Red Shift


I thought I'd written about Red Shift recently; when I checked, it turns out it was five years ago!  Ah me, how time does fly and double back on itself, which is one of the themes of the book.

Again I was struck by the fact that this novel is not a children's book, maybe not even YA. Not only is the style opaque and challenging, the events are violent and bloody, though because of the oblique style, they are not graphic. And again I noticed links of dialogue and description between the three interwoven story strands that I hadn't noticed before. 

This is such a slender book, but it's so packed with layers and echoes. I noticed quite a few similarities between modern Tom and the Colin of Boneland, their wordplay, their wariness, their interest in stars. Red Shift marked a decisive turn in Garner's writing, away from overt magic and toward resonance through time. I wouldn't say that it's a book I love, exactly -- it's too frightening and lonely for that -- but I do admire it perhaps more than any other.

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