Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Boneland: Alan Garner

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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