William Mayne Brian Alderson - Essay

Brian Alderson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

It seems to me that Over the Hills and Far Away and A Game of Dark are as important for their exploration of time and place as ever they are for the stories that they have to tell. In both books we stand like Magra and Korva 'surrounded by a misty edge where one time ran into another' and it is the uncanny skill with which Mayne summons up … an utterly convincing past and mingles it with the present in a particular place that gives these two books their peculiarly haunting quality. The effect is fairly obvious in Over the Hills and Far Away, but has not been so widely noticed in A Game of Dark. Reviewers, with a whiff of Freud in their nostrils, have gone chasing phallic symbols and...

(The entire section is 734 words.)