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Similar to Watership Down, but with moles, this book demonstrates an excellently-crafted world populated by moles (not cutesy anthropomorphic ones but real ones that live and die among nature's often brutal indifference. At times Horwood goes into a whimsy of describing every tiny thing and there are a couple of occasions in the book that made me almost want to put it down in disgust - when Bracken is first exploring the Ancient System; when Boswell and Bracken journey to Siabod; when Bracken secretly attends the singing of the Song. The author would love this to be a ‘meaningful’ novel full of subtle comparisons with human society but the made up languages and poor poems are trite and meaningless.
To briefly sum up a 582 page novel, it is an allegory of the cycle of decay, destruction, and rebuilding of a civilization, tied up in grand adventure and a spiritual journey into the soul. The author has crafted a believable and interesting mythology to go with the characters, and it is definitely worth reading. I also admire Horwood in that his villains and dark events are truly evil, with no shying back from descriptions of truly monstrous actions and feelings by his characters, while his light events are truly light!The only thing this book has in common with the first two books is that it features anthropomorphic animals but it contains none of the whimsy or sweetness of . William Horwood has created a world that is filled with those events that while familiar are renewed by the point of view they are being told from.
THE DUNCTON CHRONICLES This series of six novels was published over thirteen years, starting with Duncton Wood in 1980. Still, the point stands that Hazel, Fiver, Bigwig, and Dandelion felt like rabbits and Bracken, Rebecca, Mandrake, Boswell, and Mekkins feel like human beings). Mole humping aside, this really is a fantastic book that fans of Watership Down and The Wind in the Willows will love.It is like a old sweater made new by the fact that you are wearing it after changing which washing powder you use. Unable too close the book to my inner self saying read just one more chapter then eat or go to bed far to many times.
Those who have a sense of what it is to experience the divine will certainly find something to recognize in Horwood's work, neither however does he ram this down everyone's throat, (I have purely agnostic friends who read such things as simply the experiences of moles in nature and elements of the story). Duncton Wood is the moving love story of Bracken and Rebecca and the trials they must face and overcome to be as one. Now her son by Tryfan, Lucerne, will consolidate their ascendancy and root and and kill the last followers of the Stone.
It was at this point my wife dropped the book like a hot turd and I honestly can’t say as I blame her.
It was one of my first introductions to the magic of real faith, faith that surpasses words and doubts and restrictions, faith that transcends and makes transcendent. For me, Horwood has got the combination of animals and fantasy and faith and countryside just right. The themes that I felt were contained in it, other than the overriding theme of love, was the comfort that can be gained from faith when faced with a society that is deteriorating around you.
This is the greatest book I have ever read, you start having a huge compassion for all the moles, the emotions you go through are unbelievable, I laughed with them and cried with them ended up believing that this is actually how moles are (I know and I am no kid) Please if you get the opportunity to read Duncton Wood do so you won't want to put it down. I also disliked greatly the descriptions of mating - these were far too sensual for what is, in essence, a book about animal (however human they may act at times). What can I say about this book that will sufficiently warn people that they're about to experience a grown man imagining the feelings of a female mole in heat? If you loved the theatrical dramatization of Lord of the Rings, this book will pull you through a similar emotional rollercoaster.