesn’t require a clever or even satisfying overarching narrative, but just amusing scenes between the various old and modern characters. It’s just that after a certain point that material is exhausted. But until then, it’s all good fun.

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