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Book Title: The Stone Book Quartet|
The author of the book: Alan Garner
ISBN 13: 9780007204946
Edition: Not Avail
Date of issue: May 15th 2006
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 861 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.3
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There is, in the latest issue of "The Horn Book Magazine", an interview with Elizabeth Wein ("Code Name Verity"), in which she mentions the British author, Alan Garner, as an early influence. It came to me that I had read glowing mentions of his work for quite some time and even had some of his books stashed away with the intent to read them "someday". Rummaging around, I pulled out "The Stone Book Quartet" and decided "someday" had arrived. This is described as a book for children, but I personally think it may appeal more to adults. The four novellas that comprise the book are intertwined, but you don't realize that in the beginning. There is no explanation of when each takes place or of who the characters are, but as you read, bits of the puzzle begin to fall into place. The prose is spare and very well-thought-out, as though each word had been chosen very deliberately. It is kind of fascinating, really, to see how the characters are related to each other. Even so, there were parts I didn't understand fully until I found a British woman's blog post after I had finished reading the book. I like British books; I like the deep, nuanced use of the English language I usually find from British authors. In this book, the culture is so thoroughly British, there were some things I didn't fully understand. For that reason, this blog post was a wonderful help:
I can see now why Alan Garner is so highly respected. He has brought to life one place, one small community, across the course of a handful of generations. One thing that really struck me about life in those earlier times is the way in which working with one's hands at a trade was the center of a person's life. The work required skill and intelligence, but the end result was something the craftsman could see and which lasted for generations. Sitting in front of a computer screen at work day after day doesn't seem at all as rewarding.
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Read information about the authorAlan Garner OBE (born 17 October 1934) is an English novelist who is best known for his children's fantasy novels and his retellings of traditional British folk tales. His work is firmly rooted in the landscape, history and folklore of his native county of Cheshire, North West England, being set in the region and making use of the native Cheshire dialect.
Born into a working-class family in Congleton, Cheshire, Garner grew up around the nearby town of Alderley Edge, and spent much of his youth in the wooded area known locally as 'The Edge', where he gained an early interest in the folklore of the region. Studying at Manchester Grammar School and then Oxford University, in 1957 he moved to the nearby village of Blackden, where he bought and renovated an Early Modern building known as Toad Hall. His first novel, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, was published in 1960. A children's fantasy novel set on the Edge, it incorporated elements of local folklore in its plot and characters. Garner completed a sequel, The Moon of Gomrath (1963), but left the third book of the trilogy he had envisioned. Instead he produced a string of further fantasy novels, Elidor (1965), The Owl Service (1967) and Red Shift (1973).
Turning away from fantasy as a genre, Garner produced The Stone Book Quartet (1979), a series of four short novellas detailing a day in the life of four generations of his family. He also published a series of British folk tales which he had rewritten in a series of books entitled Alan Garner's Fairy Tales of Gold (1979), Alan Garner's Book of British Fairy Tales (1984) and A Bag of Moonshine (1986). In his subsequent novels, Strandloper (1996) and Thursbitch (2003), he continued writing tales revolving around Cheshire, although without the fantasy elements which had characterised his earlier work. In 2012, he finally published a third book in the Weirdstone trilogy.
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