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Alan Garner

Alan Garner(1934- )
Alan Garner was born and still lives in Cheshire, an area which has had a profound effect on his writing and provided the seed of many ideas worked out in his books. His fourth book, The Owl Service won The Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal — and was made into a serial by Granada Television.

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen: Horror for children

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner

Purportedly written for children but with a strong appeal for adults as well, Alan Garner's first novel, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, is a swashbuckling heroic fantasy set in the present day, and one that conflates elements of Welsh, Nordic and English mythology into one very effective brew. Though now deemed a classic of sorts, I probably would never have heard of this work, had it not been for Scottish author Muriel Gray's article about it in the excellent overview volume Horror: Another 100 Best Books. In her article, Gray describes the book with expressions such as "truly gripping," "beautifully crafted" and "a young person's introduction to horror." And now that I have finally read the book, I can heartily concur.

In The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, we meet a brother and sister named Colin and Susan (their last name is never given, nor are their ages),... Read More

Elidor: Thin

Elidor by Alan Garner

There are those who consider Alan Garner, an intriguing figure who was so sickly as a child he was twice legally declared dead, to be Great Britain's master fantasist. I am not among them. Elidor, his best-known book, does have quite a lot to admire, even if it does fall far short of other acknowledged young-adult "plucky kids transported to a magical land" classics — to wit, C.S. Lewis's Narnia series and Susan Cooper's magnificent The Dark Is Rising sequence (let alone Read More

Other books by Alan Garner

Stand-alone novels:

Alan Garner The Owl ServiceThe Owl Service — (1967) Young Adult. Publisher: Something is scratching around in the attic above Alison’s room. Yet the only thing up there is a stack of grimy old plates. Alison and her stepbrother, Roger, discover that the flowery patterns on the plates, when traced onto paper, can be fitted together to create owls — owls that disappear when no one is watching. With each vanished owl, strange events begin to happen. As the kids uncover the mystery of the owl service, they become trapped within a local legend, playing out roles in a tragic love story that has repeated itself for generations… and has always ended in disaster.

book review Alan Garner Red Shift

Red Shift — (1973) Publisher: Lives which appear to be lived in different historical periods are bound together by a power that is outside space and time.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Lad of the Gad  — (1980) The Literary Review: In “The Lad of the Gad”, Alan Garner has reworked five stories from the Gaelic layers of British folktale. Folk and fairy tales have not always been relegated to children, and older readers will appreciate Garner’s ability to give these stories a new vitality for our time. “Mr Garner’s renderings are alive, vigorous and occasionally poetic, singing of sea and islands and the wide wild spaces of north and west! He has brought us five fine tales and had told them so that they fall well on the ear, hold the attention and stir the imagination.

Alan Garner Thursbitch review

Thursbitch — (2003) For adults. Publisher: In this visionary fable, John Turner’s death in the 18th century leaves an emotional charge for Ian and Sal in the 20th, which deeply affects their relationship, challenging the perceptions they have of themselves and each other.

Stories and Collections:

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviews