Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Boneland by Alan Garner: review

Garner: bardic
I've reviewed Alan Garner's Boneland for The Telegraph - it's a strange book, and I think I may be the only person in the world to have liked it (of the reviews I've read, anyway). It's certainly not a children's book, but it is rather weirdly marvellous.

****UPDATE: Ursula Le Guin, that great fantasy novelist, has written a great piece for The Guardian about Boneland.****
****UPDATE: Another brilliant fantasy writer, Neil Gaiman, has also reviewed Boneland, and has found it good. He did it for The Times. I've so far noted that those who write fantasy seem to like it more than those who don't.****



  1. Nice review, thank you. I've only been waiting for this book since about 1974... And it's on its to my house way while I am away in Wales, still, waited 30+ years, I can manage 5 more days.

  2. Do bear in mind that it's not a bit like its predecessors - it only glances at them sideways. He's trying to do something very different with this book, and it works - I think - in an oblique and fascinating way. But it won't be for everyone, I fear...

  3. You're not the only one to like it. To me, the key is not to think of it as the third book of a trilogy, but as the ninth. Boneland cannot be properly appreciated, or even begun to be properly understood except as the last book of nine. Though part of me would love to anticipate another Garner novel, this truly is the end, the summation of everything he has lived to express. I look forward to more re-readings and to seeing more each time.

  4. Great, I'm glad you think so. Ursula Le Guin seems to think so too - I've posted a link to her review of it in The Guardian above.