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(Tales of Alderley #3)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,050 ratings  ·  228 reviews
A major novel from one of the country’s greatest writers, and the crowning achievement of an astonishing career, BONELAND is also the long-awaited conclusion to the story of Colin and Susan – a story that began over fifty years ago in THE WEIRDSTONE OF BRISINGAMEN…

A woman was reading a book to a child on her knee.

“‘So the little boy went into the wood, and he met a witch.
Kindle Edition, 165 pages
Published August 30th 2012 by Fourth Estate
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  1,050 ratings  ·  228 reviews

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Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Over 50 years ago Alan Garner wrote The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and its sequel, The Moon of Gomrath, two books of magic and myth, featuring the children Colin and Susan. They encounter a wizard who guards sleepers beneath the hills – Arthur and his knights, perhaps – sleepers who will wake to save us in our time of greatest need. The children encounter elves and dwarfs, goblins and killer cats, battle the evil shape-shifting Morrigan, and make their way through a patchwork of mythic events and
Mark Lawrence
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I often see disparaging reviews (many of them of my own books) begin with 'I wanted to like this', it combines both a sense of personal disappointment in the author along with the double put-down of 'even with a following wind I couldn't like this'.

I wanted to like this book more than I did. This is more by way of personal disappointment in me rather than in Alan Garner. I see Neil Gaiman laud it and damnation I want to be as cool as he is and 'get' this book. I count myself as fairly literary,
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a strange book - which came as no surprise, as Garner's novels have been going from strange to stranger since The Owl Service. Here we have a third volume of a childrens' fantasy sequence (The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath) - but this is most definitely not aimed at the traditional childrens' market - it's squarely aimed at adult readers, perhaps the readers who read Garner's most famous works as kids, like me, and somehow or another turned into adults in the mean tim ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
Flagged as the third in the Weirdstone trilogy and published 50 years after the first two extremely popular stories were written, this book came as a shattering disappointment to this loyal childhood devotee of Alan Garner.

His renowned fantasies, aimed at ages, say, 10 to 13, and kind of a cross between Enid Blyton and Tolkien, were the must-read volumes among my young peers in the 70s. They were imaginative, original, fast-paced and utterly gripping and followed the adventures of Colin and Susa
Manda Scott
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a first review, on first reading of a book I will read again and again for the rest of my life, and each time it will be different; deeper.

At one level, this is the sequel, fifty years on, to The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath. For those of us who came to them young, these books shaped our lives; the tales of two children, who meet the Sleepers beneath the hill, who fly with the Wild Hunt, who battle the Morrigan (I was terrified of the small black pony with the red ey
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Growing up is weird, and can seem quite sad, especially when you remember the things that used to ring and resonate and you can almost remember what the ring and the resonance sounded like but not why it set your nerves on fire and filled your head with light. I suppose they were simple things in their way. Magic. Adventure. Heroes. Villains. Whether it's age or the world, such things don't quite hold the thrill they used to, or the thrill seems cheapened by camp and over-saturation and the acut ...more
Raymond Just
Sep 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
So disappointing. Can't really even begin to say anything other than - if you like the first two books, don't bother reading this one. ...more
Apr 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Although this is a short little book, there are so many big ideas and themes that my poor brain is reeling. The overwhelming feeling, for me, is one of sadness. Sadness and loss. It is going to take me a little while to get my thoughts in order about this book as I think a lot of it may have gone over my head. My initial reaction is, it deserves a reread,but I cannot face the sadness I currently feel to think of doing that anytime soon.
One to ponder over.
Courtney Johnston
May 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm giving this a two star rating because I really don't know if I would recommend it to a friend - especially not a fan of The Weirdstone of Brisingaman, for which this is the putative conclusion in the trilogy.

Ursula Le Guin made a valiant attempt at making sense of the book. In it, we swim between the tortured mental existence of Colin (the Valiumally calm protagonist of The W of B, now an adult, ornithologist, star-studier, owner of multiple degrees and giant pain in the ass), who cannot rec
Charlotte Bird
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was utterly disappointed with this. It's supposed to be a sequel to two of the greatest books of my childhood; books full of magic and adventure and wonder. This was mostly dialogue between an unhinged genius and his psychiatrist. The book centres around a now grown up Colin who remembers the barest fragments of the events of the first two books and looks for his vaguely remembered sister (Susan) in the stars. What he mostly seems to do, though, is shout at his psychiatrist for asking question ...more
Oct 2012 - I read this book in three days flat and am still processing it. It is everything that I love: place, myth, the interconnectedness of things, growing up. At one point Colin says, "it's not so much deep space that concerns me as deep place" and that seems as good enough a description of this book as any.

May 2013 - I just re-read this book and part of me wants to turn back to the start and begin all over again. It is heartbreaking, it's scary, it's funny and rich and truthful. There is s

Boneland is essentially the story of the psychoanalysis of Colin, the male co-protagonist of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath -- now an adult of indeterminate middle age, working as a radio astronomer at Jodrell Bank and living in a shack at Alderley Edge. Beyond a few significant flashbacks he has no memory of his childhood adventures, but he retains the trauma of them, especially the disappearance of his twin sister Susan.

Boneland ta
Brian Clegg
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I loved Alan Garner's books as a teenager. And I'd still say that Elidor and The Owl Service are the best Young Adult fantasy books ever written for the younger and older ends of that spectrum respectively. I was also quite fond of his first two books, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and its sequel The Moon of Gomrath. They were also gripping fantasy adventures, and I loved the setting of Alderly Edge, which I knew quite well. Even at the time, though, I had slight reservations about them. So it w ...more
Roz Morris
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was most curious about this novel as I grew up on The Edge. Alan Garner was required reading in our school and we all knew the little cottage, shaped like a tea caddy, where he grew up.
It was a great pleasure to revisit the landscape through an older narrator. The prose is smooth as a stream, the author holds you spellbound through the smallest details, as good writing does. I liked the idea of Colin becoming an extremely clever astronomy geek; even if the story resolution seemed weak and arb
Paul Jackson
Jun 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
I hated every moment of this pretentious nonsense. Garner came close to soiling the memory of the Weirdstone.
Sep 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a fitting end to a story full of realism, initially, with a double-timeline storytelling and a little too many of the "too good to be true" characters, I was a little bit worried that the stories would veer into a stereotypically milquetoast or "soft fantasy" direction and off the Edge, but I was, fortunately wrong. Not being a specialist, but trying to educate myself in European stone age (Neolithic and Mesolithic) and Bronze Age histories and archeology, this was rather a clever pla ...more
I'm not quite sure how to go about reviewing Boneland, as I definitely didn't understand the meaning of it all. Or is it just that it's actually a bit incoherent (or as another reviewer said, a beautiful arrangement of WTF).

I too came to this as so many others did because I loved the Weirdstone books as a child, and wanted to know more. The first two books finish abruptly, and always seem to be saying more than they first appear. Boneland takes the double/triple meanings to a higher level.

A few
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
I found rating this difficult,and the 2 is indicative of how i personally rated Boneland, as opposed to my feeling that as an author, Alan Garner deserves a 5 star rating every time.
I found it confusing, with none of the euphoria i enjoyed whilst reading Wierdstone and The Moon of Gomrath.
Of course, Fundindelve, Cadellin, Angharad Goldenhand... all the vivid and romantic places and characters dont exist...or do they? To me, as a child, they did, and it was only the slow maturing into adulthood
Simon Williams
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Why five stars for a book which is in turn challenging, worrying, baffling and often disjointed? Perhaps because of the way it made me feel when I put it down- as if I'd been afforded a glimpse of some wonderful, terrible secret, perhaps even the secret to our existence and our demise.

I had no idea what to expect when I began reading Boneland. Its predecessors were the two books that, as a child, made me to decide to become an author. Their effect upon me was instant and shattering. Garener's p
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Had I read the first two novels of this trilogy as a child, this book would be my favourite thing ever. As it stands I came to Garner as an adult and only read the previous novels as preparation for this one. I therefore have to say that, of his adult novels, "Strandloper" slightly edges this one out - dealing as it does with Australia, my adopted home - though this rates a very close second, dealing as it does with my favourite thing: stories and storytelling.

I love "meta" fiction. I love stor
Jenny Schwartzberg
If you come to this book looking for a direct sequel to The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath, you will be sorely disappointed. It's more of a look at the adult Colin who cannot remember his childhood and has grown into a brilliant but very troubled scientist juxtaposed with the lyrical story of a prehistoric man who sings the sun up and down around the year. And Susan? She disappeared as a child and Colin is still trying to find her...

This book has lyrical language and may be an
Nick Swarbrick
I did write "I can't rate this book yet. I've now read it twice and really need to digest this complex meditation on time, landscape and religion." I'm still not sure I can really do it justice with a review or reduce it to star rating. Probably this and allied blog posts http://nicktomjoe.brookesblogs.net/20... are the nearest I can get to its complex and scholarly narrative. ...more
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well. Perhaps I didn't get it, but I'm really sad about this being the ending to two of my favourite books as a child. ...more
Cooper Renner
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beginning second reading, January 13, 2020.
Stephen Hayes
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-general
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dan Coxon
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're coming to this as a fan of Weirdstone and Gomrath, then be warned - while it's pitched as a conclusion to the 'trilogy', it's actually nothing like its predecessors. What it does have is one of the main characters from Weirdstone, now in middle age and struggling to come to terms with the odd and otherworldly events of his childhood. Dense, poetic and at times frustratingly obtuse, Boneland nonetheless spins a well-crafted and folklore-rich tale from its raw material of a troubled psyc ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So exciting to come across Alan Garner again! I first read his work as a teenager...or maybe as a 20=something? anyway, I loved the complexity of the mythology and the way the stories didn't really end. This book was sitting on my host's shelf in Macclesfield, which is when I learned that Garner is not Welsh (although that's nearby) but a Cheshire man. I wanted to shyly stalk him (he lives up by Jodrell Bank, which has a cameo in this book), but didn't have a car. This book is much darker and mu ...more
Nicholas Kelvin
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Uncover your past. Maybe something is hindering Colin from remembering, not just amnesia. Could it be magic, or himself? Sleeping hero.
I loved the whole series.
Karl Orbell
Boneland is supposedly the long awaited finale to The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath, a third book to make a trilogy. If so, long has it been coming as the first two were written in the 1960s.

On the dustcover it says "it is a novel for adults, concluding a trilogy that was begun for children." Well, it is an adult book, it would certainly be tough for a child to follow, whereas the original two were good for children. There is a great deal more difference besides the shift in
Mike Clarke
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Absence of proof is not proof of absence....

Alan Garner returns to the world of the Weirdstone of Brisingamen after a 50 year gap and we again meet Colin, boy-hero of the first two books now a middle aged man on the verge of a breakdown. Most who were schoolchildren in England during the 60s and 70s will be familiar with Garner's fantasy adventure and its sequel, The Moon of Gomrath. Their powerful stories underpinned by a deep knowledge of folklore and love of the Cheshire countryside which for
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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

Other books in the series

Tales of Alderley (3 books)
  • The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (Tales of Alderley, #1)
  • The Moon of Gomrath (Tales of Alderley, #2)

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Heads up, history nerds!   Historical fiction remains one of the busiest and most popular genres in the book business. It can be tricky just to...
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“I'll buy metaphor, but simile's a cop-out used by scaredycats who won't commit to anything. Simile's for cowards.” 9 likes
“I hope there isn't,' [a final answer] said Colin. "I'm for uncertainty. As soon as you think you know, you're done for. You don't listen and you can't hear. If you're certain of anything, you shut the door on the possibility of revelation, of discovery. You can think. You can believe. But you can't, you mustn't, 'know'. There's the real Entropy.” 8 likes
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