August sees the release of Alan Garner’s Boneland, described as the third part of the trilogy that started some fifty years ago with Weirdstone of Brisingamen, and later continued with Moon of Gomroth. Said to follow the story of Colin, now grown, a Professor spending his time between Jodrell Bank and Alderley Edge as he searches for his lost sister Susan, I can hardly wait.
I’ve previously described the wonder, the importance of the books to me, the place they take in my life, the path they set me on, that I’ll be there before the bookshop opens quite possibly in a little folding chair prepared to beat back the Morthbrood (that I suspect won’t even make an appearance). Alan Garner is a fine author, one that brings us magic without whimsy, whose heroes die and where heroism isn’t a feather to wear but something earned, in hindsight, and sad, and flawed. For children’s books they are dark, for young minds they can be frightening – and all power to them because I can’t abide the idea that there are books for ‘young adults’. Teenagers should read what they wish, where they shouldn’t have some boil-in-the bag middle ground between whimsy-wizards and terrifying rats. If more sprouts were shown a little real fear (and a little real imagination) there’d be a few less teenagers mooning over lovelorn vampires with nice hair.
That’s it. This is true. See you in August.