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The Owl Service (Collins Modern Classics S) Paperback – Special Edition, 4 May 2017
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“…A rare imaginative feat and the taste that it leaves is haunting.” The Observer
"One of the first and best [novels] for and about teenagers; it remains one of the most original and gripping ghost stories… timeless." Amanda Craig, The Times
“Alan Garner’s The Owl Service is not meant only for children or anyone else; it’s a novel; and not many better novels will be published this year…The power grows, throbs nearer, builds to unbearable tension, and comes to wild release in the last few pages.” The Guardian
"A fascinating book… The Owl Service is a fabulous, multi-layered book of mystery and suspense." The Book Bag
“This book is a superb piece of architecture in which every detail plays its proper part.” Growing Point
Winner of both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, this is an all-time classic, combining mystery, adventure, history and a complex set of human relationships. It all begins with the scratching in the ceiling. From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, with its curious pattern of floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress that is to effect everybody's lives. Relentlessly, Alison, her step-brother Roger and Welsh boy Gwyn are drawn into the replay of a tragic Welsh legend -- a modern drama played out against a background of ancient jealousies. As the tension mounts, it becomes apparent that only by accepting and facing the situation can it be resolved.See all Product description
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Alan Garner's 'The Owl Service' is a dark and complex story which is rich in atmosphere of landscape and legend and of how events from the past return to affect those in the present day. As Alison, Gwyn and Roger find themselves re-enacting an old tragedy, they also find tensions of a more personal nature arising between them. With themes of social class, prejudice and cultural identities, Alan Garner’s tale of adolescence and mythology relies heavily on dialogue, which gives the story an energy and a sense of immediacy and which also keeps the reader on their toes as we sometimes have to read between the lines. I first read this as a child and although I was intrigued by it, I’m not sure I really understood it; however I feel I’ve derived more from it by reading it as an adult and was involved and entertained from beginning to end. I'm now looking forward to rereading other titles by Mr Garner, such as: 'The Weird Stone of Brisingamen'; 'The Moon of Gomrath'; and 'Elidor'.
This was a re-reading of the book after having seen the actual Owl Service finder plate at the recent Magical Books expedition at Oxford Bodleian Library. After being disappointed Brett my re-reading of two of Alan Garner's books earlier this year, I was a bit apprehensive about this one. I needn't have worried. Despite being set in the 60s this book is as current and as fresh as ever. Even the references to film photography and home processing don't age it.
It's a story that involves a dysfunctional family and their housekeeper and her son who know more about the secret that lies in the Welsh valley than they ought. It's a classic tale, from an old Welsh myth, worth reading.
This is basically a re-working of one of the stories in the Mabinogion.
When Alison disovers some old crockery in the attic she traces the design around the edges of the plates and finds they are owls........this sets off a chain of events that takes her, her step-brother, Gwyn the housekeepers lad and Huw Halfbacon the gardener right to the brink of madness.
Can Alison be saved?
I came across this book whilst watching Countryfile of all things and I am very pleased I did so.
Really good reading which will keep you enthralled right to the last.
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