Saturday, 4 June 2011

The Owl Service

That pretty much sums up this entire book. When I'd finished this book I was left thoroughly confused, and rather annoyed. I was annoyed because I couldn't pick out the story. All I managed to gather was that there was a girl called Alison, a boy called Roger and a boy called Gwyn, which at first I read as Gwen so I thought was a girl. Alison made paper owls that disappeared and Roger and Gwyn hated each other and both liked Alison.

There was also some plate smashing and a woman who had something to do with flowers. Gwyn's mother was very angry throughout the book because of something to do with the plates (that had owls on them, the Owl Service of the title). Roger got very annoyed because people kept messing up his photos. There was also an old man who was a bit weird and the only one who listened to him was Gwyn.

Even though I didn't understand the story, the author managed some very excellent descriptions of the valley in Wales, and the personalities of some of the characters. I think I would have to be a lot older and understand a bit more Welsh to fully appreciate this book. I'm giving it 21 out of 100.


  1. Errr....

    That's what I always thought about Alan Garner too! I never read the Owl Service but I did read Elidor - confusing, drab and gloomy, I thought - and our teacher at school (year 6 equivalent) read us The Weirdstone of Brisinghamen, which I found completely mystifying.

    In fact I always thought Alan Garner was one of those authors that only adults like and try and force on children, only then I became an adult and met lots of adults who loved Alan Garner as children/teenagers. I guess it's horses for courses.

  2. That's interesting, Emma - I hadn't heard of Alan Garner as a kid (I guess he didn't hit Canadian book shops much. My first exposure was Neera's choice of Thursbitch for book groupwhich i barely understood.
    I tried Red Shift and Weirdstone, which were OK. I thoroughly enjoyed The Owl Service this week, but I can't see my 11 or 12 year old self liking it. Possibly my 15 year old self.
    Luke himself is a fan of straight narrative, so whilst he liked the story better once we'd had a good chat about it, I can't see Garner being for him.