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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 October 2015
I first read this when I was around eleven or twelve and absolutely loved it. Now as an adult, and having since read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, I am very conscious of the similarities, especially in some of the characterisation and dialogue, and can see how much Garner has been influenced by the Tolkien classic. However, I certainly wasn't ready for Tolkien when I read this book and Weirdstone filled a special place in my childhood reading, and I'm glad to have been able to reread it now. Recommended for children of all ages.
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on 2 March 2017
Just reread this book after 30 years. It was just as good as I remembered. The scenes in the tunnels are particularly gripping.
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on 1 May 2017
Item as described. Prompt delivery Excellent packaging. I recommend this Seller
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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 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.
spellbinding...
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on 2 June 2016
This book was written the year I was born, 1960, and having read it and loved it as a teenager, I thought I would review it now, via the unabridged audiobook version. Is that fair? Not sure really, because my conclusion is only 3 stars now. There seem to be 2 big issues with this "fantasy" genre: firstly, it seems to be immune from proper editing (Tolkein, Rowling and definitely Garner just write far too much, far too unevenly), and secondly, authors make a choice of writing "pure" fantasy (Tolkein), or (as in this case) fantasy that touches the real world (Garner, Rowling, Lewis). My preference is definitely the fantasy/real world combination, so that is a big plus for Weirdstone - in fact the Alderley Legend and the real locations and imagined 'real' people (especially Gowther) are the big strengths of the book. Where TWOB really falls down, though, is with the editing issue. The book is just FAR too long, rambling and unbalanced. Essentially, after the initial scene-setting, assembling of characters and inciting incident (the disappearance of the "Weirdstone"), this is really just two incredibly drawn-out descriptions of two incredibly drawn-out journeys, one underground, and one over-ground. And boy, does the author waffle freely on each journey . . . in fact the second journey is a completely ludicrous plot device to spin out the tension - in their quest to return the Weirdstone to a certain place by a certain time, Colin, Susan, Gowther and two dwarves (whose spelling escapes my memory) opt not to travel by bus, train or car, but decide instead for the much safer option of going cross-country on foot through the night! This sojourn is so drawn out that by the time it ends and they are confronted by their arch enemy, I'd completely forgotten his name and where he fitted into the story! My other criticism, is that for a story that relies on its connection to the real world for its contrast and impact, our two main protagonists, Colin and Susan are as incredibly under-developed character-wise, as their names suggest. What do they look like? How old are they? What are they thinking about? No idea. They are as bland as their names suggest. Weirdly disappointing, despite Philip Madoc's excellent narration.
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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 14 March 2017
I can't remember how I came across this book back in the day, probably about 1980 from Cheadle Hulme library I would think.

It completely captured my imagination turning me to reading, opening my mind to other worlds and possibilities.

All my friends read it and we used to make the train journey most weekends to Alderely Edge, we must have covered every blade of grass, foolishly tried to get inside every mine (now closed off).

There is certainly something 'other worldly' about the place, writing these words I can feel a 'pull' to return.

My 10 year old Daughter came back from school carrying 'Gangsta Gran'...... that just won't do i'm afraid so I have ordered her, her own copy of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. I'm hoping it will fire her imagination like it did mine.
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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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I last read this book more than 30 years ago, but wanted to reread it because Garner has written the third in what is now a trilogy (Boneland - the second book is The Moon of Gomrath) and I wanted to remind myself of the detail before that appears.

It's a strange experience revisiting a book like this. This is a book that I enjoyed greatly as a child: it is, simply, wonderful fantasy, a rattling story which goes at a great pace - I think if it was written today the author would probably take 500 or 600 pages to tell this story. The mix of Celtic and Norse mythology is well done; there is real menace in the evil creatures that hunt Susan, Colin and the dwarves (most of the book is actually one extended chase scene - through the mines and across the countryside). I remembered the scene where the children have to cross a slippery, rotten plank spanning a deep drop in the mines under Alderley Edge as particularly scary, and it didn't disappoint.

All that said, there are of course things about this book that as an adult, and having done a lot more reading, I didn't notice at the time. For example, I think there is a heavy influence from Lord of the Rings, especially in the underground scenes. Given when this was first published that's hardly surprising and indeed as LOTR virtually founded the fantasy genre, I don't suppose that "Weirdstone" is any more in its debt than countless other books. And something Garner does very well is to root his story in a particular place and everyday landscape and to make that magical, rather than putting it all in an imagined country.

So - an exciting read, even after all these years and I think it would still capture a child's imagination. A true classic.
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