Michele's Reviews > The Moon of Gomrath

The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner
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Jan 28, 2014

it was ok
Read in September, 2012

I loved The Weirdstone of Brisingamen with a passion (pay no attention to the appallingly bad cover on the linked edition; it's a shameless knockoff of Star Wars, I know, and it embarrasses me to look at it) so I was really excited to find out there was a sequel.

Can I just say "Er, huh?"

So much is crammed into this book that it's very nearly incoherent -- as if Garner had a million ideas and was afraid he'd never have another chance to use them. The Wild Hunt, the Morrigan, a mysterious ruined house that's real only in the moonlight, elves dying off due to industrialization (the "smoke sickness"), the Lady of the Lake, some sort of Celtic version of the Valkyries, bracelets and runes and a demon water horse and some sort of black smoke beast and mines and female moon-power and tunnels and mysterious horsemen and the Eternal Warrior and and and and and...

Whew. I'm out of breath just writing it all down. The book would have to have been twice as long to have any hope of pulling all of this together in a coherent form, and even then I'm not sure it would have been possible. It's not a bad book, just not nearly the book it could have been with a little discipline applied to it.

There's a third one out, Boneland. I hear it's much more for adults and very different than the first two, but I plan to give it a try. I'm not sure where he can take it from here but I'm very curious!
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03/21 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Andrew Totally agree; this was a good deal shorter than “Weirdstone of Brisingamen” (a book I have liked since I was a kid) and with way too many more ideas thrown in. I have to admit to being very confused at times, and I think that has to go down to Garner having failed to properly "world-build". There is much reference to these ancient people from mystical and/or forgotten places, (not dissimilar to Tolkien in that respect) but without the necessary backstory to really make it clear what he is talking about. I also finished it thinking that I never really understood what Susan and Co were actually supposed to be doing; I could be wrong but I don’t think we ever really learned with any clarity what the antagonist’s main objective was.


Michele I also finished it thinking that I never really understood what Susan and Co were actually supposed to be doing; I could be wrong but I don’t think we ever really learned with any clarity what the antagonist’s main objective was.

Yes, exactly. Lots of great bits and bobs, but it was all a bit of a muddle. Like unstrung beads, or lots of limbs without a spine or ribs to give it structure. Have you read the third one?


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