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Boneland (Weirdstone Trilogy 3) Hardcover – 30 Aug 2012

3.4 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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  • Boneland (Weirdstone Trilogy 3)
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  • The Moon of Gomrath
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; First Edition edition (30 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007463243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007463244
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.7 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘From Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, adults have been enthusiastically been reading children’s books over recent years. Garner predates the cross over phenomenon by decades, but he has never been just a children’s writer: he’s far richer, odder and deeper than that’ Guardian

‘He deploys short, accurate words better than anyone else writing in English today, and he makes it look simple. Boneland is the strangest, but also the strongest of Garner’s books. It feels like a capstone to a career that has taken him, as a writer, to remarkable places, and returned him to the same place he started, to the landscape of Alderley Edge and to the sleepers under the hill’ The Times

‘Boneland hooks into the mind, haunting, provoking…This novel functions like a dream, containing hints at insights that, once we wake, we yearn to grasp again’ Telegraph

‘There is much left unexplained. However, this is a novel for all the children who loved ‘The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen’ but who have now grown up.’ Four out of Five stars. Sarah Kingsford, Express

About the Author

ALAN GARNER was born in Congleton in Cheshire in October 1934. He was brought up on Alderley and lives with his wife and family, between Congleton and Alderley.

Alan Garner’s writing was Highly Recommended for the only international children’s book award, The Hans Christian Andersen Medal, in 1978. He was also awarded the twelfth annual Children’s Literature Association International Phoenix Award for his novel The Stone Book and by extension, of course, for the entire Stone Book Quartet. In 2001, Alan was awarded an OBE for his services to Children’s Literature, despite admitting that he doesn’t write for children – they just understand his books best.


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like many others I read Boneland as a much awaited sequel to WoB and MoG. I'd already read reports that the novel would be Garner in 'grown-up' mode and I eagerly anticipated a conclusion to the story.
I read the novel in two sittings, roughly half and half. After reading the first half I was in two minds, I didn't warm to Meg's dialogue and wondered where Garner was going with the parallel narratives.
However, having paused for thought I started to see the novel as in a different light. Familiarity drew me in and I began to recognize the backdrop from the previous books. As a grown up I've often wondered what the magic of childhood turns into with maturity of mind, and I think that Garner has attempted to capture that place in the adult abstract mind between myth/magic and rational thought.
Psychotherapy investigates childhood fears translated into adult terms and I think Garner is brave to use this as the vehicle for discovery and, for me, this was the weakest aspect of the novel. Yet I have to question how he would have done it otherwise.
To me, Meg represents the reason that comes with maturity before (or to prevent) aged bitterness sets in. I love the triple goddess references and its link to 'growing up'.
Lined up with Colin's quest for understanding, I do feel the novel reached a conclusion; not the simple and satisfying conclusion reached children's literature, but a more complex conclusion that life's unanswered questions give us if we dig deep. But that's just me. As another reviewer pointed out, different people will get different things from this book depending on their own perspective and understanding.
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Format: Hardcover
"Boneland" is the belated and final part to Alan Garner's "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" trilogy. However, it is not so much a conclusion as an exclamation mark at the end of the tale. As others have commented, the narrative style and themes of the book are much closer to "Red Shift" (my favourite of all his novels) and his later work than Weirdstone and "The Moon of Gomrath" and anyone expected it to flow seamlessly from the latter is likely to be disappointed.

Like "Red Shift" one of the central themes of the novel is the cyclical nature of history and myth. We all like to think that our life stories are unique, but really we are just repeating what has gone before many, many times. It is easy to read too much into that though and there is no need to presume that it implies reincarnation (though "Red Shift" does appear to suggest that) so much as just an understanding that human experience is shared through the ages.

"Boneland" follows the structure of "Red Shift" by having intertwining stories separated by time if not space. The first concerns Colin, some 50 years on from being the young hero of the first two Weirdstone books, and the Watcher, a hominid living, like Colin, on Alderley Edge but some 1-2 million years ago. The key to reading the novel is to recognise the parallels between the Watcher and Colin. This provides the code for understanding the significance of the first two parts of the trilogy and what that story means to Colin today. The lives of the two characters are linking by a hand axe (again echoing "Red Shift"), used by the Watcher to carve images in the rocks of Alderley Edge and now in Colin's possession.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Boneland weaves together a sort of Dreamtime story and the story of Colin, now an astrophysicist, in need of psychotherapy from the seductive Meg. After one reading I`m not clear what has happened but I think the allusions to the medieval poem Gawaine and the Green Knight may hold the answer. Phrases like "token of untruth" and "governor of this gang" coupled with the behaviour of Meg and Bert(Bertilak ?) suggest that Colin is a Gawaine figure who needs to forgive himself. But for what ? He is traumatised by the disappearance of his twin sister Susan when she was only twelve and seems to think she may be among the Pleiades. I hope she is and that Colin`s four foot axe has nothing to do with it.

So much is puzzling yet the book is compelling and fascinating. It is also very funny in places, as when Meg reassures Colin his happiness is only "a transient euphoria." It plays with language - "I`m going back to Imazaz ............Imazaz a pub next door." Colin himself has an Asperger trait where he likes to tell Meg rather more than she wants to know about his favourite subjects. Gawaine`s obsession with truth and his endless knot have turned into Colin`s pedantic annoyance over the contemporary misuse of the word "icon."

Those who like a story to tie up all the threads could say the ending shows a re-integration of Colin`s split-off Selves. But where would unmothered Colin find Meg, that exuberant nurturing life-giving figure who zooms up on her motorbike clad in black leathers and helmet (after lopping holly) ? She has all the energy of the Green Knight and the same dismissive way with Colin`s excessive guilt.

By the way, the risselty rosselty song need not be a problem. It`s what the children were singing at the beginning of the Hitchcock film, "The Birds.
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