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The Voice That Thunders [Paperback]

Alan Garner
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 July 1997
In this collection of lectures and essays, Allan Garner shows how, over the years, his thinking and writing have developed. They also demonstrate the wide range of his concerns and his scholarship: language, literature, education, mental health, anthropology, archaeology, myth, the spiritual quest, philosophy, music and film. Running through it all is his concern for excellence, innovation and humour, based on the effect of his childhood in a rural working-class family of craftsmen, and the combining of their standards with the academic world and his education as a classicist. The book is a poetic autobiography, starting with the description of his hearing himself declared dead at the age of six, and leading to the inevitability of his novel, "Strandloper". In the final essay, from which the book takes its title, he describes how "Strandloper" came to be written, and shows how all his skills were demanded to bring this work about, and how they transcended his previous expreience to prepare him for the work that lies ahead. Alan Garner is the author of "The Owl Service", "The Stone Book Quartet", "Elidor" and "Red Shift".

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The Harvill Press (3 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860463320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860463327
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,186,115 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

Product Description


"His is a consummate artist's vision that matches landscape and people and story; his is an artist's ear able to hear preliterate song as well as local speech and adolescent slang. With great skill he has wielded these into tales uniquely blending rustic vigour and classical economy of diction. They have won him a place in the company of English writers" (Ralph Elliott Labrys 7)

"Garner is his own man... taut, powerful and credible" (Penelope Lively)

"His work has a symphonic quality unique in fiction" (Jacky Gillott The Times)

"Alan Garner's themes are huge, urgent, compassionate, his voice distinguished by clarity, compression, precision, depth of feeling and sharpness of thought" (Neil Philip in A Fine Anger: A Critical Introduction to the Work of Alan Garner) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A rich collection of writings ranging through archeology, myth, music, philosophy, language and literature; it also serves as a poetic autobiography of a great and deeply English writer. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real-life Garner 15 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alan Garner is best known for his books for younger teenagers, with their strong elements of folklore: first, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath, both set around Alderley Edge in Cheshire, but stepping from the everyday world to a parallel world full of terror and delight. Then there's Elidor, where an ordinary family find they have a foot in two worlds and have to work through world-shaking events. Garner's Stone Book Quartet changes the focus slightly to cover times, rather than worlds; Red Shift deals with the way one's world changes with adolescence. The Owl Service visits Wales and Welsh myth and legend, bringing together the strands of place and time.

Alan Garner's later novels, Thursbitch and Strandloper, are less for children than for adults, but again the blend of time, place and mythologies is a powerful mix.

In "The Voice That Thunders" Alan Garner describes events and places in his own life that have influenced and inspired his work. The reader gains a real sense of Garner's ability to wander in alternative realities, and we see how powerful a tool his imagination is, and how powerful an influence Alderley Edge has on that imagination.

"The Voice That Thunders" is highly recommended for anyone who has read and enjoyed Garner's fiction. More appropriate for adults and older children than for the under-12s.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Voice That Thunders 15 Jan 2011
I bought this in the 50th anniversay year of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. This was a favourite childhood book and even now it remains in my top five. Ita has probably influenced my reading and writing ever since a special teacher read it to me as an 8 year old. Dipping into this book has given me an understanding of how Alan Garner feels things and how he creates the magic of words. Well worth getting if you're interested in creativity.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any fan of Alan Garner's work... 28 Jan 2005
As near to an autobiography as you can get.
A roughly chronological detail of the various things that have shaped Alan Garner's outlook and writing.
A pleasure to read in itself and also quite open and frank for an otherwise elusive writer.
A review can't really do it justice - if you like his work, then it should be on your bookshelf.
Will probably be of interest to folk who have a professional interest in books, publishing and literature, together with people with anthropology interests that overlap folklore, mythology and man's place in the landscape...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight 27 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This collection of essays gives fans of Alan Garner's work a real insight into the man himself and his background. If you have enjoyed his books, this is a vital addition and well worth buying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brain food. 18 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alan Garner is truly extraordinary. A Grown Up in ways so few people seem to be any more. As rich, lucid and deep as an oak grown up around a rock in a place people have visited for thousands of years. Challenging, painful and joyful and to be drawn in from the roots.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just read it! 5 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Yet again Garner stretches your mind and informs.Perhaps a new reader should try a novel first.Try Thursbitch. Then maybe The Stone Book Quartet .
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