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The Owl Service (1967)

door Alan Garner

Andere auteurs: Zie de sectie andere auteurs.

LedenBesprekingenPopulariteitGemiddelde beoordelingAanhalingen
1,823477,801 (3.79)133
During a summer vacation in a secluded Welsh valley, three young people find themselves driven by the spirits of three mythical lovers to reenact an ancient tragedy.
Onlangs toegevoegd doorortgard, tra4ce2, tamaranth, ToriaD
Nagelaten BibliothekenEdward St. John Gorey
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    De duistere vloed door Susan Cooper (souloftherose)
  2. 50
    Mabinogion, The door Anonymous (Michael.Rimmer)
  3. 21
    A String in the Harp door Nancy Bond (gwernin)
  4. 11
    The Earth Witch door Louise Lawrence (Sakerfalcon)
    Sakerfalcon: Both are books based on Welsh mythology, with teenage protagonists caught up by forces from the distant past.
  5. 01
    The Wood Wife door Terri Windling (gwernin)
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Finished last night while (somewhat appropriately) waiting for Matthew to fall asleep after a scary thought at bedtime (he now recognises this as a separate thing to an actual nightmare, but still likes the reassurance of someone staying in the room until he's asleep).

Anyway, a gift from my mum after she also recently re-read this, it was a joy to read again after many many years (though the book itself is older than I am!) While clearly life has changed in that time the characters still read only a little dated, which is astonishing really. Though perhaps now no longer a teenager myself I found them frustratingly stubborn in places.

The landscapes and the Welshness felt as alive as ever. Still very very good. ( )
  lnr_blair | Aug 15, 2022 |
The book opens in an old house in Wales during a hot summer afternoon. Alison is in bed but can't rest because of a persistent scratching overhead. Not only persistent, but rhythmic. She asks Gwyn, the son of the housekeeper, to go into the loft and check. He finds a dinner service neatly stacked and nothing else.

The plates are not fine china, but glazed earthenware and heavy. Ironstone. They have an unusual pattern that at first glance is of flowers, but Alison sees them as owls. She traces the design onto paper to the show the effect. On asking his mother about the plates Gwyn is surprised at her angry response and demand that the plates not be disturbed. His mother has a history with the house as well as the valley, returning for this job only out of need for the money.

Meanwhile, Alison's stepbrother Roger rests from his daily swim on a rock by the river and has a strange feeling overcome him. The stone has a hole bored clean through it and is a part of local legend concerning a legendary warrior and a tragic love triangle.

I knew very little going into the book, but Garner quickly immersed me into the eerie mystery and cursed magic surrounding Alison, Gwyn and Roger. Garner doesn't explain much, and the tensions of the house can at first be explained as stemming from the recent unequal marriage of Alison and Roger's mother and father. There is also tension between Nancy the housekeeper and the hired man Huw Halfbacon as well as between the servants and the family. Tensions arise among all three teenagers as well. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, and Alison's mother's constant, unseen presence overshadows everything.

After you've finished reading the book, I highly recommend the 1969 TV series produced by the BBC. It is far from perfect but captures much of the mood and tension of the novel. All eight episodes are on YouTube. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | May 27, 2022 |
Considered a classic by many, I found it less so. There were some good scenes, but a lot of it is a deliberate muddle and you start to wonder if anything is going to happen. When it does, it is anticlimactic to say the least. And the ending is one that scholarly articles have been written on, since so many readers object to it. I won't spoil it for you. I did enjoy the Welsh setting very much. It makes me wan to spend time in one of those valleys, no matter how insular it turns out to be.

The audiobook was very well read by Wayne Forester. ( )
  datrappert | Apr 3, 2022 |
An ancient Welsh curse gets reenacted every generation, and we're here given one iteration of the doomed scenario when a family comes to vacation in the home that the step-daughter has inherited from her father, and she, her step-brother, and the son of the housekeeper (who herself has a strange part to play in events) find themselves inevitably and unwillingly taking on the magical age-old roles that started it all. Will they be able, unlike so many before them, to resist the pull of the curse and break the cycle?

So yeah, this one is much better thought-out and executed than that Brisinger mess, I have to say. It's an interesting plot and Garner does a fair job telling it, with Gwyn - the housekeeper's son - stealing the story by being by far the most interesting and well-drawn character. ( )
  electrascaife | Sep 10, 2021 |
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» Andere auteurs toevoegen (5 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Garner, Alanprimaire auteuralle editiesbevestigd
Call, GregArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Cooper, SusanVoorwoordSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Farnhill, KennethOmslagontwerperSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Finn, PaulArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Forester, WayneVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Greaves, GriseldaIllustratorSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Hopes, DarrenIllustratorSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Juva, KerstiVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Lavis, StephenArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Marsh, JamesArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Pullman, PhilipIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Schwinger, LaurenceArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Springett, MartinArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
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