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Editor reviews

Elidor, by British writer Alan Garner, first breathed life as a radio play. Following that success, it was expanded into a short children’s novel and published in 1965. Now, in this audiobook, it has returned to form as a piece to be heard. Focusing on a group of children who must have distinct voices, the audiobook makes great demands on performer Jonathan Keeble, who handles the job with agility.

Elidor borrows from C. S. Lewis by imagining a group of children who find a portal to another world. The comparison ends, however, when that world is a borderline nightmare which follows the characters back to the world we all know. Drawing heavily on folkloric sources, this audiobook is appropriate for children, but interesting to any adult.

Summary

"Towers - like flame. A candle in darkness. A black wind."

Roland Watson wasn't expecting to see things like that when he kicked a football into a condemned church. But once inside, he is taken from the slums of Manchester to the ruins of a magical kingdom. And only he can bring back the light to Elidor.

With his brothers and sister, Roland has to solve ancient riddles and brave dark forces to save the mythical land. But he has to prevent those same forces destroying their own world, too.

Brilliantly mixing myths and fantasy with spare and acute reality, Alan Garner's third novel secured his place at the forefront of children's writing, with his work also appealing greatly to adult readers.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2006 Alan Garner (P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"This fantasy brims with classic components of the genre." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Elidor

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  • Overall
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A great little book

I have fond memories of this book, having read it as a youth. I come from Manchester and know the areas mentioned in the box and I even remember the map signs that start the adventure off.
It's a faithful reproduction of the paper copy and it is well read.
The story is very atmospheric and it is one of my favourites. I have no hesitation in recommending this for all ages.

2 people found this helpful

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Accents overdone

Elidor was one of my favourite books as a child and it is just as beautiful today as ever. This narrator could have been perfect, but the children’s voices made them sound like old ladies! Shame, as it really could have been avoided, in which case it would have been five stars all round!

1 person found this helpful

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Great story but

The kids’ accents were a bit hammy. I’ve read this book many times and cannot imagine their accents like this, sorry

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Excellent

Brilliant reading of a fantastic story. I love books but am lazy at reading. I remember this story from junior school back in the day.

1 person found this helpful

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Great reading of a classic

This is great story, a classic of its type. It's an assured performance that maintains the wonder felt when first reading

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Elidor

This is a great story but I wish the narrator had not attempted to impersonate children's voices - they really detracted from the magic of the story.

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Wonderful story blighted by Audible’s self advertising, again!

Great story, spare, precise but with room to breathe. Terrific vocal performance throughout.

Almost ruined by Audible’s self advertising abruptly butting in right at the end with little room to reflect on the performance, STOP DOING THIS, AUDIBLE!!

2 people found this helpful

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Almost very good indeed

This is one of those books which I remember with huge affection.
Listening to this version I would say that Jonathan Keeble is excellent and with only some very small quibbles -3: reducing its score !
I do share some reviewers’ reservations about how he does the kids voices ( a tricky thing to pull off anyway) .
also - for me: he pronounces one of the characters names ‘ finned ‘ horn as opposed to ‘ fined’ horn, which did not sound right to me and tbh rather grated and finally ‘ Gory-ass’ as opposed to ‘ Gor-EYE-ass’
…if this sounds trivial - and it is! Then so be it but the only real reason for me that this did not get a higher mark.

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fabulous fairytale

Not only is this a tale of magic and adventure, but its setting in last century Manchester gives a fascinating insight into family life in the 'old days'

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poor accents but not bad delivery

the delivery is fine but the narrator is a bit samey with his voice for the children's voices