Leon Garfield John Rowe Townsend - Essay

John Rowe Townsend

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Of all the talents that emerged in the field of British writing for children in the 1960s, that of Leon Garfield seems to me to be the richest and strangest. I am tempted to go on and say that his stories are the tallest, the deepest, the wildest, the most spine-chilling, the most humorous, the most energetic, the most extravagant, the most searching, the most everything. Superlatives sit as naturally on them as a silk hat on T. S. Eliot's Bradford millionaire. They are vastly larger, livelier and more vivid than life. They are intensely individual: it would be impossible to mistake a page of Garfield for a page written by anybody else. They are full of outward and visible action, but they are not just chains of...

(The entire section is 1992 words.)