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on 13 August 2000
Here is the Voice in the Shadow, as Alan Garner calls it, in all its glory. Most cultures in the Western world have lost the oral process whereby wisdom and teachings are handed down from teacher to pupil through the use of seemingly obtuse and nonsensical tales, which would have to be understood at all levels before the student could be taken to the next stage of teaching. As a method of education it was intensive, sly and invaluable. Being a teacher was, obviously, a great responsibility, and Alan Garner was lucky enough to grow at the knees of a number of people who fulfilled this role within his own community. He was unlucky enough to be the first of the 1944 Education Act generation, whose scholarship took him away from this source. So his books have all, in their own way, attempted to keep these stories alive for the nation, and maybe kick off the process of learning for a new generation. This book is the baldest attempt at retelling the tales he himself learnt as a child. Every nuance, every pause, every exclamation could have been uttered by one of these bucolic figures sitting at the Garner table. It's like stepping into another world.
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This is a gem of a book. All 22 tales are from within the British Isles which is commendable.

This little book would make a great stocking filler for a child or even an adult who likes to read of our myths and legends. From Boggarts to Gowks, Fools and Hobgoblins this book couldn't get any better and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

It's a smashing little read and I highly recommend it.
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A collection of short fantasy folk tales from past Britain told in the traditional manner, this makes for excellent bed-time reading to ones children and grandchildren.

The chances are that it will also be surreptitiously read by the child when no-one is around - a welcome spur to further reading.

We bought it originally years ago, but it stands alone and is one of those that bears re-reading time and again.

Also worth a read is another one of his collections The Guizer.
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on 1 July 2010
I purchased this book for my 9yr old daughter she loves it and read it from cover to cover in one day.
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on 20 August 2011
The title describes the contents exactly, great stories collected and retold.

Some really good material for parents to get their children into understanding the true storytelling culture of these shores, but not just for children good stories for adults too as it should be.
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on 24 December 2015
just what i wanted
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on 21 September 2009
This book contains a bunch of short stories. Some of the stories I enjoyed - many I did not. However that criticism should be tempered by noting I am not a huge fan of the short story form - I find them very hit and miss, and for me that summed this book up too.

On the plus side though, and the reason why you might buy this book despite any criticism - Garner writes very well, and he has a big imagination. What is more, by their nature, short stories can be dipped into and read quickly, which could make this an excellent book for stretching and engaging less confident readers.
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on 3 September 2015
fine product
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