William Mayne Penelope Farmer - Essay

Penelope Farmer

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

William Mayne is one of the most considerable, and certainly in some respects the most interesting writer for children now and [A Game of Dark] is undoubtedly his best book. Less rich and localized in its fantasy than Earthfasts; less rich in human terms than Ravensgill; not as affectionately funny as A Swarm in May, it is still all those things in a highly concentrated and synthesized form, besides demonstrating Mayne's recurring obsession with mysterious family pasts and relationships. And it goes far deeper than any of the others.

Mayne's sheer brillíance has always been one of his drawbacks as a writer. Some of his books could almost be described as cons—marvellous...

(The entire section is 604 words.)