The Voice that Thunders

By Alan Garner

A collection of writings by the author of the 2022 Booker Prize-shortlisted Treacle Walker

Alan Garner is an exceptional lecturer and essayist. This rich collection of writings, spanning more than twenty years, explores an enviable range of scholarly interests: archaeology, myth, language, education, philosophy, the spiritual quest, mental health, literature, music and film.

The book also serves as a poetic autobiography of one of England’s best-loved but least public writers. He hears himself declared dead at the age of six; he draws on the deep vein of a rural working-class childhood in a family of craftsmen who instilled the passion for excellence and for innovation and humour. The disciplines he learnt as a Classicist give a shape and clarity to that passion in this richly various book that would have fascinated his forebears, whose work and lives are also celebrated here.

This most unusual, most candid, most vivid picture of an English family and its home, its country’s history, is also a devastating revelation of a writer’s own life. Alan Garner’s account of his mental illness will become a classic, and each strand of the book will be a source of fascination to anyone who has ever fallen under the spell of an Alan Garner story, as also to all who concern themselves with the craft of writing.

Format: ebook
Release Date: 12 Sep 2024
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-867221-8
Alan Garner is an English novelist best known for his fantasy novels and his retellings of traditional British folk tales. He was born in Cheshire in 1934 and his childhood was spent in Alderley Edge, where his family has lived for more than four hundred years. His fourth book, The Owl Service, won The Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, and was made into a TV series. It has established itself as a contemporary classic and Garner as a writer of distinction. In 2022, his novel Treacle Walker was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He was awarded the OBE in 2001 for his services to literature.

'His work has a symphonic quality unique in fiction' The Times -

”'Garner casts light on his writing and thinking, and the role that manic depression plays in his creativity” - Guardian

”'Garner is his own man… taut, powerful and credible” - Penelope Lively

”'A brilliant collection of essays” - Independent

”'A collection of essays and lectures, but since their singular theme is Alan Garner, boy and man, it is, in effect, his Prelude, the autobiography of one of the most distinct and profound writers we have … The Voice that Thunders is his magpie's diary, a confessional from a kleptomaniac of the sacred and the arcane. It is the kind of book which points at worlds it would be wonderful to know - worlds that Alan Garner has spent a lifetime exploring and all of them in his backyard” - Guardian

”'His is a consummate artist's vision that matches landscape and people and story; his is an artist's ear able to hear preliterate song as well as local speech and adolescent slang. With great skill he has wielded these into tales uniquely blending rustic vigour and classical economy of diction. They have won him a place in the company of English writers” - Ralph Elliott, Labrys 7

”'Alan Garner's themes are huge, urgent, compassionate, his voice distinguished by clarity, compression, precision, depth of feeling and sharpness of thought” - Neil Philip, A Fine Anger: A Critical Introduction to the Work of Alan Garner