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One Moonlit Night

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  131 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
This simple novel tells of one boy's journey into the grown-up world. By the light of a full moon our narrator and his friends Huw and Moi witness a side to their Welsh village life that they had no idea existed, and their childish innocence is exchanged for a shocking introduction to the horrors of the adult world.
Paperback, 180 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Canongate Books (first published 1961)
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(showing 1-30 of 271)
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Philip Mitchell
Jul 30, 2013 Philip Mitchell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As the English translator of this book, I'm probably more than a little biased in my appraisal. That having been said, I remain firmly of the opinion that this is one of the greatest novels ever written.

For some few readers who lack all heart, all soul, all imagination and all compassion for their fellow men and women, this book will appear to be no more than some boring Welsh bloke going on and on about his boring childhood in boring Wales.

For many, many others, however, it's a mind-blowing, li
Mar 16, 2015 Bert rated it really liked it
Weird, skeevy books like this need to be kept alive and celebrated. This feels not quite like any other book, and well, i think that's something. It does do the whole horror of the adult world seen through the eyes of an innocent child thing, which has become horribly tacky, but it did it a long time ago and with a uniquely Welsh valleys lilt; folkloric, unsettling, also endearing. It is a narrative about bearing witness - the kid sees everything, the everydayness of poverty, insanity, death, an ...more
Jun 26, 2015 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a strange little book. Most of it is the childhood/teenager memories of the narrator, a boy growing up in a poor Welsh village surrounded by all kinds of things a child should not have to witness, told in a disarmingly frank tone of voice. Interspersed with that are some chapters of odd, mystic-type poetry which doesn't make logical sense but seems to echo with the story's events. Now I read somewhere (was it in the Afterword?) that all of this story is a run-up to the narrator himself goin ...more
May 18, 2010 Gill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those wanting to understand the history of North Wales around WW1.
Shelves: other-times, cymru
This is a 4-5 in places, but I found the end part less comprehensible and a bit unsatisfactory. Philip Mitchell has, I believe, captured the essence of the book magnificently in his English-language translation. The language is both evocative and beautiful at times, but Caradog Prichard's intention to write it as 'a radio play for voices' like Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood detracts from its impact for me, because it does not match Dylan Thomas's powerful use of language to drive meaning, but s ...more
Aug 21, 2013 Huda rated it really liked it
Sometimes I get dreams where some terrible things might happen, and I may be devastated or horrified in it, but I soldier on to the end of all that because in dreams, there's a certain floating quality about things, so you could see bits of a nightmare here and there, but overall, the dream felt right--normal even. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who dreams this way, but One Moonlit Night felt exactly like that.

Narrative in this English translation threw me off a little, and I had to get used
Mark McKenny
May 12, 2016 Mark McKenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A special book. Sometimes it's just hard to describe why one has enjoyed a book so much, but I guess it's all personal, based on the things we've experienced thus far and the impacts upon our lives. This book for me is something new, something different and highly original. The voice is so loud and so perfect. We are there, with them, living. The almost dreamlike breaks in the book lift us out and take us somewhere magical, and somewhere old Wales-like and mythical. It's the story of a childhood ...more
May 22, 2016 Ashleigh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This book was interesting. I'm not sure I got everything from it that I should have. A lot was gained by reading the explanation at the back which pointed things out I wasn't observant enough to notice. Quite a dark story involving a lot of death and narrated by a child. I'm glad I picked it up as I'd never heard of it before.
Feb 22, 2014 Avril rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
Magical, breathtaking, insightful look into an insular welsh community through the eyes of a young boy. Despite being a translation from the Welsh original text, it sings like poetry, which is to be expected as it was written by an acclaimed poet.
Sep 08, 2010 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another successful ‘quick pick’ that I got from the library. This one surprised me with its haunting narrative. It is impossible not to love our sweet young narrator as he takes us through one moonlit night (and many other memories of days before and after) of his life in a Welsh quarry village. His affection for his disturbed ‘Mam’ is heart-warming, while the book takes us in wonderful rambling prose through the dark turns of adult life in the village: harsh injustices, abject poverty, and ment ...more
Dec 09, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing
I won this book on the Thursday, received it through the post to my jubilant delight, and had it finished by the monday night.
It's really something, a brief small scale book but full of joy, despair, innocence and confusion, narrated by an un-named person looking back at his life in a North Walian mining valley. It's narrated from the view point of a small boy in most parts, telling of his care-free adventures with Huw and Moi. The further through the book you go, the further the narrator and hi
Jan 07, 2009 A.M. rated it it was ok
A book I got from the giveaways. I read it in bits and pieces over the holidays, which may have detracted from my enjoyment slightly, however I'll be honest and admit I didn't find the book that enthralling.

The story itself, that of young boys growing up in a mining valley, was interesting, the way it is written makes you see right into the narrator's head. Simultaneously, however, the writing style put me off; although sections of the book were poignant, as a whole it felt rather incoherent an
Jan 12, 2009 Nathalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hmmmn, a strange book this, I think I need to read it again. I'll also be recommending it to all those Londoners I know who dream of having enough money to bugger off to the country side in pursuit of their Arcadian fantasies.

Set in a Welsh village at the turn of the twentieth century, this semi-autobiographical tale does not paint a picture of pastoral bliss. Scenes of berry picking, school boy crushes and anarchic football games, give way to suicides, violence and madness... 'One Moonlit Nigh
Jan 19, 2009 Georgina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top
I got this book from this site as a freebie and I am so grateful
It is a masterpiece, to rank alognside Heart of Darkness. Its precision, lucidity, characterisation, evocation of place and time, narrative drive, and entrancing sense of mystery place it amongst the best books I have ever read. I surprised myself in my enjoyment as, as a foreigner in Wales, I sometimes feel ostracised, and avoid any heightening of that sense. This book however, embraced me as a reader, and a lover of Wales, despite
Jul 10, 2008 Max rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
as if someone's memory had broken from their head and cauterised on the page in indiscriminate consummation. it is in part (aside from the intimacy to madness and death) a fossil of every childhood, or at least mine too. it contains the richness of a gullible world, where sight and meaning can be altered by the flightiest of sentiments. a funny and desolate jumble of masterpiece.
John Mitchell
Aug 18, 2013 John Mitchell rated it it was amazing
In the first few pages we are shocked by the innocence of a young boy's observations of death, insanity and abuse. The narrative is so matter-of-fact as we are taken on this disturbing journey through a Welsh village. Caradog Pritchard deftly allows the reader to see through the child's eyes in a poem to poverty, madness and death. It is a work of utter genius.
Amy Durreson
Extraordinary. The innocence of the narrator's voice is gradually overwhelming by the underlying menace of his situation. It's the story of a boy growing up in a little mountain village in Wales under the shadow of WWI and his mother's mental decline. Left me shaking and dazed.
It was a bit on the depressing side. Almost in the vein of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood. Don't take any notice of what it says on the from about being on the same bookshelf as Angela's Ashes, because it is nothing like it. Maybe its the translation that is poor.
Jan 05, 2009 Andrea rated it liked it
Somewhat disturbing. I read this over a fairly long period, so I probably didn't get the full effect.

The narrator tells the story of his childhood in Wales, where as a child, he begins to discover that life isn't quite as simple and idyllic as he once thought.
Oct 01, 2012 Lynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kind of strange. some parts were interesting. Names were strange and somewhat hard to follow. Some place names were not translated and they just stood for words like hill or field or trough....don't understand why they couldn't be translated too.
Oct 05, 2014 Josie rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I found it difficult to get into this book. There was a section in the middle where I was enjoying the semi-autobiographical stories and sense of place, but then it started getting weird again. The ending was so bizarre and unsatisfying!
Sep 07, 2014 da-wildchildz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A darkly evocative read, where every page stamps bleak imagery in your mind. The writing was a beautiful poetic cross between Burgess and Nabokov, if only I could read it in its original Welsh language.
Jill Brady
Jul 23, 2012 Jill Brady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disturbing, original and full of both joyful and dark imagery. It's a poem. It's a novel. It's a poem. It's a novel.
Robert J  Burdock
Apr 11, 2009 Robert J Burdock rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Memorable! Touching! Endearing! One Moonlit Night is one of those rare books that once read will always remembered!
William Mcdonald
One of the most under-read novels around. Poignant and beautiful.
Rachel (Sfogs)
An odd book but still a good read.
Lynne - The Book Squirrel
Just won this book
Jan 07, 2008 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
bizarre and excellent.
abcdefg marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2016
Jaan  Sõmermaa
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Aug 24, 2016
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Poet, novelist and journalist, Caradog Pritchard was a native of Bethesda, Gwynedd, Wales. He worked for newspapers in Caernarfon, Llanrwst, Cardiff and in London where he spent most of his life, working for the News Chronicle and later the Daily Telegraph.

He was 23 when he first won the Crown at the National Eisteddfod which he went on to win three years in a row.

Today he is mostly remembered for
More about Caradog Prichard...

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