Treacle Walker

Alan Garner. 4th Estate Books. (160p) ISBN 9780008477790

Treacle Walker

Treacle Walker

I preordered this the moment I heard that Alan Garner was releasing a new book, his take on mythology in children’s fiction is always wonderfully nuanced and executed.

All the way through this there was the feel of an epic poem or a folk ballad with the prose being so lyrical and flowing and filling all the gaps of thought as I was reading it, it almost begged to be read aloud.

Treacle Walker tells the story of Joe, a boy with a lazy eye, marbles, and a chimney, his meeting with Treacle Walker, his desire to find the cuckoo and the changes this brings to his life.

There are hints of deep and old magics, especially in one of Joe’s dreams, where he dreams of music under the hill, a common theme of the fey in Britain where they will entrance you and lead you astray.

We see Joe and Treacle Walker exchanging objects and get a hint of the magics to come early on in the book and we’re never sure of anyones motives throughout. Full of strange adventures and mystical guides Joe has to navigate ever confusing worlds to realise his destiny.

Unfortunately this was only a novella and finished oh so quickly, but any longer and it wouldn’t have been as pin sharp as it was.

A brilliant book from a wonderful writer.


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