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Mythago Wood Paperback – 5 May 1998

41 customer reviews

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Paperback, 5 May 1998
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager; (Reissue) edition (5 May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586065857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586065853
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.1 x 11 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,511 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

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

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Murray on 1 May 2003
Format: Paperback
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter C on 14 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Noverraz on 29 May 2006
Format: Paperback
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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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 25 July 2005
Format: Paperback
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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