Monday, September 10, 2012

Prehistoric Mythologies and Technology

Harper Collins, £16.99
   I've been neglecting this blog recently because I've bought an iPhone and have been spending so much time discovering, reading, downloading, texting, talking, and being on Twitter a lot. Last night I bought my first ebooks (enovellas?) and read one of them (Brandon Sanderson's 'Infinity Blade: Awakening'). I've come to the conclusion that this screen is just too small for much reading more than tweets, emails, or recipes. 
   In real-book land, I've just finished reading Alan Garner's stunning newest book - 'Boneland'. Here's a book which you certainly couldn't read on a phone. The strange and confusing nature of the story make this one of those books where the reader is frequently turning back pages to check or reread something, wondering if a word, sentence, or paragraph was missed in haste. This fact, combined with the handy length (150 pages), mean that it's one I'm planning to reread straight away. 
   'Boneland' is the fifty-years-later follow-up to children's fantasy classics 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen' and 'The Moon of Gomrath', which are great favourites of mine. This one, however, is decidedly not a children's book. Garner's prose is somehow both economical and lyrical, concise and succinct as well as beautiful. Garner states in an interview here ( ) that he works hard at achieving this style, writing and rewriting and whittling for brevity. It works perfectly to conjure atmosphere, mystery, and menace, reminding me a lot of one of my favourite books (mentioned in my last post also), 'The Owl Service'. 
   The book's curious structure, with no chapters and the parallel dual storylines of Colin (familiar from the previous books, now an astrophysicist) and his prehistoric predecessor as guardian of The Edge can make it a difficult read. As the story gathers pace, however, these concerns evaporate. Words whirl together to form a perfect new mythology of Earth, Universe, stars, physics, madness, and a deep connection with the past. Now I just have to read it again. 

No comments:

Post a Comment