I haven't had time to finish reading my current book, so here's a review of Beowulf, which I read for my British Lit class.
This was my third attempt at reading Beowulf, and I discovered that translators matter! The first time I read the poem (a few years ago; Gordon Hall Gerould translation) I came out confused and very slightly more knowledgeable about the story than before. My second attempt (earlier this school year) didn't make it past the first few pages, I was so bored. But third time's the charm - I read Heaney's translation and loved it! Aside from a few confusing sections about the feuds between the Geats and the Swedes, the poem was actually an enjoyable read and - gasp! - kind of exciting! Translators can really make the difference between literature being boring and confusing or interesting and exciting.
Besides the good story line and epic battles, Beowulf was surprisingly like the film adaptation that came out in 2007 (which I watched earlier in the school year for English IV). Yes, there are some major differences, like the parentage of Grendel and the dragon, Hrothgar's death, and the Beowulf's life after he leaves Denmark, but the battle scenes in the movie and Beowulf's time in Hrothgar's hall were almost straight out of the book. I would recommend to anyone who reads the poem to also watch the film (just watch out for the violence and do some "creative editing," as my teacher called it, during the part with Grendel's mom).