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Elidor (Collins Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Alan Garner
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 July 2001 Collins Modern Classics

Roland, Helen, Nicholas and David, four Manchester children, are led into Elidor, a twilight world almost destroyed by fear and darkness.

On a gloomy day in Manchester, Roland, Helen, Nicholas and David are lured into a ruined church, where the fabric of time and place is weak enough to allow them into the twilight world of Elidor. It is a place almost destroyed by fear and darkness, and the children are charged with guarding its Treasures while a way is sought to save the dying land.

Then the evil forces find a path through to this world…

AGE 10+

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; New edition edition (2 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006754783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006754787
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,454,716 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/

Product Description


“A spellbinder. The secret of Garner’s magic is that it is stripped of whimsy… A beautiful work of poetic imagination, it deserves to become a classic of fantasy.”
The Listener

“Each detail, ordinary or sinister, establishes atmosphere, background or character exactly. Elidor is a remarkable book: intelligent, rich and terrifying.”

“An outstanding book.”
The Teacher

“Adventure of a staggering grandeur… beautiful, profound, disturbing. His myths and terrors seem to me immortal.”
The New Christian

“Ambitiously imagined and worked out with a hard economical tension. The climax, a peak after chapters of mounting terror, is brilliant.”
The New Statesman

From the Publisher

This new edition of Alan Garner's classic includes a special "Why You'll Love This Book" introduction from bestselling author, Jonathan Stroud.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical and totally unforgettable read. 19 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Although Elidor is usually classified as a Children's book and is indeed fairly short and easy to read, it will astound readers of any age. I first read this book at the age of ten and have re-read it on a regular basis over the last 30 years!
The plot is essentially a classic tale of Good against Evil where the fate of a whole world is held in the hands of four ordinary children.
However, what makes it so special is the way the Author intermingles our everyday, ordinary world (in this case, the back streets of Manchester) with the mystical world of Elidor. Characters, objects and magic "leak out" of one world into the other, making it quite a scary read for children , but by the the same score, totally captivating. At the end of the story you are left with the feeling that there really might be other worlds just beyond our vision.
If you have enjoyed this story you may well enjoy other books by Alan Garner, such as "The Weird Stone of Brisingamen" "The Moon of Gomrath" and "The Owl Service" where the theme of a more magical and mystical world lying just below the surface of our ordinary lives, is again explored.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A memory of Elidor 31 Mar 2012
When I was nine (back in the dim, distant past that we'll refer to as 1968) I had a teacher called Mrs McEke. She was a strict disciplinarian but she probably needed to be given that her class was full of little oiks from the local council estate (like me!). Mrs McEke used to spend the last half-hour of every school day reading to us. She loved language and was a wonderful orator, bringing the stories to life through the strength of her vocal delivery.

Given that we were only nine she made some fairly ambitious choices; The Hobbit, The War of the Worlds, The Silver Sword, The Railway Children and even John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos (definitely left-field). However I will always be indebted to her for choosing to read Alan Garner's Elidor.

Elidor had only been published in 1965, so at that stage it was a fairly contemporary novel. Although Garner was ostensibly writing for children the book had some very adult themes. It was a brave Mrs McEke that tried to illustrate symbolism to a bunch of largely disinterested nine year olds. However she would probably be delighted to learn that some forty-four years on at least one of her pupils still remembers the symbolic importance of the sword, the spear, the stone and the cauldron.

I was completely entranced by the tale of four children and their rusty relics, which opened a gateway to another world. It seemed like a cool and edgy version of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" but set in the real world, or at least a world that I could identify with.

We used to have a travelling library van that visited the estate every Monday evening, and I managed to obtain a copy of Elidor and raced through it in advance of Mrs McEke's reading so that I was always one step ahead of her.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the others first! 29 Mar 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I always think of the The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, The Moon of Gomrath and Elidor in the chronological sequence, that they were written, by the wonderful Alan Garner. Elidor features a new group of siblings to those in the first two novels and you will soon relate to them. There is a charming warmth to the writing, reminiscent of sucking a Werthers Original! A great read, different and engaging. Buy it for a child, an adult or best of all...for yourself!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fantasy read. 19 Oct 2009
I really enjoyed this book. It is an ideal choice for Key stage 2 readers, as it is not overlong or complicated in plot. It begins with the familiar; moving house, a city setting and the characters being children which can be easily related to. It had a balance of reality, intrigue, suspense, danger and magic. Well worth a read-whatever your age!!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of this world - literally. 23 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Elidor is not at all like the "Weirdstone..." books, rather it owes a lot more to the "Owl Service", i.e. far more mystical and mysterious. This does not take away from the book itself though, which is very readable, and takes the reader away to places beyond the immagination. It is unlike the "Owl Service" however, as the book is far easier to read, and the narrative far less locked up in the mystery of the book.
All of his books are on my "must read" list though, along with Harry Potter, David Eddings,Terry Brookes, and Stephen Lawhead.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable, original and a real page turner. 14 Mar 2008
As a reader of children's fantasy, this book is a revelation. It follows so few of the conventions that its novelty makes it a page turner. The gritty slums of contemporary Manchester provide most of the background, and the deserted fantasy land provides the rest, both imbued with real ambience. The earlier Garner books, though great to read, feel pale and clichéd by comparison. The book enthrals and keeps you guessing from literally the first page to the very last sentence, which left me hungry for more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
If you think this is formula fantasy with four children charged with four magical treasures who overcome foes, and adult disbelief, to eventually triumph as heroes and save the fantasy land you would be very, very, very wrong......really can't say more without spoiling it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Actally I don't love it, but I bought it for a nephew who does.
Published 18 days ago by C. M. Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great thank you
Published 1 month ago by Browneyedgirl78
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved reading this as a child and now my Grandchildren enjoy reading it.
Published 1 month ago by Andrew Knowles
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping childhood classic
Currently reading it to my daughter. It's as good as I remember it and she is also gripped. A magical tale.
Published 3 months ago by Alex Ashland
3.0 out of 5 stars Elidor Review
An intriguing story and like many of Garner's books it seemed to run out of steam towards the end and left this reader wondering what the real conclusion was.
Published 4 months ago by Lee Jennings
5.0 out of 5 stars a shot of the past
My junior school teacher read this to us when I was 10 and I was enthralled...and again 30 years later. Read more
Published 5 months ago by ArchStanton
5.0 out of 5 stars A world more interesting.
I first read Elidor in about 1975. I had previously read The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and this one did not let me down. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Garner is wonderful
I have read almost all of Alan Garner's works and find them easy. I first discovered Alan Garner when I was around 11 years old and I'm 60 now but never tire of him. Read more
Published 7 months ago by nancysykes
5.0 out of 5 stars Wondeful
Read this more years ago than I care to remember, but it is still just as good as I remembered.
Published 7 months ago by Ursula Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars all too short
Another classic from Alan Garner.
Written to completely envelop the reader into another world which remains at the periphery of vision for ages after.
Published 8 months ago by Reader
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