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Summary

After hearing scratches in the attic, Alison discovers a dinner service covered in an intriguing floral owl pattern, and a series of events are set in motion that will change her life forever. Alison, her step-brother Roger, and Welsh boy Gwyn are forced into a cyclical replay of the tragic Welsh legend of Blodeuwedd, in which a woman is turned into an owl as a punishment for betraying her husband.

The Owl Service is a fabulous, multi-layered book of mystery and suspense, but also a contemporary musing on love, class structure and power.

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

©2008 Naxos Audiobooks (P)2008 Naxos Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Garner's remarkable writing is simple and straighforward without one wasted word. He lets the audience figure things out through action and dialogue. Characters are well defined. Experienced narrator Wayne Forester is superb. Not only does he take on the voices of disparate characters with practiced ease, he also manages it so seamlessly and immediately that it seems as though there must be two speakers." (SoundComentary.com)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

About this book

This is one of the best books by him, and my favourite.
It is based on one of the old Welsh stories, it is defiantly for older listeners, due to its deep and complex narrative. I hilly recommend it, it will leave you thinking about it for a long time after you finish it. Also it?s been made into a good TV series a long time ago, for thaws of you who really like it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

atmospheric but confusing

This book was atmospheric but I found it a confusing book and still don't understand the ending.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A haunting classic

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, The Owl Service is a magnificent and important work. The images and symbols in it make a lasting impression. It is utterly original and also a very good and suspenseful story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Owl Service?

The most memorable moment of The Owl Service is the first tracing of the plate to show to Owl, in my view one of the most memorable moments in literature.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration was mostly fine although I would have preferred no attempt to read in the voices of the children - it sounded silly.

Any additional comments?

Not to be written off as a children's book!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Owl Service

Enjoyed the Welsh accent, it was easy to follow , except the last chapter I didn't know who was comforting Ali was it Gwen or Roger.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Different

This is the second book by this author I have listened to and I have to say that if it had been the first, I probably wouldn't bother reading any more of his. An odd book, but one I had to finish. Definitely not in the same league as The Weird Stone of Brisingamen.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Colin
  • 04-09-14

For Anyone Who Loves Myth

Garner has thought deeply about myth, but instead of producing a commentary, he has written a novel, thrilling and wise, that links Welsh legend to teen angst and the gulf of adult worry that gapes before the young. This book is never straightforward in how it treats the old stories, but it never loses its way as it guides you deep into the feelings of its characters. A good example of a "kids" book that dares to do things few "adult" books could pull off.

This is a top-quality recording. The reader paints the characters well, and has complete command over the various Welsh and English voices the story calls for.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Larry
  • 24-12-15

Chapter 17 is completely missing from recording

Would you try another book from Alan Garner and/or Wayne Forester?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

The performance of this book is very good, but the apparently accidental omission of an entire chapter is inexcusable. Chapter 17 is short but contains key exposition, and the rest of the book is confusing in its absence. If you purchase this audiobook, you should have a print copy handy if you don't want to be confused by the missing chapter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful