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Mythago Wood (Mythago Cycle) [Paperback]

Robert Holdstock
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug 2003 Mythago Cycle

A timely reissue of one of the greatest fantasies of the eighties. Strange, beautiful and completely absorbing.

Mythago Wood caused a sensation when it was first published in the UK in the mid eighties. Here was an author dealing in myth and fantasy taken seriously by the press. With this republication of one of the greats of modern British fantasy, it won’t take long for new readers to realise why.

The mystery of Ryhope Wood consumed George Huxley to the point of madness. After his death, his sons take up his life’s work. What they discover goes beyond all conception. For the wood is a place where myths gain flesh and blood, tapping primal fears and desires subdued through the millennia. Where love and beauty haunt your dreams and propel you into the terrifying freedom of insanity.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Mythago Wood (Mythago Cycle) + Avilion (Mythago Wood 7)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martins Press-3pl; Reprint edition (Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765307294
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765307293
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,508,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘Sonorous, vivid and utterly enthralling’
Times Literary Supplement

‘Indescribably enchanting… a fantasy which celebrates the immensity of love. Simultaneously, it is a celebration of fantasy… should be read several times’

‘Classic yet original setting… Mythago Wood is a haunting book… Holdstock’s best’

‘Beautifully written and conceived… Some books are hard to put down. I found Mythago Wood hard to shake off’
New York Times

‘A stunningly good book… conveys the haunting power of old heroes and lost gods’

‘For me, this is the outstanding fantasy book of the 1980s, something to read several times and to rediscover the same delight with every new reading’
Michael Moorcock

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

MYTHAGO WOOD: one of the best fantasy novels of the twentieth century --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in every possible way 25 July 2005
Occasionally I'll walk into a bookshop and sift through the shelves until something catches my eye and I find myself buying it based solely on the opening pages. Paperback prospecting you might call it. It's a risky business but every so often it pays off in a big way. So it was with Mythago Wood.
At just over 330 pages, Mythago Wood is far from being the weightiest fantasy book out there, and indeed most fantasy fans with some time on their hands will breeze through it in a day or two, however the story is so beautifully crafted and the characters so memorable that it leaves a tangible mental imprint long after it has been neatly tucked away on a shelf. Furthermore, as with all truly great stories, it will only be a matter of time before you'll find yourself yearning for the strange sense of magic it instills, and picking it up to relive the experience.
In terms of recommended readership, I would say the strength of Robert Holdstock's writing, in this novel more than any of his others, makes it accessible to literally anybody who enjoys a good story. In that sense it could be thought of in the same terms as The Hobbit.
All in all, a magical book that is eagerly recommend to anybody looking for an immersive, satisfying read.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like a fantastic walk in the woods. 29 May 2006
This is the first volume in the Mythago Wood series (before Lavondyss, The Hollowing, Merlin's Wood, and Gate of Ivory), in which the main character, Steve Huxley, tells us of the time short after WWII when he went back to England to help his brother Christian take care of their father's house after the latter's death.

Oak Lodge is at the edge of the Rhyope estate, next to a mysterious wood which intrigued George Huxley so much he dedicated the end of his life, and many journals, to its study. Indeed, in Mythago Wood, images of legendary heroes (mythagos) come to life, created from the folk-tales and collective minds of past civilizations. Among them Guiwenneth, a stunningly beautiful red-haired warrior woods-woman.

In turns, the Huxleys will all fall in love with the girl, and following their father's footsteps, Chris and then Steve will also feel the incontrollable need to try and penetrate deeper into the wood, where time and space expand, only to be rejected by it, as if pushed back and led astray by invisible forces.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this book and immersed in it: I could almost smell the forest scents, see the green of the leaves and touch the softness of the moss, as if I were walking in the wood with the heroes. I admit I must have been influenced by John Howe's beautiful illustrations of Mythago Wood... I also loved the character of Harry Keeton, the airplane pilot who helps Steve in his quest. All in all, even though I might not have tied all loose ends, it was a fantastically enchanting read.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Murray
Mythago Wood is one of the genuine classics of 20th Century fantasy. Steve Huxley returns from World War II to find his brother Christian increasingly obsessed with their father’s investigations into Ryhope Wood — a small, ancient woodland that draws out mythagoes (mythic beings, ancient buildings and even entire landscapes) from those who enter it. But when Steve and Christian both fall for an ancient warrior-princess mythago, Guiwenneth, they find themselves enacting their own parts in an ancient myth that draws them deeper into the heartwood, where they must meet with the inhuman Urscummug, a mythago so old it is not even human.
Mythago Wood is an exciting adventure story and an exploration of the experience of the imagination. Mythagoes are the ancient archetypes we all carry within us, just waiting to be awakened by our unwitting re-enactments of mythic dramas in our daily lives. This book lays them out in all their mystery and magic, their danger and their power to transform our inner lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Award-winning fantasy novel 14 May 2008
By Peter C
Back in 1981, Robert Holdstock wrote the novella "Mythago Wood". It was so good it was expanded into the World Fantasy Award winning novel of the same name (it won it in 1985). I am so happy to see Mythago Wood reprinted as a handsome hard cover, over twenty years on. The decades have not dimmed the story or the quality of the writing.

Ryhope Wood is a wooded area in the English countryside - but that's not all it is. From the outside, one can walk around it in hours; yet once inside the journey may take weeks. It is also a piece of land that has its roots (pun intended) travelling back not just in time, but to the realms that generate our myths, where the archetypes of legend originate. This book is no rote fantasy. It tells of the passionate obsession and loyalty of the Huxley family, of two brothers and their father. Returning from the War, Stephen discovers that his brother Christian had disappeared into Ryhope, searching for their father. Stephen and his companions follow. But the trip in to the woods becomes a trek, and the hapless travellers become lost and subsumed into the myths they set out to explore.

Mythago Wood engages the reader as all good books should and so few do. Although Holdstock later wrote sequels to this story, Mythago Wood is a standalone novel. It is brilliantly written by one of the UK's foremost fantasists. Buy it. Read it. Love it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One the finest fantasy novels ever written. Read it and be amazed, moved and enchanted
Published 2 days ago by Derwood Angst
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
Since the first time i read this back in the 80s this story has haunted me. Holdstock created a wonderful story device with Ryhope wood and the characters both human and Mythago... Read more
Published 11 months ago by carlcom66
5.0 out of 5 stars A great escape from the realms of this world!
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystical journey with Steven the kinsman. I would highly recommend this book to any who have played in woods as a day-dreaming youth. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Neil Alexander Morrow
5.0 out of 5 stars If you go down to the woods...
I've been trying to get hold of a copy of this for my friend for ages! In doing so, I dug out my own copy and plunged back into the enchanted Ryhope Wood. Read more
Published 21 months ago by J Davey
5.0 out of 5 stars mythago wood
super read, really gets your imagination working overtime. very different from the run of the mill fantasy reads, you won't put this down once you have started
Published 21 months ago by Neil caswell
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible read and leap of the imagination
If you enjoy fantasy stories; ancient British mythology; that ability to step into other worlds and other times then this is the book for you. Utterly fascinating.
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Fantasy Fiction
Some times the Book Gods smile on me, and the opportunity to revisit a favourite novel from my dim and distant past arises. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Pablo Cheesecake (The Eloquent Page)
3.0 out of 5 stars Perplexing fantasy
I loved the first part of this. I was all ready to give it five stars. I suspect it started life as a novella that the author decided he'd expand. Read more
Published on 24 July 2012 by Archy
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, enthralling, genre defying
This is book is an amazing work in fantasy (and it can only be described as fantasy) which melds our world and history with that of dreams and the fruits they can bear. Read more
Published on 26 April 2010 by ozzyeatworld
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful.
I first read this book many years ago, but I still come back to it. The ideas in it are fantastic. I can't recommend it enough.
Published on 20 Nov 2009 by J. Pullman
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