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The Owl Service

The Owl Service

It begins with the scratching in the ceiling. From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, patterned with floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress as Alison, her step-brother Roger, and the Welsh boy Gwyn are drawn into the replay of a tragic Welsh l... read full description below.

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ISBN 9780006742944
Barcode 9780006742944
Published 14 May 1992 by HarperCollins Publishers
Format Paperback, New edition
Alternate Format(s) View All (19 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Garner, Alan
Availability Not currently available

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780006742944
ISBN-10 0006742947
Stock Out of stock
Status Not currently available
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
Imprint HarperCollins
Publication Date 14 May 1992
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Paperback, New edition
Edition New edition
Author(s) By Garner, Alan
Category Award Winning
Fairy Tales, Fables & Traditional Stories
Fantasy & Magical Realism
Number of Pages 160
Dimensions Width: 111mm
Height: 178mm
Spine: 10mm
Weight 87g
Interest Age Children / Young Adults
Reading Age Children / Young Adults
Library of Congress Legends, Wales, Juvenile fiction
NBS Text Children's Fiction
ONIX Text Children/juvenile
Dewey Code 823.914
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Book

Winner of both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, this is an all-time classic, combining mystery, adventure, history and a complex set of human relationships. It all begins with the scratching in the ceiling. From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, with its curious pattern of floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress that is to effect everybody's lives. Relentlessly, Alison, her step-brother Roger and Welsh boy Gwyn are drawn into the replay of a tragic Welsh legend -- a modern drama played out against a background of ancient jealousies. As the tension mounts, it becomes apparent that only by accepting and facing the situation can it be resolved.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

Awards Winner of Guardian Children's Fiction Award 1968 -- Winner of Carnegie Medal 1967
NZ Review ...A rare imaginative feat and the taste that it leaves is haunting. The Observer
US Review The mystery of spirits loosed, of souls possessed, assumes a dimension beyond fantasy in Alan Garner's latest book, which is his finest if also his most elliptical. In an old house in a Welsh valley three adolescents discover, in a sealed attic that has been emitting inexplicable sounds, a dinner service decorated with flowers in the form of an owl; and the trap one sets disgorges an owl's pellel, not a whole mouse. Gwyn, son of Nancy the housekeeper, is momentarily mesmerized by the plates but it is Alison, come to stay with her new stepfather and stepbrother Roger, who is obsessed with the owls. From a copy of the mythical Mabinogion and the cryptic remarks of handyman Huw Halfbacon, reinforced by the instinctive sympathy between them. Alison and Gwyn realize that they are, with Roger, reenacting an ancient tragedy of jealousy and retribution that has recurred in each generation. The tensions among them are very real, very much a matter of class; Gwyn is the clever comer, Alison is the aristocrat. Roger is the snob?? In scenes which approach the intensity of Strindberg, Gwyn forces Alison to face him, and herself, recoils when he thinks he's been betrayed, ultimately humbles Roger and gives him the clue to saving Alison. However gripping, this is not lugubrious and not without ??humer, albeit ironic. An uncommon book for uncommon readers of some maturity. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author's Bio

Alan Garner was born in Cheshire, where he still lives today. His first book -The Weirdstone of Brisingamen - was published in 1960.

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