Eaters of the Dead (1976): Michael Crichton


We all know not to judge books by their covers (even if we still do it), and this is a very good example of why it can be dangerous to do so. Both title and cover suggest this is a gruesome horror story. A quick glance at online reviews shows that some readers have been (legitimately) baffled to find themselves, instead, reading a pastiche of an academic text edition, complete with introduction, footnotes and bibliography. They’ve responded with low ratings and that’s a shame, because this novel is a daring blend of fact and fiction: a pseudo-intellectual sleight of hand which playfully offers a historical ‘source’ for the greatest of Western medieval legends: Beowulf.

Continue reading