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First published: 1988
Publisher: Macmillan Publishers, published 1988
ISBN: 0-441-88591-8, Paperback, 210 pages
Publisher: Orbit, published 25 July 1991
ISBN: 1857231961, Paperback, 216 pages
Size: 17.4 x 10.8 x 1.6 cm
Publisher: Hachette Digital, published 5 Nov 2009
ISBN: B002TXZRY0, Kindle edition, 216 pages
This novel is included in the omnibus Tall Stories: Omnibus 5.
This book has also been published (February 2002) in the omnibus Expecting Beowulf. (Available in US only)
"Who's Afraid of Beowulf?"
Book synopsis (The back of the book says)
Well, not Hrolf Earthstar, for a start. The last Norse king of Caithness, Hrolf and his twelwe champions are woken from a centuries-long sleep when Hildy Fredriksenn, archaeologist of the fairer sex, finds their grave. Not only that, Hrolf decides to carry on his ancient war against the Sorcerer-King.This book has also been translated to French, German and Japanese.
Reviews of this book
After reading this book I scribbled down this on the January 1997
The first thing that strikes me is that I find the plot similar to "Flying Dutch", but while I continue to read this comic viking-tale, I change opinion. In Caithness, an old grave is uncovered, and the vikings are awaken. They main concern when first awaken, is who's responsible it was to pack the food, and who have had the nerve to move their ladder so they couldn't get out of the ship. After they sorted these important things out they start the plans for their quest; how to assassin the sorcerer-king. To their help they have the archeologist Hildy Fredriksen, who had the pleasure(?) to bump into them. The adventure starts and consists of several amusing incidents; Hildy's more or less fortunate attempts to keep the vikings from attacking the natives, Chthonic sprits getting drunk on high-voltage electricity, and more... I like this book a lot, the vikings fighting spirit never cease to exist, they are always happy when there is an opportunity to get involved in a battlement (beware SAS!). The book isn't that 'complciated' that I found 'Ye Gods!', can be the fact that I don't know to much about mythology (which is very much involved in 'Ye Gods!') that make me prefer 'Whos Afraid of Beowulf' If you found 'Flying Dutch' amusing, then I promise you that you will like this one as well, if you havn't read Flying Dutch, I would recommend that you read this one first, that way you'll have fun reading 'Whos afraid...' and even more fun reading 'Flying Dutch' (that one is still one of my favourites).
After reading this book Phil Garnetts wrote this
Hildy Frederiksen is an American archaeologist specialising in Scandinavian studies. So when she learns of a find in Caithness where an Eighth-Century Viking longship has been uncovered, intact, she realises that it is the find of the century, eclipsing even Sutton-Hoo!
Other people's reviews of this bookVal Mullers review from July 2012
If you have read this book and have written down your thoughts, please mail me the location of your review and I will link it from here.
What critics have said
Quotes from Who's Afraid of Beowulf?
`He has has been an evil man and ours and the world's enemy, but in
`Then, why did he break that glass case?' asked the chief guard.
`Are you hijacking my bus, then?' asked the driver.
`Are we being taken hostage?' asked an old man in the fourth row.
`Who are you?' Danny said.
`Will they be all right?' Hildy asked doubtfully. `They don't seem very practical to me.'
`No, Starkad,' said the King kindly. `I know you're not afraid. But not this time. I'll explain later.'
`I'm an archaeologist,' said Hildy. `I dig up the past.'
`Shall I bring the game, then?'
The King rose slowly to his feet and beckoned to the wizard, who had been sitting outside the circle of the firelight, apparently, trying to find a spell that would make a beer-can magically refill itself.
...he had in his briefcase the synopsis of his life's work, a startling piece of investigation that would, if carried through with the proper resources, conclusively prove that the Milk Marketing Board had been somehow connected with the assassination of President Kennedy.
Hildy looked back at the Champions. They seemed to be discussing something of extreme importance, and from what she could make out it was mainly to do with whose job it should have been to pack the food.
`"Quiet as the grave," they say. Some hope.'
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