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The Owl Service cover art

The Owl Service

By: Alan Garner
Narrated by: Wayne Forester
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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 listeners say about The Owl Service

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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.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Struggled to follow the flow

The story doesn’t flow easily or make a huge amount of sense. Weaving myths into contemporary stories is a gift of the authors, but this one doesn’t hit the mark for me

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

missing chapters, had to buy physical copy

lovely book but got to chaper 13 and it wasn't there and skipped ahead to find another missing. stopped listening at that point as it got confusing.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not what I was expecting

I know it’s won awards but I’m afraid this wasn’t for me, I found it dreary, and old fashioned, I can’t really think of another word to destiny, that’s not to say another reader might like it, just not for me

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A bit of magic and mystery.

Good story line, great characters and enough it mystery to keep you going. Very enjoyable.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story by the master Alan Garner

This has been one of my favourite books for over fifty years. I had my Dad’s copy of The Mabinogion when l was a teenager and was always fascinated by it, especially since we are all Welsh. Not only is the prose magical, but it shows the awful class system of the time! My Dad was told if he wanted to get on, he had to move to England and try to lose his accent and never never speak his home language. This is a great reading - only teeny gripe is mispronunciation of Blodeuwedd - otherwise full marks xx

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Masterful storytelling. Brilliant conclusion.

The story deals with issues that cause eternal strife in our lives. Pain turning love to hatred. Class and parental ambition are also key themes. Cleverly, the most influential parent, never features directly in the narrative.
The triumphant conclusion, that breaks a multi generational cycle of destruction, is pure wisdom for real life.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Missing Chapters

I loved this story so much. But Chapters 13 and 17 were missing. I had to buy the book to read them.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good narrator bad story

The narration was very good though the different voices sometimes sounded alike, but lovely presentation and music. The problem was the book itself was incomprehensible. i listened to the end trying to understand but never did!!!

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