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Boneland (Weirdstone Trilogy 3) Hardcover – 30 Aug 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; First Edition edition (30 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007463243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007463244
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.7 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alan Garner was born in Congleton, Cheshire, in 1934. His began writing his first novel at the age of 22 and is renowned as one of Britain's outstanding writers. He has won many prizes for his writing, and, in 2001 he was awarded the OBE for services to literature. He holds two honorary doctorates and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. In 2004 he co-founded The Blackden Trust http://www.theblackdentrust.org.uk/

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Review

‘From Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, adults have been enthusiastically been reading children’s books over recent years. Garner predates the cross over phenomenon by decades, but he has never been just a children’s writer: he’s far richer, odder and deeper than that’ Guardian

‘He deploys short, accurate words better than anyone else writing in English today, and he makes it look simple. Boneland is the strangest, but also the strongest of Garner’s books. It feels like a capstone to a career that has taken him, as a writer, to remarkable places, and returned him to the same place he started, to the landscape of Alderley Edge and to the sleepers under the hill’ The Times

‘Boneland hooks into the mind, haunting, provoking…This novel functions like a dream, containing hints at insights that, once we wake, we yearn to grasp again’ Telegraph

‘There is much left unexplained. However, this is a novel for all the children who loved ‘The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen’ but who have now grown up.’ Four out of Five stars. Sarah Kingsford, Express

About the Author

ALAN GARNER was born in Congleton in Cheshire in October 1934. He was brought up on Alderley and lives with his wife and family, between Congleton and Alderley.

Alan Garner’s writing was Highly Recommended for the only international children’s book award, The Hans Christian Andersen Medal, in 1978. He was also awarded the twelfth annual Children’s Literature Association International Phoenix Award for his novel The Stone Book and by extension, of course, for the entire Stone Book Quartet. In 2001, Alan was awarded an OBE for his services to Children’s Literature, despite admitting that he doesn’t write for children – they just understand his books best.


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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Sheppard TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Boneland is Alan Garner's adult sequel to his two children's books, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath, modern classics in which two children find themselves dragged into an age-old battle between mythical forces in the ancient countryside of Alderley Edge. They're eerie, gripping and full of peril, and are strongly rooted in a sense of place and an obsession with shifts in time and repeating cycles of mythology that characterise all Garner's work. They are also, however, relatively straightforward in plot and structure, and can also be read as nothing more than children's fantasy adventure stories.

Boneland, on the other hand, despite featuring Weirdstone's Colin Whisterfield as its protagonist, is far more akin to Garner's later work for adults - Thursbitch, for instance - or his more 'difficult' children's novels, Red Shift and The Owl Service. Colin, now in his 50s, seems to have acquired some sort of disorder in the autistic spectrum: a brilliant scientist plagued with neuroses and phobias, he lives alone in what seems to be a self-built camping barn and works at Jodrell Bank, endlessly pursuing a single line of research and occasionally hospitalised for bouts of an unspecified mental illness. Despite having a photographic memory of everything he has experienced from the age of 13 onwards, prior to this he recalls nothing except that he had a sister, for whom he is continually searching.

Colin's story is interwoven with that of a Stone Age shaman who inhabits the same locations - perhaps thousands of years ago, perhaps at the same time ... or perhaps he's Colin himself. As in Thursbitch, Garner portrays the Cheshire landscape as a living entity in itself, its stone the very bones of the Earth, and time as something far from linear.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr Duttz on 15 Sep 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read the earlier books many years ago and read them again in preparation for Boneland.
When I finished Boneland I immediately read it again and reflected on The Moon of Gomrath and the possible implications of its final sequence.

Susan wears the Mark of Fohla (of the new moon), as do Angharad Goldenhand (the full moon) and The Morrigan (the old moon). Susan has already been warned that this draws her ever further from the ways of human life, though I guess that Colin expected that as they grew older Susan would still be around, but doing magic.

But the Old Magic has been freed forever; a magic that "may work to your need but not to your command".

As children we never asked ourselves what the effects of that horn were. It dealt with the Brollachan, but it also changed the world and changed the wearers of the Marks. Only Angharad perhaps saw the risk ("remember only if all else is lost") clearly.

In Boneland I think we see the Old Magic reach out to Colin, but it is not altruistic. Perhaps it enables Susan to fully adjust to her destiny as part of the Triple Goddess. The Magic does what is needful.

I suspect that the "Fay" was the Morrigan ( Meg refers to "her in that room", the dream that Colin shares, but it seems to me that Meg is not speaking of herself) and perhaps Meg is Angharad, though I can't quite square the character from the first two books with the leatherclad biker. But why not, since the full moon must cast the darkest shadow.

Did I enjoy the book? Perhaps not, but it was satisfying and I'm so glad I bought it. Sometime this winter, perhaps after a walk on the Edge, I will read the whole trilogy again.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Thorn on 8 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Boneland" is the belated and final part to Alan Garner's "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" trilogy. However, it is not so much a conclusion as an exclamation mark at the end of the tale. As others have commented, the narrative style and themes of the book are much closer to "Red Shift" (my favourite of all his novels) and his later work than Weirdstone and "The Moon of Gomrath" and anyone expected it to flow seamlessly from the latter is likely to be disappointed.

Like "Red Shift" one of the central themes of the novel is the cyclical nature of history and myth. We all like to think that our life stories are unique, but really we are just repeating what has gone before many, many times. It is easy to read too much into that though and there is no need to presume that it implies reincarnation (though "Red Shift" does appear to suggest that) so much as just an understanding that human experience is shared through the ages.

"Boneland" follows the structure of "Red Shift" by having intertwining stories separated by time if not space. The first concerns Colin, some 50 years on from being the young hero of the first two Weirdstone books, and the Watcher, a hominid living, like Colin, on Alderley Edge but some 1-2 million years ago. The key to reading the novel is to recognise the parallels between the Watcher and Colin. This provides the code for understanding the significance of the first two parts of the trilogy and what that story means to Colin today. The lives of the two characters are linking by a hand axe (again echoing "Red Shift"), used by the Watcher to carve images in the rocks of Alderley Edge and now in Colin's possession.
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