Never read any Alan Garner before, though there are a number of his books around our house, possibly originating from my older brother’s teenage collection. But this is the 1992 impression and just happened to be sitting on the shelves, so I have no idea how it entered our universe.
Anyhow I read it because:
- It’s short (I’ve been reading through a lot of doorstops lately)
- It was mentioned in a tangential discussion about the folk horror genre on my new, favourite books podcast, Backlisted
I think it’s fair to call this quite an odd book. Set in three time periods, but one location, it explores fear, violence, alienation and sex in a way that let’s its early 70s sensibilities hang loose and free.
My main thoughts:
- Don’t read this if you are looking for coherent narrative (there are three clear “stories”, but you have to work to find them.
- They’d never publish this under a Young Adult imprint now.
- I really hated the awful relationship between the modern story male protagonist and his parents.