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on 19 May 2011
I am in love with all the books about Duncton. After reading all six of 'em i can hardly believe that the world of Duncton Wood, Siabod, the Mores, ... doesn't exist.
Horwood creates the world in his imagination but he makes it real by writing it down.
I was often very touched by his books en they could even bring me to tears.
It makes me very sad that I've just finished Duncton Stone, and so will never experience the pleasure again of reading them without knowing what will happen on the next page.
I shall miss reading them.
I recommend it to everyone who likes a true travelling story that has every aspect you search for in a book: adventure, battles, love,...
But know what you're in for when you start reading, cause you don't take up one of this books without getting sucked in.

I hope you enjoy it and may the stone be with you!
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on 25 June 2011
This is the last in the Duncton series and follows Privet and her companions as they search for the lost Book of Silence.
If you have read the other Duncton books then you will be aware that this is no cuddly tale of fluffy animals. This is probably the darkest book of all and contains some rather graphic descriptions of violence between the moles. However, once the middle chapters have passed, the mood does lighten considerably. As all works by this author, it is exceedingly well written, rich in character description and narrative. It is necessary to have read the first two volumes of the 'Book of Silence' trilogy as this doesn't work as a stand alone novel. This isn't light, holiday reading but it is a gripping tale which anyone who likes Watership Down will probably enjoy.
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on 23 July 2000
The sort of book you get so immersed in that it's disorienting when you put it down and find yourself back in the real world. The characters are so well drawn through the writing, and the final part of the book is exceptionally moving.
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on 4 May 2013
Recommended to me by a friend and I must admit was rather hesitant as a book about moles did not rate highly on my reading list. Read the entire series in sequence (the 3 Chronicles and the 3 Silence) and I thoroughly enjoyed every book. Tended to think of the moles as being human rather than mole as you follow their lives of love, war and peace through the ages. Quite brutal in parts. William Horwood is an excellent writer and I would commend these books to anyone over the age of 18!
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on 27 April 1999
I've read all the Duncton novels and this is my absolute favourite. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it was fantastic. The characters were wonderful and the atmosphere created by Mr Horwood was superb. I couldn't put it down.
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on 1 September 2012
Those that like Tolken and have a love of reading great long tales should try reading these books, they won't be disappointed.
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on 30 April 2015
Again, another brilliant story in the mole saga.
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on 15 January 2010
So here we are - the last of six books chronicling the turbulent lives of moles that live by the Stone and strive to seek Silence. I can't say it's been the most gripping journey, particularly the three books that comprise the 'Book of Silence' but I am pleased to report that this third book at least improves a little on the second, which was the worst kind of religious diatribe to be committed to paper.

In this book, Privet is still in a state of Silence after the supposed death of both Rooster, her mate, and Whillan, her adopted son. The rest of moledom looks to her as an example of how to face the tyranny of the Newborn. Over the course of the novel we watch Quail's progress to a more spiritual state, and finally discover the whereabouts of Glee and Humlock.

I'll deal briefly with the good parts, since the bad still outweighs the good...

Horwood's biggest strength is still being able to produce decent characters on both sides of the conflict: we feel sympathy for Whillan; enjoy Rooster's muddled phraseology; adore Pumpkin and Fieldfare for the faithful and true characters they are. On the Newborn side we can enjoy the discovery of Thripp's true character; and deeply despise the evil characters of Quail and Snyde for their foul and noxious attributes. Thorne and Thripp, in particular, amply illustrate the fact that both good and evil can be found in one mole.

Horwood presents some good discussion on the nature of religion: where opposing sides in a conflict are in essence worshipping the same thing (here, the Stone). Parallels can be drawn with Protestants and Catholics in medieval England.

There is also a decent treatise on wars and how to end them without force and revenge in order to avoid a self-perpetuating cycle of retaliation. Horwood presents the idea that if one side stands down and opposes with silent love and forgiveness it can have a more powerful impact.

Since this is the last book in the Duncton sequence I will finally mention the very beautiful covers drawn by John Barber - they are lovely and sympathetic to the stories within.

And here comes the bad: despite the fact that there is a final battle between the Newborn and the followers; despite the fact that Privet and Rooster are reunited and she discovers the Book of Silence; despite this and much more it feels as though nothing much happens.

There are pages and pages of dull plodding from one place to another; Horwood fills further pages with spiritual mumbo-jumbo. This takes enormous time and effort to plough through.

Considering the enormous part she plays in the novel, Privet is a truly awful character. You end up having little sympathy for a mole who is full of self pity, grouchy, snaps at others, seems to have no warmth or affection for her adopted son. I had little interest in her progress or the resolution to her tale.

God, these moles cry! Seriously, at everything! Weeping, sobbing, tears streaming, watery eyes, sniffling - Horwood plundered the thesaurus for these poor emotional souls.

But my biggest complaint is that Horwood's descriptions of depraved moles and moles in pain becomes relentless, grotesque and graphic. I give you a few samples to illustrate my point and let you know why I'll never be revisiting these books:

"Beyond the cell's walls, Squelch giggled and sighed, and heaved his obese body about excitedly, as below him, Snyde snouted at the dead body he had power over, which could not mock his deformities or threaten him, then savagely began his pleasure." (Necrophilia)

"Quail panted with the effort of his speech, his stomach palpitating, his odour wafting all about like the stench of death, the strange projecting growth at his rear end stiff and quivering like some pus-filled swollen talon pointing backwards." (Unnecessary disgusting details of deformity)

"He was maimed in the front right paw and the left hind paw, so that he could only crawl; he was mutilated so that his maleness was all gone; his snout was sheered off at its tip, to cause him agony." (Torture sequence)

Just not nice.
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on 22 September 2012
Another book in the Duncton series that does not disappoint. Would recommend to any fantasy book readers. Need to read prvious books in series.
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on 30 January 2016
Fantastic book. Very intense and emotionally stirring. Its a real classic.
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