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Tony Grist

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Boneland: Alan Garner [Aug. 29th, 2012|07:40 pm]
Tony Grist
Boneland arrives 50 years after The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. Colin- a child in the earlier book and its sequel The Moon of Gomrath- is now an elderly astrophysicist with mental problems. The dipytych has become a triptych, but the third book is not so much a continuation of the story as a rethinking of it, a deepening and a resolution. Boneland may be the easiest thing Garner has written for years but it's still an example of his late style- gnomic, poetic, uncompromising- with a structure recalling the structure of Thursbitch, his trickiest book. Miss a word and you may miss a whole level of meaning. Echoes of Garner's earlier fictions abound. Here are the maddening "blue-silvers" of Red Shift, the rural locutions of The Stone Book Quartet, the starcraft of Thursbitch, the shamanism of Strandloper. Think of it as a capstone. The crowning of a lifetime's work. Everything Garner has written is affected by its revelations- and the first two books most of all. Who is the Morrigan? Who is Cadellin? Once Garner was guessing- groping about in the dark. Now he knows.  As the old Russian proverb has it, "What were the fairy tales, they will come true".
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: steepholm
2012-08-29 07:35 pm (UTC)
Just got my copy, and a few pages in - very excited!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-08-29 08:56 pm (UTC)
It made my hair stand on end- but in a good way.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2012-08-29 08:02 pm (UTC)
Once Garner was guessing- groping about in the dark. Now he knows. As the old Russian proverb has it, "What were the fairy tales, they will come true".

I am on the wrong side of the ocean from this book!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-08-29 08:57 pm (UTC)
Surely they'll be publishing it in the US soon?
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From: (Anonymous)
2012-08-29 10:38 pm (UTC)

BONELAND STATESIDE

I doubt it. It requires involvement and an inherited European background, from which the USA has cut itself off. Most modern Americans come from a rich folkloric and mythic background, but, through history, they have cut themselves adrift. Disney, by coyness and triviality, demonstrates their fear. Alan Garner faces the fear, and delivers us from it, by making us face it too.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-08-30 09:01 am (UTC)

Re: BONELAND STATESIDE

I agree about Disney. I have hated him for years.
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[User Picture]From: nineweaving
2012-08-30 04:38 am (UTC)
Wow.

Nine
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2012-08-30 06:10 am (UTC)
The only thing I have ever read by Alan Garner is The Owl Service,and I read that just EONS ago. I really liked that book.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-08-30 09:02 am (UTC)
I would urge you to read more.
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2012-08-30 02:35 pm (UTC)
I will have to investigate the public library. I find myself with nothing but time, literally, these days. I need to fill it productively as I can feel my soul withering away inside me.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-08-31 09:43 am (UTC)
Garner will feed your soul.
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[User Picture]From: ashlyme
2012-08-30 11:25 am (UTC)
I'm really looking forward to this. I grew up with Garner.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-08-30 01:11 pm (UTC)
I didn't discover him till adulthood, but he's now one of my favourite writers.
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[User Picture]From: ashlyme
2012-08-30 04:10 pm (UTC)
I was a bit too young to quite get Red Shift and The Owl Service. Must revisit them.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-08-30 04:38 pm (UTC)
Red Shift is tremendous.
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[User Picture]From: petercampbell
2012-08-31 06:53 pm (UTC)
I'm saving my copy for the weekend. Bearing in mind his age and less than copious output, it's likely to be his last novel, which is a little saddening.
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