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4.5 out of 5 stars38
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 13 April 2006
Go see the place then read or vice versa - a slim but incredibly powerful book - quite possibly Alan Garner's masterpiece.
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on 13 July 2006
Alan Garner's mastery of language can never be questioned. After the wilful outpouring of verbiage and meaningless exposition in the last book I read (Marquez), the precision and brevity of Garner's writing was the return of a welcome friend. His method of letting characters speak for themselves whilst letting the narrator speak for the landscape remains both a joy and an inspiration.

His last novel, Strandloper, offered us one of the few twentieth century instances of originality in the narrative form. Its scope was writ large; across the globe, across history and across humanity. In comparison, Thursbitch's scope is perhaps more insular; but in its tale of ordinary folk it elicits more empathy and more passion. It is a yarn of intertwining time periods; of the contentment and responsibility of assured belief and the terror of upheaval and uncertainty.

Like all of Garner's work it imbeds an emotional resonance in the memory as landscape and instance might do. His work goes beyond literature.
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on 1 May 2013
Powerful well written story that is good enough to stretch the reader mentally and spiritually Full of mystery, I always wanted to read further to find out what the next surprise was to be. Cleverly constructed
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on 9 September 2013
Garner is one of the great British novelists. He links the past with the present, the dark with the light, in a manner which only somebody immersed in his environment on multiple levels is able to do.
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on 1 August 2015
I had to read it twice and then everything clicked. Well crafted story. Enjoyable if you are prepared to work at it. Would make a good A level set book to be read with course notes .
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on 27 August 2013
Wow - Garner at his best. It can hurt the brain sometimes, but there is no doubt that Alan Garner's books provide unique and thought-provoking experiences.
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on 3 March 2013
I have been reading Alan Garner since the early 1960s when I encountered The Weirdstone of Brisingamen as a child. It is still one of my favourite books and the one I credit with my love of reading. Over the years I have read many of Garner's novels but I have to say that as time went on and his style changed, his books became stranger and harder to follow. This is certainly true of Thursbitch.

Thursbitch is a short book that could possibly be classed as a novella. It consists of two intertwined stories from two very different time periods with a thin supernatural thread linking them. Unfortunately this description makes Thursbitch sound much more interesting that it actually is. At times I found it hard to understand what was happening in each story as Garner employs not only a sparse style of writing but also heavy use archaic speech. It makes for difficult reading and detracts from the story rather than adding to the atmosphere.

The ending left me feeling as if I had missed something important, as there had to be more to each story than that. Perhaps if I was to read it again I might find some spark of genius but I simply didn't find enough connection to the characters or their stories to face the trial or reading Thursbitch again.
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on 1 June 2015
Garner is so sure-footed he can navigate the most challenging of territories. He is quiet, thorough and utterly convincing.
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on 13 June 2016
Brilliantly written, evokes the landscape, people, & their lives with the minimum words & without patronising the reader
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on 14 February 2015
Reading it first time not sure but after looking up more background information re-read and really enjoyed it.
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