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Who's Afraid of Beowulf? (1988)

by Tom Holt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6531026,738 (3.79)18
The last Norse king of Caithness, Hrolf Earthstar and his 12 champions are woken from a centuries-long sleep when an archaeologist finds their grave. He decides to carry on his ancient war against the Sourcerer-King, and must face such perils as BBC film crews and the Bakerloo line along the way.
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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Quick, charming, and relaxing, this book’s title lies. The actual book has little-to-nothing to do with Beowulf. Instead, it is an example of the very rare Fantasy/Comedy story. It is also surprisingly gentle considering that it involves a busload of Vikings and an evil immortal wizard.
Highly recommended for fans of Douglas Adams, particularly “Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency”, as this was more like that than anything else I’ve ever read.
( )
  wishanem | May 27, 2021 |
A delightful confection of a story. This is pure indulgent fun, and I absolutely love it, historicity be damned.

(But then, I am also short and mean well.) ( )
1 vote RJ_Stevenson | Aug 19, 2020 |
Hrolf Earthstrar, last Norse king of Caithness, is wakened from his barrow with his twelve champion by Hildy Frederickson, young woman archaeologist, and resumes his war with the Sorceror King, Like Holt's Expecting Someone Taller, this neatly blends a real knowledge of old legends with modern British humor. ( )
  antiquary | Nov 5, 2016 |
It's an early Tom Holt book. That is, it has all of the elements- business mixed with magic, a few average characters thrown in to make that somehow become leaders of whatever magical creatures they encounter, in this case it's a bunch of 1200 year old sleeping Vikings until the return of the evil sorcerer-king (who has created Microsoft like company).

The story is rather unremarkable- the plot is a bit hackneyed. The characters were rather generic. The plot dissolved at the end, and the big show down at the end kind of fizzled. It's cute. I would have liked this book more if I read as a teenager.

Recommended if you like the author. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Nov 14, 2015 |
An impulse purchase, I can't believe I've not read Holt before. The surmise is simple, the execution deft, the result great fun.
Hildy Frederiksen is an archaeology student who is brought in to investigate a suspected Norse barrow burial. Only instead of finding bones, she discovers that the Norse crew of the boat burial are just waking up form a rather long snooze, 1200 years, or thereabouts. The culture shock impact of waking into the late 20th century is excellently played, with all the culture shock and incongruity you would expect. It was fast, fun, varied, yet had emotion and feeling. Great fun all round.
I sometimes struggle with fantasy, most noticeably when the fantasy seems to rely on illogical progressions, I like my fantasy to ask me to accept one illogical step, but that the remainder of the book follows logically form there. This seems, to me, to achieve that. ( )
  Helenliz | Nov 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tom Holtprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grace, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For K.N.F.
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Someone had written 'godforsaken' between 'Welcome to' and 'Caithness' on the road sign.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The last Norse king of Caithness, Hrolf Earthstar and his 12 champions are woken from a centuries-long sleep when an archaeologist finds their grave. He decides to carry on his ancient war against the Sourcerer-King, and must face such perils as BBC film crews and the Bakerloo line along the way.

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