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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Moon of Gomrath
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2002
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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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2000
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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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2007
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2009
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 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2002
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 1999
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2012
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Like with The Weirdstone of Brisingamen that came before it, The Moon of Gomrath is packed with strong imagery and years of research into old mythology and legend. It also has a strong beginning, with the old mine shafts of Alderley Edge as the scene, a new, previously undiscovered shaft has opened up outside the village pub. Colin and Susan go to find their friend, the wizard Cadellin, to find out more and Susan opens up the gates in the rock. There is the tunnel with its ethereal blue light and the hall of ‘sleepers’ waiting to rise…

All of this I love, and its why I remember reading the book from my childhood, and why it has remained as one of my fond favourites for all these years. However, like with Brisingamen, reading it again now I find myself a bit underwhelmed by it. There is quite a large cast of characters of dwarfes and lios-alfar, but the only characters I feel any affinity to are Colin, Susan, Gowther and Cadellin, and once again, they are following some pre-determined story that they have no particular control over, and one that we are forbidden at guessing at.

I wait with interest as to what Alan Garner does with Boneland some forty years later…
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2015
I first read this at school when I was 8 or 9, over 40 years ago now. I'd previously read Weirdstone, which I loved and which quite honestly changed my life, and yet I loved this even more. It's fast-paced, breathless and there are many things unresolved, but that, to me, is the beauty of it. It hints at things never quite grasped and there is an aching beauty to it, exhilaration tinged with sadness. It has haunted me for all these years and seems to become deeper and more profound every time I read it, helped no doubt by my visits to many of the places involved, which add an extra resonance. This was my favourite book as a child until I read Lord of the Rings aged 11; however the more I re-read both the more I think I prefer this; it's more ambiguous, more tantalising and leaves more to the imagination. It could even be my favourite ever book, which I'm sure would only amuse Alan. By today's standards it may seem simple and doubtless dated, but there's something behind it all that I keep coming back to. "Free for ever" indeed......
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2001
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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