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Collected Folk Tales

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  197 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Following on from the fiftieth anniversary of Alan Garner′s seminal fantasy classic, THE WEIRDSTONE OF BRISINGAMEN, this beautifully produced hardback collects all of Alan′s folk tales, told with his unique storytelling skill and inimitably clear voice. Essential reading for young and old alike, and a book to be treasured.

Among the stories collected here are:

Kate Crackernu
Kindle Edition, 337 pages
Published October 27th 2011 by HarperCollins Children's Books
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Dec 04, 2013 Neil rated it it was amazing
"There was a hill that ate people," begins the first story. Just like that. "Far away, and a long time ago, on a high mountain, without trees for shelter, without body or arms for anything, on spindly legs, ran Great Head," begins another story. We are in the realm of folk tales, where we are told what happened, and we must simply go along with it.

There is something of the national treasure about Alan Garner. He has been writing excellent books for more than 50 years. He was, I suspect, the firs
Sep 26, 2012 Nikki rated it really liked it
Lovely collection of folk stories from all over the world, all jumbled together in quite a lovely mix. There's old stories from time past knowing from Britain alongside the story of Rama and Sita, alongside the tales of the Norse gods. I'm sure there're probably criticisms of such a jumble of stories, but the fact that they can sit more or less easily together in this collection -- as easily as folk tales ever do sit, which isn't very -- says something about the way people tell stories, the same ...more
Jan 10, 2012 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not an entirely new collection from Garner nor is it his complete output of folk tales. Most of the pieces were originally published in 1969 under the title The Hamish Hamilton book of goblins which was later reprinted variously as: "A Book of Goblins" and "A Cavalcade of Goblins" which are all poor titles as the stories cover a wide range of topics only occasionally featuring Goblins.
Around a third of the present volume is made up of pieces that have never been collected before. T
Feb 17, 2014 Mid rated it it was amazing
This collection of beautifully told stories reminds us (those of us who grew up in the country, at least) of what it was like to hear these stories. I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s and I daresay most of the old country folk who told stories like these to me are dead, so it's Melancholy but reassuring to have them captured on paper.

As well as the very "spoken" diction, the brevity of these stories is notable. My favourite is "Faithful John" and it is only a few pages long. The stories of today
May 18, 2012 Cassandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, mythology
Ok, I'm biased: I loved the author's books as a child and have reread them often as an adult. So when I saw this in the window of a local bookshop I stopped in my tracks. The book itself is beautiful, but what's inside is gold. From essays on faerie-folk and dark beasties, from strange, surreal Celtic voyages to dark and twisted poetry, Japanese tragedies and Native American fables, even a section of the Ramayana, every piece in this collection is valuable.

Anyone with a love of stories and story
Jun 01, 2012 Danny rated it it was amazing
There's something about folklores that scares me.... from the mischievous globins to cunning fairies, spiteful witches and wandering spirits. This book is a concoction of terror and imagined fears. Terrible idea for a bedtime read.
May 09, 2012 Annie added it
Having a tough time with this one, wish I hadn't bothered buying it. BUT it is the 100th book I've bought for our Kindles (just thought I'd make a little note about that.
Mar 25, 2015 Rick rated it it was amazing
I loved this. You should read Neil Gaiman's review. He lauds this book way better than I ever could. It's quoted below:

"There was a hill that ate people," begins the first story. Just like that. "Far away, and a long time ago, on a high mountain, without trees for shelter, without body or arms for anything, on spindly legs, ran Great Head," begins another story. We are in the realm of folk tales, where we are told what happened, and we must simply go along with it.

There is something of the natio
Now I have to be honest here I love fairy tales and origin stories. Two of most cherished books are a plain red cover hardback of Grimm’s fairy tales and the other is called ‘The Dreamtime’ which is Australian Indigenous stories. I have probably read both a couple hundred times and I am not kidding there. So when it comes to fairy tales I am a bit of a devotee and thus somewhat biased.
Alan Garner has collected a really interesting group of fairy tales from around the world.Garner’s collection
Jan 08, 2013 Clare rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book to dip into and it will reward deep reading rather than skating over the surface. Give it time and thoughts will rise up like "yeast" as Garner terms it at one point when describing reading folk tales. Many of these stories were new to me and had me racing to Lore of the Land - a folklore encyclopedia - to put still more meat on the bones. Incredibly inspiring - I could imagine many of the tales being worked as themes into longer works and they must have proved much of Garner's in ...more
Sean Leas
May 26, 2015 Sean Leas rated it really liked it
Some of the most powerful stories were the shortest ones, two to three pages. My favorite was Bash Tchelik, a tale of overcoming immense power through deceit and cunning wits with the help of powerful friends. A vast collection of tales which never dulls and I couldn't keep the pages turning fast enough.
Feb 27, 2014 Kit rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, faerie-tales
I read this book for no better reason than "Neil made it sound really good." It was completely charming, and sent me back - in a pleasant way - to elementary school, and those chunky reading textbooks filled with the magic of story.

Beautiful and fun.
Karissa Bursch
Jul 05, 2016 Karissa Bursch rated it liked it
A fun quick read. Some were better than others of course but together this collection provided a diverse collection of colorful, strange and timeless tales
Mar 02, 2013 Jeremy rated it really liked it
These tales from around the globe hold a strange power; like the centuries of our collective unconscious unfurling or genetic remnants being stoked. Even the seemingly half-baked and nonsensical tales invoke a poetic surrealism. Garner honors some of native dialect and language, but they never get in the way. (The book looks gorgeous too, resembling a lost, magical tome.) The inclusion of the Ramayana and Nordic mythology was a bold move, yet the tales fit very well. Small narrative and lyrical ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Martin rated it it was ok
I'm a big fan of Garners work - Weirdstone and Red Shift would be in my top twenty favourites - but this did nothing for me. I only really enjoyed a handful of the stories in this collection.
Tom Cameron
Jan 26, 2013 Tom Cameron rated it it was amazing
The Good:
An incredible and diverse selection of folk tales
Each folk tale 'feels' (and reads) like it was told to you by a different person
Some of the stories were actually chilling, and one in particular was quite sad.

The Bad:
Too short. Far too short.
Alan Garner raises the bar on how a folk tale should be written and far too many collections will fail to meet his level of excellence.
Oct 06, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully weird and often disturbing stories. I particularly enjoyed the first one (Gobbleknoll, which begins "There was a hill that ate people.") and The Goblin Spider, but the tales collected here are consistently fascinating and occasionally delightful.
Cass -  Words on Paper
- Bought for $5 at -

I LOVE hardcovers without flaps. This book is beautiful. The first story is about a hill that eats people. It's brief at only 2/3 pages but it's affecting.
Leona Wisoker
Jan 05, 2013 Leona Wisoker rated it really liked it
My review of this book, along with links to many other reviews of Garner's work, can be found here:
A wonderful collection of mystical, magical legends, fairy tales and whatnot - not all have happy endings, though!
M.R. Graham
Nov 09, 2015 M.R. Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gorgeous collection of the weird, the eerie, the charming, and the bizarre.
Sonja Trbojevic
Dec 11, 2013 Sonja Trbojevic rated it it was amazing
A wonderful addition to my collection of folk tales.
Jan 21, 2014 Wolf is currently reading it
I was disappointed in how this book tasted.
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Alan 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 Conglet
More about Alan Garner...

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“The prince went straight to the king of dragons, who took him on his back to the distant mountain, and with his fire he split the crystal, and the red fox that had shimmered like a ruby in its clear heart ran out. But the king of eagles pounced on it from the sky, and ripped the fur a darker red. Up sprang the raven, and fled on the wind, but the king of falcons closed with it, and the talons met in the raven’s heart.” 2 likes
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