"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Ham" is a modern romance in verse inspired by the Medieval tale of King Arthur's famously courteous nephew, Sir Gawain, and his adventures fighting the Green Knight, who challenges him to a "beheading contest" in which Gawain is allowed to chop off the Green Knight's head if he promises to show up a year later at the Green Chapel to have his own head chopped off in his turn by the Green Knight.
It seems like a safe enough proposition, but magic is loose in King Arthur's England, and it will take more than courtesy to get Gawain out of the predicament he puts himself in.
This isn't a translation or retelling of the original "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", and it certainly isn't Dr Seuss. It's a new story, ribald and serious, sober and fun, that reconsiders one of the strangest Medieval romances and creates a tale that's more accessible to modern readers while doing homage to the original.
A lot of people say they "don't know anything about poetry". This book is for them. Just read it like you would any other book, sentence by sentence, line by line. There are little four-line summaries at the end of each chapter, but otherwise it can be just read like any other book. Really!
For people who love poetry: there's more to this simplicity than meets the eye.
"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Ham" has jealousy, honour, sex (well, very nearly), violence, a quest, adventures, wild men, seductive women, wise women, noble and not-so-noble knights, an outlaw and his maid, a band of wandering pilgrims who tell each other stories, a riddle contest that makes fun of J.R.R. Tolkien, and pigs!
What more could you ask for?