Short, Dense, Full of Ideas
Coo, this one is difficult to review. This my my first Alan Garner novel, and may not have been the best jumping off point. It's been universally praised by critics - usually familiar with his work. It's very short and very dense. Chapters are only a few pages each, and are heavy in a combination of local dialect and allegory. The over-arching approach is mythological, and I found it helpful to let go thinking of this as a traditional narrative novel, and start leaning in to the ideas and the mysteries. Don't rush, take a chapter - look up names, terms, words. I had no idea what a donkey stone was, despite living in a mill-town in Lancashire. I'll be revisiting this one, but not for a while - it needs time to sink in more.