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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Children's fantasy that adults will enjoy
I was sixteen when I first read this book, which turned out to be the sequel to another - the Weirdstone of Brisingamen - which I later read to see what I had missed.
This is the most haunting, lyrical and beautiful of children's novels. The subject matter is deeply influenced by Celtic mythology, but by introducing it into a modern setting the story gains a...
Published on 25 May 2002 by ianlokibailey

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In a similar class to the Hobbit, fantasy before its time.
I read this book first as a child more than twenty years ago, and was enthralled. It awakened by interest in fantasy literature and I will always hold it's author in high respect for presenting such a spell-binding book.
Published on 10 Mar 2001


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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Children's fantasy that adults will enjoy, 25 May 2002
This review is from: The Moon of Gomrath (Paperback)
I was sixteen when I first read this book, which turned out to be the sequel to another - the Weirdstone of Brisingamen - which I later read to see what I had missed.
This is the most haunting, lyrical and beautiful of children's novels. The subject matter is deeply influenced by Celtic mythology, but by introducing it into a modern setting the story gains a resonance and power that is often missing from the 'strange tale in a strange land' fantasy commonplace.
One of the best children's novels ever written.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 22 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Moon of Gomrath (Paperback)
When I was at school, our art teacher used to read us a chapter of this per lesson - halfway though the book I found I was unable to wait a week for the resolution to a particularly cliff-hanging chapter, and dragged my mother to the shops to buy the book for myself. Even as an adult, this is one of my favourite books. Living within easy reach of Alderley Edge is a bonus. I heartily recommend any of Alan Garner's books to anyone.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, not for 4-8 year olds, 14 Aug 2007
By 
Me (Rugby, UK) - See all my reviews
Amazon claims that this CD is for 4-8 year olds. It is not. The Moon of Gomrath, and its predecessor The Wierdstone of Brisinghamen, are probably best suited to 10-14 year olds. I first read them 30 years ago and the darkness of them still lurks in the corners of my memory. They are powerful, well-crafted books that hang in the mind but they are definitely not for 4 year olds even if they don't have to read it themselves.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 4 Jan 2002
By A Customer
It is refreshing to remember that before television had assumed its current unassailable ascendancy, when children still had imaginations, there were great writers creating masterpieces of imagination. This is one of them. It and its older sibling, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, stand as outposts of true genius in a modern world filled with mediocrity. At 40 years old, it is as current as if it had been written yesterday.
Robert Powell doesn't do a bad job either!
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Suns and Moons of Gomrath, 30 May 2003
By 
Michael JR Jose (the UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Moon of Gomrath (Paperback)
'The Moon of Gomrath' is the wild magical sequel to 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen', set in Alderley Edge in Cheshire of the present day but harking back to the days of Middlearth. Both these stories have a very Tolkienish way about them, it is an interesting exercise to compare and contrast the characters as they are introduced. It is a pity that Garner's books, faring less well than 'The Hobbit', dropped off the literary radar in the 1980's, but with the benefit of Potter power they are now back in style with new artwork on the cover.
Garner's special art is to take a basic swords-and-sorcery story and elevate it into a poetry-and-powers myth with gritty heroes and terrifying villains who hard to defeat and not always easy to spot. This story of Colin and Susan's second adventure is aimed at a slightly older audience than the Weirdstone, has Susan in the lead role, and has more depth and menace along with some sly humour. The Morrigan is back, not yet at the height of her powers, but ready for revenge. The elves are suffering and dying from the pollution caused by Man: they must retreat to cleaner, remoter places. The battles in magic and swordplay are more deadly and more personal and more realistic. The havoc and hard pace of war are felt in the prose, which is breathless and a little wild itself. The wizard Cadellin takes more of a back seat in this adventure but he does explain why the coming of the 'Age of Reason' and industrialism was more of a coming of the age of Materialism and a retreat from Reason. Hence the great rift between our Man's world of material values, and the worlds of magic and the life of the spiritual values.
Now as every parent knows, children's books have the power of forming the child's mind. So with magical adventures being very much back in style now is a good time to get the various authors into some sort of order. So, without going back to the ancient Greeks, where does Alan Garner fit in? We can easily go back a century or so: F. Anstey (Vice Versa), George MacDonald (Princess and Curdie stories), and E. Nesbit (House of Arden, etc), Tolkien (Hobbit, Farmer Giles of Ham), C.S. Lewis (Narnia, the land of youth), Ursula K. LeGuin (Earthsea), and Alan Garner. And, as Rowling's ghost Peeves puts it, 'Wee Potty Potter', brings us up to date.
So there are two main routes to magic. Anstey, MacDonald, Nesbit, Garner, and Rowling write a story that exercises magic in this world, and the two things collide with exciting degrees of chaos and depth. The results are serious or hilarious, or both. Garner manages to interface the two worlds with superior art. But a higher priced ticket will take you to a whole new world. Tolkien, Lewis, and LeGuin create whole worlds of their own and people it with new peoples - a fully magical world. The magic is integrated, truly part of the fabric of that world, not just added to make it fizz. One you are in, you belong there for a while. You return and your own world is now a little more magical. The whole range of literary forms is now possible, even super-possible as we no longer rely on supposed 'realism' to make the effects. They go beyond just making a magical talisman or two (some brilliantly done, others less so), and seeing 'what happens'. They make new countries and skies, new kingdoms and peoples, new languages and rules. Ultimately they are the suns and the others are the moons.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding!, 20 Nov 1999
By A Customer
one of the few out of the many many books I read as I child that I still remember and still think is wonderful. All this series by Alan Garner stand out and deserve to be revered as classics with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not quite as strong as "Weirdstone", 10 July 2009
By 
Shutsumon (Staffordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Moon of Gomrath (Paperback)
The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner is the second of "The Alderley Tales". The first of which I have also reviewed.

"Moon" was first published in 1963 and is still in print today. That alone would be testament to its strength - before print on demand came along books generally went out of print pretty quickly due to the cost of print runs.

However "Moon" is not quite as strong a book as it's predecessor - but given the strength of "Weirdstone" that would be a struggle. Taken on it's own merits, however, it is a very strong book.

Colin and Susan - the protagonists from "Weirdstone" - are drawn back into the otherworld and the ancient struggle between good and evil when they accidentally rouse the Old Magic, and thus the Wild Hunt, from its slumber. As enemies and allies from the previous book return and new ones appear only the children's courage will enable them to survive the ordeal - and if they don't it's likely the world won't either.

There is a depth to Garner's characters that is breathtaking. While the Wizard Cadellin is undeniably good and the Morrigan evil every other character exists somewhere inbetween. Some of the 'good' characters really get my back up - and this is quite intentional.

For example his his elves are prats. They aren't evil, they're creatures of light who fight on the side of good. But they are also arrogant, uncaring and lack empthy for humans. When you learn that they have been forced to flee to the edges of Britain because smoke pollution makes them ill you get the point but you can't help feeling it's not that much loss.

I'm conscious in this review that I don't want to give too much of the plot away, but the ending is a bittersweet thing like the best dark chocolate. There is death and life, sorrow and joy all wrapped up in one package and it works. It works very well.

Where it's weaker than "Weirdstone" is that it all feels more contrived. Some of the dangers and solutions that face Colin and Susan - especially early on - are the result of unfortunately combining events. For example the Elves ask for something Susan has at the same time as something else happens, and Susan ends up in danger from event two only because she's given the thing in question to the Elves. In "Weirdstone" the coincidences felt like the hand of fate guiding things - in "Moon" it's less so - though by the end you wonder, because it does all wrap up well. It's cetainly not a deal breaker.

I gave "Weirdstone" Five Stars. I give "Moon" Four and a Half - listed as four even though I don't usually round down, because I want to make sure it's clear I feel it's slightly weaker.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In a similar class to the Hobbit, fantasy before its time., 10 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Moon Of Gomrath (Hardcover)
I read this book first as a child more than twenty years ago, and was enthralled. It awakened by interest in fantasy literature and I will always hold it's author in high respect for presenting such a spell-binding book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riding Over the Threshold of the Summer Stars, 24 Aug 2013
By 
JB (Cambridge UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Moon of Gomrath (Paperback)
The Moon of Gomrath is the second part of the trilogy which Alan Garner has recently concluded with Boneland (Weirdstone Trilogy 3). It's a perfect transition between the two outer novels, moving into altogether darker territories from The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, paving the way for the cosmic struggle for resolution of the final book.

The language which Garner employs here is altogether sparer than in The Weirdstone, and the reader is required to do more work in bringing their own imagination to bear in creating some of the dazzling imagery. This isn't onerous, and it fits with the author's idea that there 'are no original stories'; we have all absorbed elements of folklore and in a sense we're hearing something which may be already be buried in a different form in our psyche. The names used exist in literature, whether it be Celtic, Norse or Anglo-Saxon, the places described are real and even the spells are genuine (though incomplete; 'just in case').

Some of the themes Garner would later take up in other novels, for instance that of 'Old Magic', which is explored in Thursbitch. Here the summoning of Old Magic is central to Colin and Susan's journey in growing away from the wizard, Cadellin and towards an altogether higher calling; Cadellin distrusts it because it can be felt but not known, and is therefore beyond control. Its allure is primal however and once tasted it drives the novel all the way into - and beyond - Boneland.

A quite remarkable achievement in weaving together threads from our shared heritage into a deeply involving narrative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Weirdstone!, 10 Jun 2012
By 
Hils T (South Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Moon of Gomrath (Paperback)
Yes, I really think it is!

I've just re-read both The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath, remembered fondly from my childhood, and have reviewed them both. I found The Moon of Gomrath a much better structured story where the author's lyrical style of writing has been used to brilliant effect. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of The Einheriar, the Wild Hunt, which were wonderfully vivid - magical indeed! The landscape of Alderley Edge is still there but did not seem so dominant as it was in the first book, where I found it slightly overpowered the story. The children are better portrayed as well for me - in Weirdstone they are passengers for a lot of the story - now they are influencing events, Susan with her bracelet, in particular, has a vital role to play.

My only complaint would be the story ends so abruptly at the very climax of the story, leaving loose ends galore. Now, 30 years on, Alan Garner is to continue the story in "Boneland" to be published later this year. I do hope that publication will encourage younger readers to discover these books and to add their reviews onto Amazon - the books are, after all, usually regarded as "children's classics" even though clearly adults still enjoy them just as much!
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