So, thanks to Doug A. and Janice for drawing my attention the following interview with Alan Garner in a recent issue of The Guardian.
Sounds to me like Garner is putting on his Philip Pullman hat here.
I've never been that big a fan of Alan Garner, who I think of primarily as one of the first wave of fantasy writers to follow Tolkien, including Joy Chant and Peter S. Beagle. I read, and liked, THE WEIRDSTONE OF BRISENGAMEN well enough, though I liked what he was trying to do more than the way he'd done it. The follow up book, MOON OF GOMRATH, I thought a falling off but still readable (judgements I stand by on the basis of re-readings). THE OWL SERVICE I disliked quite a lot -- so much so, in fact, that I more or less gave up reading his work at the point, especially since this book had been highly praised by friends who admire AG's work. A good while later I tried either ELIDOR or RED SHIFT, I forget which, and cdn't even get through the first chapter. And then there was some Tolkien-bashing --not much, but enough to put me off his work.
After that I concluded Garner was not the author for me. There were books a plenty by other authors I wanted to read, and Garner seemed to have readers enough.
Fast forward a lot of years and I'm reading TREACLE WALKER, which reminded me of what a novelization of one of Gaiman's comic scripts must have been like. I'm sorry to see his Lewis-bashing, not because I disagree with some of his criticisms but because it came across as a less successful author growsing about a more succesful one.
Second Quote (the ominous one):
The writer who changed my mindAeschylus. Reading his Oresteia aged 17 made me aware more than any other text of the power of language, and its examination of matricide came at an opportune moment.
current reading: KA.
THE WIFE SAYS:
Looking at this another way, you could say that Narnia is a cult and Susan is the only one who got out.