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Bosque Mitago

(Mythago Wood #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  7,780 ratings  ·  636 reviews
Steven Huxley regresa tras la Segunda Guerra Mundial a Refugio del Roble, el hogar familiar junto al bosque Rhyope, para encontrar que su padre ha fallecido y que su hermano mayor Christian, que ha heredado las mismas obsesiones que su padre, se ha adentrado en las profundidades del bosque sin dejar rastro. Las anotaciones del diario del padre describen a unos seres, los « ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 22nd 2005 by Gigamesh (first published 1984)
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Philip It is the first in a loose series of seven, so can certainly be read standalone.
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3.82  · 
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 ·  7,780 ratings  ·  636 reviews

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I am not the ideal audience for this book. This is a book that takes the idea of fantasy very, very seriously. There is little love, or sense of joy in the magic; this is obsession and wildness, and while I'm a fan of pursuing passion and all things wild, this is the dreamscape extreme that occurred after a few too many tipples before bed.

Mythago Wood feels like a gothic fantasy, as if Jung and perhaps one of those Victorian spinsters got together and wove a tale about a small English family, a
K.J. Charles
Enraging misogynist heaving bullshit. Won the World Fantasy Award in the 1980s. Why am I not surprised.

The premise of this book is that archetype creatures, mythagos, arise in the wood plucked from human minds. You will be staggered to learn that all of the humans in question are men, and all but two of the mythagos Women are almost completely absent from what I regret to report is called "the racial unconscious" (why yes, everyone in this book *is* white, since you ask) except for t
Spencer Orey
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic-forests
I avoided this book for a long time, but I'm not sure why now because overall I really enjoyed it. The central magic of the forest is great and the way myth and magic play off each other is an endlessly generative idea. I can see how this turned into a long series.

There are some dated aspects, especially the blah gender politics. Too many straight white post-war British dudes being very serious and lusting after the one (possibly underage?) mythical woman. But I'm probably making that sound wors
Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Terry (Dulac3)
I accepted the notebook. "My life is full of diaries."

Steven Huxley had just been handed the diary of his sidekick companion Harry Keeton. I am personally fond of Harry because our names are one letter away from being the same Keeton/Keeten. I am actually an impostor, my great great grandfather Thomas Newton Keaton changed his name to Keeten when he was conscripted into the Confederate army. Family lore states that he had a dispute with his older brother Major William Henry Harrison Keaton and t
6.0 stars. This book is a MASTERPIECE and will likely be on my list of "All Time Favorite" novels before too long (though I always try and wait a little while after reading the book to see how long it stays with me).

In brief, the story revolves around a primeval forest that has survived intact since the Ice Age (if not before) and where archetypes of Man's universal myths and legends exist and the story of one family's exploration of this forest over two generations.

In describing my reaction t
Richard Derus
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 5 thrilled stars of five

The Book Report: Go look at Jeffrey's review. I'll never be able to improve on that.

My Review: I have to add a few points to it, though.

The mythopoetic roots of the story are clear, and the entire experience of reading the tale is one of immersion into a vivified version of The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life & Work. Jung's brilliant conceptualization of "The Collective Unconscious" provides the underpinnings of Ryhope Wood, of course, but man-aliv
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
As I get more experienced in fantasy genre I rarely have "Well this is unlike anything I have read before" moments. Luckily I still get them and Mythago wood is one of those books. Inspired by British and Celtic myths and legends with added just a tiny bit of late Gothic flavor this book builds it's story slowly and methodically. Despite it's slow pace it was never a dull book because in those slow parts atmosphere is being created, characters developed and world more shaped out.

I can't really f
What a great read! Holdstock managed to come up with something completely new and incredibly old at the same time with his Mythago Wood series. By mining the rich vein of British myth and tying it to both the Jungian subconscious and the magical influence of an acient living forest he managed to create a fantasy work that was both epic in scope and personal in its resonance. It's a work that truly stands the test of time.

In the first volume, _Mythago Wood_, we follow the story of Stephen Huxley
Kat  Hooper
Mar 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

After his post-WWII convalescence in France, Steven Huxley is returning to his family's home on the edge of Ryhope Wood, a patch of ancient forest, in Britain. For as long as Steven remembers, his father, who recently died, had been so obsessed with the forest that it destroyed their family.

Upon returning home, Steven finds that his brother Christian is quickly following in their father's footsteps -- both figuratively and literally -- for he has also disc
Chris Berko
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know how you just sort of fit with some books like fingers in a well worn glove? That's how I feel with this book, it just fits. This is everything I enjoy about reading. Mythago Woods is a dark book, not grimdark dark, more like dirt under your fingernails, sweat streaming down your face, salt stinging your eyes, gritty kind of dark. There are definite heroes and villains, running around in one hell of an original setting, acting out an amazingly original story-line. The whole "am I becomin ...more
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating in the high 3's, so round upto 4 stars as tis summit different & for the most part engaging.

Lion, the witch & the wardrobe for adults perhaps......? As it has mythical elements, enchantment & aspects of time travel through a wood. I think my updates along the way will let you know whats involved & how the journey unravels..... if it's mythical figures through time, touch of paranormal, heroic figures, a damsel..... one more of a Celtic nature though so defo not a fairy pri
aPriL does feral sometimes
Most forests today and in the recent past are only a few centuries old or less. But there still remain a few forests which have been on earth for millennia. In these deep dark old places it is rumored beings which can only live in the most ancient impenetrable deep woods can yet be occasionally seen. It is said the mythological creatures of old deep woods need to be placated and bribed with gifts of blood and flesh if you live near such a forest. People also carve magical symbols into the rock a ...more
Nov 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
5 Stars

This will now sit in my all time favorite shelf as it an amazing piece of literary fiction, which just happens to be a fantasy. I am not going to summarize the story as much better reviewers than I have already done so, many times before. This nearly 30 year old novel that was first published in 1984, by Robert Holdstock, is still relevant today. I want to reiterate that this is truly a piece of literature first and a novel of fantasy second. It would sit better on the shelves about psych
Jared Logan
What starts as an intriguing concept begins to unravel due to poor pacing and plotting.

The premise of this one is really, really high-concept and it is thus:

A family lives near an ancient 'old-growth' wood. This is a small forest that has existed since medieval times and even back before that. The father, a scholar, is obsessed with the wood and often disappears for weeks at a time to plumb its depths. Why he is gone for that long is a mystery to his family because, you see, the wood is not very
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been sitting on my TBR pile for longer than I care to admit to - and now I have finally got around to reading it - its becoming a bit of a tradition my Christmas binge reading.

Anyway the book - it pretty much follows the plot outlined on the back of the cover. Okay so how does that work well the story itself is pretty straight forward, what the real mystery is and really the most intriguing character are the woods themselves. Strange things go on here and its hard to talk about them wit
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a different story and I enjoyed reading it. I liked the Lovecraftian overtones at the start of the novel and I wish they had been sustained throughout the whole story. The world and myth building was excellent. The only drawback was the lack of empathy I felt for the main characters. The love story was (in my opinion) quite phony - I could not relate to Steven falling for this 'caricature' of a woman, and knowing she is just after all a feminine ideal he created just add to the sense of ...more
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2013
I wish that I had liked this book more. After all, the dude in the helmet on the cover is cool. It has so many good ideas in it, avenues that I would have been interested in pursuing. But I just didn't connect with the characters. I don't get it. Why do none of these men, father & two sons, talk to each other? They all know that the woman whom they are fixated on isn't real--the author goes to great pains let us know through them that she is made of branches, leaves and soil. And yet, they a ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
While the concept is awesome, I find myself agreeing with those who think this book is just so-so. I won't rehash everything in detail, I'll just hit the main objections:
*There's nothing likeable about any of the characters, all of whom remain ciphers from beginning to end.
*Nobody ever bloody talks to each other in the way that normal folks do when confusion exists, which makes the relationships unbelievable.
*The love story isn't even remotely romantic. He loves that she smells bad and hangs out
Greg Strandberg
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book really glued me to my seat. I remember reading it one time when I was going to Hong Kong.

Going to HK from Shenzhen was an affair. You had to cross the border and take buses and trains and stand in line a lot. This book was really good, and the suspense is wonderful.

If you want a good stand-alone fantasy book I recommend it. I bought the second book (can't remember it's name) but I never got around to reading it.

Would I read it again? I think I would if I had to travel in HK again.
Sad Sunday (If I say it's bad, it's bad)
Uh, this one is tricky. Can I just say that two super-English brothers got so high in the house on the Prairies that a nearby forest suddenly turned into a Wonderland?


For me Mythago Wood has the vibe of Out of the Silent Planet, The Little Stranger and Roadside Picnic. Somehow I can't call "fantasy". For me it's more of a magical realism. And while author twists the real and the unreal into a nice and flowing tale, sometimes it's hard to really get into the story, because the myths used in the
I would classify this book as high concept fantasy. Certainly, it is not to everyone's taste. I can sympathize with this, as sometimes I feel like I admire this book more than enjoy it.

Holdstock works through a lot of interesting ideas. The title Mythago Wood refers to a stand of West Midlands primeval forest that, like the TARDIS, is bigger within than without. The forest has an aura that interacts with the mytho-creative aspects of people's minds to produce mythagos, which are expressions of
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a very satisfying read this turned out to be.
Myths, magic and monsters all exist inside Ryhope wood, things that are summoned out of the mind buried legends ingrained in human psyche become terrifyingly real.
This book grew on me over the first day or 2 of reading and now it's over I wish it weren't.
I liked the ending of the story a few questions need answering though which I guess means I'll have to read the next book in the series. :) :)
Mark Hodder
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Author's Envy! I wish I'd written this book! Here's why:
Nandakishore Varma
This is an acclaimed book. The basic premise is the concept of mythagos, which are images from the Jungian collective unconscious, which take corporeal form inside Ryhope Wood. Those who go after the mythagos into the wood are permanently affected.

There is a dreamlike quality to this book which I found endearing at the time of reading - however, much of the story did not stick with me. At the time of reading, I was not much into Joseph Campbell and Jung (that came later), so I was confused with
Heidi The Reader
Totally original, immersive novel. Mythago Wood started out so normal and moved sequentially to the fantastic and magical that you actually believe it. Loved this.

The idea of archetypes coming alive and inhabiting a world "within" our own is very kabballistic and fascinating. I honestly didn't see the twists and turns that happened in this. What fun it was it read an unpredictable novel. It was terrifying at times and wonderful. I highly recommend this book.
Roxana Chirilă
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
---3.5 stars---

„“This is the Island where Dreams come true.”
“That's the island I've been looking for this long time,” said one of the sailors. “I reckoned I'd find I was married to Nancy if we landed here.”
“And I'd find Tom alive again,” said another.
“Fools!” said the man, stamping his foot with rage. “That is the sort of talk that brought me here, and I'd better have been drowned or never born. Do you hear what I say? This is where dreams—dreams, do you understand, come to life, come real. Not
Murray Ewing
Steven Huxley returns from the Second World War to his family home at Oak Lodge. His father, who throughout his childhood was engaged in an obsessive and mysterious study of nearby Ryhope Wood, has died, and his elder brother, Christian, has taken over their father’s life’s work. The wood has the ability to generate ‘mythagoes’ — living embodiments of ancient myths — and though barely six miles in circumference has a seemingly infinite interior. Steven comes to learn that his brother fell in lov ...more
Dec 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hard-core fantasy-lovers/writers interested in myth and archetype
Recommended to whalesister by: Matt Kirby
Interesting, weird. Definitely a guy story--for one thing the romance doesn't work for me at all--and, both because the main character is an adult, and because of some mature subject matter, I would say a fantasy for adults, not teens. Interesting use of archetype/myth; I felt slung into the realm of the subconscious, and I'm not sure I wanted to be there. Finishing the book feels like waking up from a bizarre dream. Artistically well-done, although I felt way too distant from any of the charact ...more
Aug 08, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This best thing I can say for this book is that my copy had blank pages between many of the chapters, which made the book go by faster. I begin to think that the fantasy genre of woods/nature/princesses/magic is not for me. This book featured a mythological archetype wood-maiden--sprung fully formed from the mind of the protagonist--whose best quality seems to be that she's really hot. Oh, and she has a earthy, female smell, which is unpleasant but still erotic. Sigh. The rest is a mishmash of a ...more
Ben Loory
there was a lot in this book i really loved. my favorite was the part where the forest seems to reach out to subsume the house and the oaks start to sprout up through the floors. everything about the forest itself is great and there is a real sense of magic and mystery to the book; it really feels like fantasy as opposed to the kind of pseudo-medieval historical fiction that often goes by that name. also i think this is one of those books that will grow in my mind over time as the ideas and imag ...more
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Robert Paul Holdstock was an English novelist and author who is best known for his works of fantasy literature, predominantly in the fantasy subgenre of mythic fiction.

Holdstock's writing was first published in 1968. His science fiction and fantasy works explore philosophical, psychological, anthropological, spiritual, and woodland themes. He has received three BSFA awards and won the World Fantas

Other books in the series

Mythago Wood (7 books)
  • Lavondyss (Mythago Wood, #2)
  • The Bone Forest (Mythago Wood, #3)
  • The Hollowing (Mythago Wood, #4)
  • Merlin's Wood (Mythago Wood, #5)
  • Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn (Mythago Wood, #6)
  • Avilion (Mythago Wood, #7)
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