This retelling of Beowulf has been enjoyed by a wide range of ages ever since it first came out in 1954. Ian Serraillier has worked from the original text, staying true to the story and the poetic description of the Old English poem, but recasting them in a blank verse narrative style, much more accessible to modern ears. It reads aloud wonderfully well, meeting different readers or listeners at their varying levels of understanding. We know a four-year-old entranced by its rhythms and earthy vocabulary; an eleven-year-old fascinated by the heroic adventures; older ones intrigued by the setting; and all ages moved by Beowulf's brave, sad ending. There is a primordial appeal in the epic's story of a monster-slaying; but in its verse is the attraction of a tale both vigorously and hauntingly told. There could be no better introduction than this one to the classic Beowulf.
From the Introduction to Beowulf the Warrior.