When Alan Garner's first book, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, was published he was hailed by reviewers as a great new writer. The Weirdstone and its sequel The Moon of Gomrath are magic-fiction stories set around Alderley Edge in Cheshire, which is his home. The next book, Elidor is of the same genre, but here the setting is Manchester (where Alan Garner went to school), and the magic is seen only through the children's eyes. |
It was The Owl Service which undoubtedly brought Alan Garner to everyone's attention. It won two important literary prizes: The Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, was made into a serial by Granada Television and has established itself as a classic. Set in Wales, its roots grow so deep into Welsh mythology that the characters are often inseparable from their ancient counterparts.
In Red Shift conventional time means even less, and physical place even more. Lives which appear to be lived in different historical periods are bound together by a power that is outside space and time.
"At the bottom level, my stories have to work as entertainment, keep a reader turning the page to find out what happens next. At the top level, they have to work for me, say what I want to express. In fact, I must write poetry, making words work on more than one level, subjecting myself to the poetic disciplines - pace, compression, simplicity."
A disturbing exploration of the inevitability of life. Under Orion's stars, bluesilver visions torment Tom, Macey and Thomas as they struggle with age-old forces. Distanced from each other in time, and isolated from those they live among, they are yet inextricably bound together by the sacred power of the moon's axe and each seek their own refuge at Mow Cop. Can those they love so intensely keep them clinging to reality? Or is the future evermore destined to reflect the past?