Alan Garner John Rowe Townsend - Essay

John Rowe Townsend

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Alan Garner's] books, though few, have had an extraordinarily powerful impact; they have been felt and not forgotten. (p. 108)

Because Garner's four novels came out at intervals of two and three years, they show their differences—and the author's development—more clearly than do the works of more prolific writers. Alan Garner has never stood still. His stories have become less complicated but more complex, less crowded but more intricately ramified. Action has become less crude but more significant. The later books are finer. Admittedly, even fineness has its price. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (1960) was Garner's first book; it is complicated, crowded, full of crude action; and of its...

(The entire section is 1866 words.)