Friday, July 17, 2015
The Hollowing, by Robert Holdstock, tells the tale of Alex Bradley, a boy who goes missing in Ryhope Wood. It is also the story of his father, Richard Bradley, who refuses to believe when his body is found. Instead Richard embarks on a search for his lost son – in Ryhope Wood. As you may imagine, this forest is much more than it seems. Within it live Mythagos, or ghost heroes, like Jason and the Argonauts, and other things, like the hollyjack and the giggler. This is the sort of magical wood it is dangerous to enter unless you possess a familiarity with melee weapons. Like Mythago Wood (an earlier work by the author), the mystery is in the forest, “Britain’s last fragment of primeval forest,” a place “larger inside than out.”
I've always loved stories about enchanted woods, and Ryhope definitely qualifies. But it's a dark and dangerous enchantment, so dangerous Richard has to be slowly introduced to "its properties and inhabitants, which range through the deeply embedded myths of all times. Meanwhile, Lytton wants Bradley to find Alexander because the fearful boy's vivid fantasies are changing the very nature of the wood that Lytton and his crew have been studying for years...Holdstock weaves a dense and, at times, impenetrable tale, but a careful reading brings to light a variety of treasures, including a telling portrayal of Jason and the Argonauts in old age."*
I've read this book twice.
What book's have you read more than once?
* quoted portion from Publisher's Weekly and the two books, The Hollowing, and Mythago Wood