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The Stone Book Quartet (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

The Stone Book Quartet (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Alan Garner
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘These books have far more than a story to offer. The final continuity in the stories, linked as they are by repetition of words and image, of places and people, is the continuity of crafts, practised over generations and leaving their products behind them. The prose is simple, concrete and direct, as clear as notes in music and as definite.’ Sunday Times

‘The Stone Book Quartet has an artistry that is nothing short of breathtaking, a simplicity that engages everyone who can hear the voices of the characters on the page. The use of metaphor has a diamond-like quality that makes us read his text as an exciting exploration of writing. He binds the reader to him and shows us the author working with language to make his book as his characters worked with iron and stone. Not a word is wasted. The episodes in each book stand out clear against the sky and landscape of Garner's north-east Cheshire.’ TLS

Product Description

A classic work of rural magic realism from one of Britain’s greatest children’s novelists.

Through four interconnected fables of a way of living in rural England that has now disappeared, Alan Garner vividly brings to life a landscape situated on the outskirts of industrial Manchester.

Smiths and chandlers, steeplejacks and quarrymen, labourers and artisans: they all live and work hand in hand with the seasons, the elements and the land. There is a mutual respect and a knowledge of the magical here that has somehow, somewhere been lost to us. These fables beautifully recapture and restore that lost world in simple, searching prose.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 252 KB
  • Print Length: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; New Ed edition (15 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,264 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectly my favourite Garner book so far 9 Jan 2011
I have been working my way through Alan Garner's books over the last few weeks and this is the best so far of an excellent bunch. I am always intrigued by the Neolithic and what appealed most to me in the previous Garner book I read (Thursbitch) was the well researched use of actual megalithic stones, and other real geography, to underpin an engaging and dark fantasy and the fact that it did engage was amazing as I rarely like fantasy per se.

Considering the title of this book I was expecting much of the same. However while it starts with a possibly Neolithic encounter with a more modern age you realise by the end that the whole quartet can be read has having no fantasy elements at all. Also unlike Thursbitch it is an essentially upbeat tale. I wasn't expecting this to be my favourite Garner novel but it is.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The heart of Garner 14 Dec 2010
By ARD13
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is perhaps Alan Garner's defining masterpiece. He has moved on from his early plot-led fantasies and in these jewel-like miniatures, almost prose poems, he has found a way to concentrate on language and atmosphere without being as impenetrable as his later novels.

Is it all about craftsmanship? Is it about continuity through the generations? Does it have to be about anything? To me it sounds like the voice of his native land, expressing what his people are. Sometimes I felt that a glossary would have been helpful, but on reflection it would have detracted from the immersion in the lives that he describes.

This PS edition (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) includes some helpful ancillary material, including an interview with the author and suggested further reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stone Book Quartet by Alan Garner 16 April 2009
This is an intriguing and imaginative book, which follows four generations of the same family. In each generation, a child/teenager has a "defining" moment when they find or experience something which shapes their future. As always with Garner's writing, the interconnected stories are placed strongly in their place and time. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 12 May 2014
By ab
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alan Garner has written some of the most imaginative and magical fiction for young people of the past 50 years.

This is, I think, his masterpiece.

It is magical - but there is no magic in it.
Mysterious - but nothing mysterious happens.
Haunting - but there are no ghosts.

It is life enhancing, beautifully written, thought provoking, moving, enthralling ...

If ONLY they had kept the beautiful pen and ink illustrations from the original edtions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insight into Alan Garner's history 21 Mar 2013
By cathysh
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Alan Garner. I've read his books since I turned double figures and also love his work on restoration/preservation in Cheshire. This was an extremely interesting read of his ancestral history in fictional form
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