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Elidor by Alan Garner
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Elidor (original 1965; edition 1980)

by Alan Garner

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8371410,767 (3.7)38
Member:brightglance
Title:Elidor
Authors:Alan Garner
Info:Lions (1980), Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
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Elidor by Alan Garner (1965)

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There's a case for saying that Alan Garner is the finest children's author of the late 20th century, but that does him a disservice. His books appeal to children and adults alike and Elidor is a fine example of his work. Set in Manchester, this is the story of four children who accidentally stumble into the dying world of Elidor and are set the task of safeguarding the four Treasures of Elidor against the forces of darkness that threaten to overwhelm it. But those forces find a way into our world and the children find themselves in a race to find the mysterious Findhorn, whose song will bring salvation to Elidor.

Garner's skill at building atmosphere is very evident here as the mundane becomes charged with mystery. In a sense this is the opposite of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrode. Garner sets his action very much in this world, and Elidor is, right up until the very end, shown as a world almost destroyed by fear and darkness.

Note to JK Rowling: Read this and see how it's possible to tell a magical, involving story in 20 chapters and 200 pages. You don't need 600 odd pages and if you think you do, you need a good, brave editor to tell you otherwise. ( )
  David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
I miss my old edition of Elidor but it seems to have vanished along with its wonderful illustrations. Elidor, that strange halfway-house book between Garner's more conventional children's fantasies and his truly powerful, timeshifting work in Owl Service and Red Shift.

Four children find themselves almost randomly in an urban wasteland and pass through to another world. When they return they are carrying four Treasures which must be hidden and protected. As time goes on, the children begin to forget and rationalise their experience, but forces on Elidor are trying to break through, homing in on the Treasures themselves.

Elidor is portal fantasy as ghost story. The book is full of strange phenomena: massive build-us of static electricity, shadows on walls, mysterious figures on the porch and eyes peeking through letterboxes. A message comes through on a spiritualist's planchette. It is spooky and unnerving and haunting in every sense of the word. It is also tight, spare and economical, without a wasted word or scene, and the terrible sacrifice at the end has always stayed with me. ( )
2 vote Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
The three brothers and their sister are wandering around town when they unexpectedly find themselves in another world, the world of Elidor. They soon learn that they are to be the saviors of the world, that they are to be the guardians of the four Treasures. They return to their world, but before long people from Elidor, determined to destroy the land, follow the four. ( )
1 vote debnance | Jun 27, 2014 |
I found this to be an unusual story. Four British children are drawn into another world that is being overcome by dark forces, and must protect it's Treasures, in order that that world may survive. By taking on this charge, they are in more danger in their own world than they realize...

I liked the idea of this story, and much of the language and description was concise and evocative. However, the characters and their motivations never really felt fleshed out to me, and the end of the story was so abrupt that I wondered what actually happened there at the end. ( )
2 vote puttocklibrary | Nov 10, 2011 |
Powerful and eldritch, with that wonderful sense of there being other things just out of sight of the mundane world. I seem to remember quite a good kids' TV adaptation in the 1980s.
1 vote PollyMoore3 | Mar 10, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Garnerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barr, GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elwell, TristanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keeping, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rovamo, TuijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwinger, LaurenceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Springett, MartinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"All right", said Nicholas. "You're fed up. So am I. But we're better off here than at home."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0152056246, Paperback)

A mechanical street map, a deserted slum, a church in ruins, and a football. Four ordinary things lead the Watson children on an extraordinary adventure to a magical land called Elidor. In pursuit of four ancient treasures, the forces of evil have crossed over into our world, and it falls to the Watson children to find the treasures, seal the bridge between worlds, and guard the strayed unicorn Findhorn . . . even though their heroism may cost them everything.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:38 -0400)

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While exploring a church that is being razed in a Manchester slum, four English children are drawn into another world where they are compelled to combat the evil power which grips most of the land.

(summary from another edition)

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