GRETTIR THE STRONG by Robert Newman

GRETTIR THE STRONG

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Doomed to misfortune by his own strong will and short temper, cursed by a ghost, outlawed at the insistence of his enemies, undone by witchcraft, Grettir sought conflict and ultimately knew no peace, either by day or by night; he is the tragic hero in the Norse tradition, here introduced to children in a firm, concise retelling of the Icelandic saga. (There is another one less concise and somewhat more archaically styled by Allen French which unfortunately looks even more old-fashioned than it is.) Despite some difficulty in distinguishing among characters whose names are both strange and similar, the main thrust of the story--Grettir's determination to make his own fate--is never obscured. Moreover the separate incidents have a psychological and social acuity that is lacking, for instance, in the legends of chivalry spawned on the Continent. These are reasons for reading about Grettir; foremost is the success of this version in making his strength and suffering immediate.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1968
Publisher: Crowell