Reviews

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, by Unkown, Simon Armitage

waterdeep's review against another edition

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2.0

CAWPILE rating: 4/10
STAR rating: ★★
Buddyread with Ayşe

ivleafclover's review

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Oh those wiley women.

churd's review against another edition

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A few months ago, I happened to catch David Lowery's fantastic film, The Green Knight. I was completely unfamiliar with the original text, having not even really heard of it before nor being familiar with much Arthurian literature at all. I loved the film so dang much that I thought, "Hey, let's read a 200 page poem."

I'm going to be honest, I don't know exactly what to make of this. I typically read literature more for fun or entertainment than to engage on a heavy-duty analytical trip (I prefer to leave that to cinema, personally), so I'm not going to dive super heavily into all of the hidden mechanisms at play here. I did find this to be a fable that serves largely in the promotion of avoiding sin and engaging in chastity, which I expect is something that's echoed through most literature of that era, but I found it very surprising with how at odds the 2021 film is in that regard.

I don't actually have that much to say about this story outside of comparisons to the film! Sorry to "Unknown", no disrespect sir or madam. I definitely enjoyed it whenever the titular Green Knight was "on screen".

Fun enough stuff!

samwescott's review against another edition

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5.0

I'm pretty sure I read this back in high school when I enjoyed being seen carrying classics around (cringe), but I really enjoyed listening to it this time around. The Simon Armitage translation had so much feeling to it and the introduction explaining the translation choices was absolutely fascinating. I think hearing the alliteration and the rhythm of the verse in an audiobook format really added a new dimension to the story for me. I went through a mythology phase in high school and that included a lot of Arthurian stuff, but I definitely had a soft spot for this weird side story and getting to hear it fresh with all the trappings of the audio book and the added context from the into was really choice.

I can't wait to see the Dev Patel movie omg

hezekiah's review

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4.0

they really knew how to party back then. well. anyways. very good epic poem i fucking loved it. i read it in both modern and middle english which was an experience for sure but it was very very good. i still haven’t seen the movie but i have got to i LOVE dev patel

anneklein's review against another edition

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4.0

This was not easy to get through, but it was a beautiful read! The story was really engaging and I loved its humorous tone. It was such a fun plot, and I thought the emphasis on the number three really drove home the archetypal fantasy tale.

If anything, it was the stilted old English that slowed it down –even though I read a translation of the Middle English original–. This is to be expected, though, so I just think it is a poem that needs a slow approach. The description, however, was marvelous, particularly the description of natural settings and forests, where a big part of the poem is set. Can you tell the flourishy style is sticking with me unintentionally? The slow realisation that the verses were alliterative was a mindblowing moment. I adored it.

This is a poem I’d like to go back to more than once, slowly and carefully. There is so much to unpack and I feel like every time I read it, I will discover something new. But as a first approach, it was very lovely.

jreadsslow's review against another edition

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adventurous lighthearted reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

dark_221b's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging medium-paced

3.5

eininthebird's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

gramm_incorrect's review against another edition

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adventurous lighthearted mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5