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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 14 February 2003
This is the book that first got me hooked on reading. Our teacher read the first couple of chapters to a class of spellbound 9 year olds, then shut the book up and told us to read it ourselves if we wanted to find out what happens. We all did.

Whilst Weirdstone is far from Garner's best work, it is a gripping adventure story and a real page-turner. There are also hints, in certain passages, of Garner's developed style (he went on to produce two of the best ever works of 20th century fiction - Red Shift and the Stone Book Quartet.)

I've been waiting 8 years to read Weirdstone to my own children and I am pleased to say that they are enjoying it as much as I did all those years ago.

Two brief comments on its suitability for the Harry Potter generation. Firstly, in the opinion of my children, it is a much much scarier book than the Potter stories. Secondly, Garner includes some local dialect in the book which may be difficult for younger readers.
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on 29 November 2001
I first read this book when I was in my early teens. It was great to find a similar read to the Lord of the Rings, but one with quite a unique difference.
The story is in the Tolkein tradition (who presumeably wrote following someone else's tradition), a great storyline that you can get your teeth into as it rises, but overall the fascinating thing about the book was that everything happens in a real place!
All the geographical points of interest in the book are there in reality, and there was nothing better for me as a child to find these from Alan Garner's maps in the book.
It was such a great explorative exercise for me! Then not only for me but for others as they heard me talk about my trips out to Alderley Edge. They would hurriedly re-read the book prior to going there in case they missed something.
It is such a literary treasure hunt, the educational value of which cannot be underestimated. Fantastic Alan!
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on 16 April 2006
Combinng elements of fantasy, a factual landscape and an ancient lengend (that does exist, not a mere creation of Garners), the author writes with great fluency and creates fantastic characters. The secret about Cadellin and Grimnir at the end of the book nearly gave me a heart attack sheer drama. If it can do this to a 18 year old just imagine how exciting this book will be for young children! Well worth a read whether you are 7 or 70, fully recommended
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on 21 February 2004
I had the books read to me as a child and rediscovered them in my teens. Garners books are so much better than Potter and unlike Tolkien they actually bring the story into your own world. And despite the at times over flowery prose its so well wriiten that you cant put the books down. And with the audio books, I was able to keep a carful of nephews and nieces quiet all the way from Stockport to Bedfordshire and back a week later. Alderley Edge is a real place and very much part of my own life, I could identify with the characters and to this day I regularly visit Alderley Village buy lunch (try the steak pies) at Wienholts and wander around the edge looking for the places from the book. All we need now is the TV/Movie. My one gripe is that the ending of the second book (Moon of Gomrath) Cries out for a third part, even leaves lots of hints, yet it never came.
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on 21 May 2001
This was one of my favourite books as a child, and having just read the Harry Potter books, I decided to revisit Alderley Edge and the story of Colin and Susan's adventures. My original copy is battered and its pages are falling out, I read it so many times - hence a visit to Amazon to replace it. The magic is still there, the wizards are exciting, the 'baddies' still make your spine tingle. The atmosphere evoked by Garner is spooky - even for grown-ups. I'll be re-reading it again, and encouraging my children to do the same.
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on 6 March 2006
And don't get me wrong. I do like Harry Potter. But I LOVE The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and its sequel The Moon of Gomrath.
The novel tells the story of how the modern fallout of a century's old theft draws teenage brother and sister Colin and Susan inexorably into the otherworld and forces them to play a key part in the battle. Much to the distress of the wizard Cadellin Silverbrow who just wishes them to be safe and cannot initially figure out why the forces of darkness are apparently targetting them.
But this is no simple tale of good and evil or perhaps more correctly it is not just a simple tale of good and evil. Good and Evil are certainly there and recognisable but they exist at the extremes and most everybody else exists inbetween. There are times when you feel you would like to hit some of the forces of Light over the head with something large and heavy and tell them to stop being such assholes. And unlike in JKR's rather flat characterisations you are meant not to like these characters.(Note - while this is true of Weirdstone it is even truer of the sequel Moon which I will review another time.)
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on 28 June 2001
Have you ever been to Alderley Edge? Read this book and you will be transported there, the high hill black and somber... Visit Alderley Edge and you will be transported into the events and deeds of 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen'. Alan Garner instills a vision that connects the world of old dreams with our day to day lives. The book is fantastic. The audio tape although abridged is great for the car.
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on 4 January 2004
I read this as a child and was totally enthralled. going on to read the moon of gomrath. the fact that it is set in 'real' places adds to the magic. it cleverly links old legend with modern life and a childrens adventure and proper writing(unlike the potter series). It started me on the road to the hobbit and lord of the rings trilogy and a life enjoying fantasy fiction. as a child i related to the charactors and felt part of the story and not just a spectator. excellent read.
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on 5 March 2007
In my last year at primary school, my teacher used to spend the last hour or so on friday afternoons reading aloud to the class. He introduced us to this fantastic book and the memory of friday afternoons enthralled in this story are one of my fondest from my school years. I'm now 32 and bought this book to read again and the memories came flooding back. It's even better as an adult and I can't wait until my children are old enough to read it too.
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on 23 September 2004
The weirdstone of Brisingamen is a wonderful fantasy, filled to the brim with every necessary detail. A wizard, an evil might, hordes of enemies and two innocent children trying to resist them.
As is common in Garner's books, the two worlds collide and they
also bring their old keeper, a grandfather figure, Gowther Mossock into the search of the stone.
Being a true Arthurian, it is easy to see the similarities between Merlin and Cadellin Silverbrow, between Morgan and the Morrigan, the evil entity of this world.The sleepers, the 140 knights, are in legend the guards of Arthur, that in time of danger will rise again to save Britain. An enchanted island, a popular theme of arthurian legend, also appears to save the children when they are in peril. Angharad Goldenhand lets this island appear and disappear to her liking.
The story really is enchanted in many ways, it spell-binds you to read it from the first page to the last and it is one of the books you really don't want to end at all.
Brilliant Mr Garner!
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