The Giant Under the Snow
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The plot was unique and gripping, and a bit sinister. This book isn't as popular as it deserves to be, which is a shame. Everyone should try this: yeah, some will dislike it, but some, like me, will LOVE it. Mar 02, Plum-crazy rated it it was amazing Shelves: childhood-faves-kids-and-ya , read , ghosts-supernatural-and-fantasy. If you had asked me a couple of days ago I'd have said that this was one of the most memorable books I'd read as a child. Well apparently not! While I had always remembered that it featured The Green Man possibly how my interest started in him, I doubt I'd heard of him before this the only other thing I found familiar to me was the title!
This is something I would have expected to be a bit dismissive of but I really liked the idea of the little black bags with the cords - I want one! Dec 22, Alex Sarll added it.
Earlier this month, I was thinking that I really fancied reading a fantasy set in the dark English midwinter, but it was maybe a bit early for another Dark is Rising reread. And then, while packing, I found this, which I'd completely forgotten I had. In which the Green Man lies buried in East Anglian 'backlands', and an ancient warlord plots to suborn his power - all set at Christmas and with a jacket puff from Alan bloody Garner. Except it isn't, not quite.
The warlord seems a little l Earlier this month, I was thinking that I really fancied reading a fantasy set in the dark English midwinter, but it was maybe a bit early for another Dark is Rising reread. The warlord seems a little lacking in detail, as do the kids Jonk in particular, who first stumbles into the story because she's being bullied on a school trip - a detail which never comes up again.
Bill is a generic boy hero; Arf is a one-note sceptic, like Scully in a weak episode. This may simply be because I didn't encounter them in childhood like I did Cooper's kids, of course, so I've not had those years and rereads to fill in their contours. Or it may be that East Anglian setting - it's a terrain I always felt was somehow lacking in a primal sense, robbed of a crucial dimension in some primordial struggle or cataclysm.
There's still a certain cold grandeur here, mind, especially in the flying scenes. I wondered at times if they influenced 'The Snowman', but the feeling is very different to that, or the rhapsodic soaring of the kids in a Miyazaki film - this is winter flight and aerial combat the way raptors do it over blizzard-ravaged fields. View all 7 comments. I first read this as a teenager at my mother's request to see if was suitable for inclusion in an Infant School's library it isn't! It scared three kinds of living Hell out of me! The subject matter was an instant hit with me anything to do with history.
Quite creepy in places, with excellent writing building the suspense throughout the story. Really not suitable for very small children but an excellent read for the older child. I'd never heard of this book - stumbled upon it while searching the web - not unlike the main character stumbling into adventure while searching the in the woods of the backlands.
This is a fast-paced fantasy-adventure that is actually quite suspenseful and often scary.
The Giant Under the Snow - AbeBooks
Ancient myths are featured - as well as a protector witch. I'm not going to give too much away. An evil is awakening and three teens have to save the day. The chief protagonist is a girl - which was refreshing. The kids were brig I'd never heard of this book - stumbled upon it while searching the web - not unlike the main character stumbling into adventure while searching the in the woods of the backlands. The kids were bright - but not unrealistically so; their problem solving never seemed contrived.
I gave this a very high rating because I found it hugely entertaining and truly engrossing. Couldn't wait to get back to it when forced to put it down. I hate this book so boring AND jonk jonk is call a girl what don read this if you like trash. View 1 comment. Jan 02, Christopher Bunn rated it it was amazing. Lately, I find myself more and more irritated with modern books written expressly for grownups. There are exceptions, but I find a great deal of them boring, ponderous and staggering under the weight of their self-imposed importance.
Perhaps this is due to my advancing years, my own impatience and cantankerousness; I suppose that's the charitable interpretation. Whatever the reason, I've been looking back more to the past and rediscovering the books I enjoyed as a child and a teenager. A great m Lately, I find myself more and more irritated with modern books written expressly for grownups. A great many of those books do not hold up well with the years. Happily, a great many do. John Gordon's The Giant Under the Snow is one of those books that holds up admirably, despite the years.
I think I first read him when I was 10 or He's a deft writer, careful with his words. If he were a painter, I'd imagine he'd be something along the lines of a Japanese minimalist is there such a school? Giant is an enthralling, mysterious story of three friends who discover an ancient belt buckle while on a school outing.
The discovery brings alive a world of danger and magic that exists right on the edge of their own mundane world. I hesitate to say too much, as the story should be enjoyed pristine the first time. Suffice it to say, I own a copy and re-read the story every couple of years. I would argue that Gordon's book is one of the very first urban fantasy books to ever be written, long before the term had been coined.
I'm not fond of the genre as it currently exists; however, if there were more writers like Gordon out there, I would become a devotee of the genre. Dec 11, Imillar rated it it was amazing. This was one of my all-time favorite children's books ever, and if you check out the reviews on Amazon, you'll see I wasn't alone in that opinion. I still own the battered Puffin copy sent over from the UK by my grandmother, with a graphic, creepy cover that nicely captures the eeriness of some of the book.
The Giant Under The Snow
I'm on a personal mission to bring this back into paper print, although it is thank God in e-book format too. There are 3 main characters- 2 boys and a girl - who accidentally discover part o This was one of my all-time favorite children's books ever, and if you check out the reviews on Amazon, you'll see I wasn't alone in that opinion.
There are 3 main characters- 2 boys and a girl - who accidentally discover part of an old Viking belt buckle on a school field trip out in the snowy countryside at the end of the year, and this discovery sets some very sinister creatures after them, including the Leather Men, a dead Viking chieftain, and the wolf pack that obeys him.
There's a witch who helps them; much to my joy she chain-smokes you would too if those things were after you and she gives our heroes leather bags that can make them fly, to avoid these creatures.
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It's the most convincing description of what it would really feel like to lift off the ground and fly I've ever read. The joy is in the story though - it has a very satisfying dramatic climax and a bittersweet resolution. A nice, fast-moving childrens' fantasy story about three kids who discover that an age-old struggle is taking place in their home city and the surrounding countryside referred to throughout as the "backlands". It begins when a young girl gets separated from her school party and discovers a hand-shaped mound in the earth, between the fingers of which lies a golden belt buckle.
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Soon, she is caught up in an invisible battle between the forces of good and evil. Befriended by a character called Eli A nice, fast-moving childrens' fantasy story about three kids who discover that an age-old struggle is taking place in their home city and the surrounding countryside referred to throughout as the "backlands".
Befriended by a character called Elizabeth Goodenough, who knows all about the power of the belt, the girl and two of her closest friends must complete a dangerous quest before a powerful warlord can once more attempt to conquer the land. Gordon's descriptions are very evocative, and he's absolutely brilliant at suggesting unseen menace. But the story itself - plot, characters, events - just doesn't add up, or at least it doesn't reach the fever pitch of excitement and wonder that I was hoping for.
It's a quick and easy read, enjoyable enough if you've nothing else to read, but I was just expecting so much more. One shouldn't judge a book by its cover but i got this book because of the cover, though it wasn't even the cover of the copy I got from the library, but still, look at that cover it's brilliant. Three children find an ancient belt buckle and then find themselves caught up on the final stage of an ancient battle between good and evil, as you do. Granted the power of flight to help them elide the terrifying Leather Men they must thwart the ambitions of an ancient warlord, and a cracking adventure One shouldn't judge a book by its cover but i got this book because of the cover, though it wasn't even the cover of the copy I got from the library, but still, look at that cover it's brilliant.
Granted the power of flight to help them elide the terrifying Leather Men they must thwart the ambitions of an ancient warlord, and a cracking adventure it is, too. This book made my head hurt because it is so boring. Apr 08, Megan rated it liked it. The plot was compelling and kept us interested, although the writing seemed to drag a bit in places - a little too much detail in the descriptions of action, perhaps.
Still, an enjoyable bit of fantasy. May 16, Adam rated it liked it. Very entertaining. So I really did try and read this, but the writing style is so annoying and awkward that I gave up Dec 10, Christina Reid rated it really liked it. Picked this up in my local library as it seemed like it would be my cup of tea, reminiscent of The Dark is Rising or books by Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff. It is based on a story from English folklore and set in East Anglia, not generally a popular setting for stories.
It is fast-paced with some genuinely creepy baddies the leather men and imaginative set pieces involving the three main children swooping over a starlit, snowy landscape. I would have liked more background on the warlord a Picked this up in my local library as it seemed like it would be my cup of tea, reminiscent of The Dark is Rising or books by Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff. I would have liked more background on the warlord and the guardian, Elizabeth as well as findjng out more about the black dog who haunts their footsteps.
The fast pace of the story does mean that the characterization and world-building does suffer somewhat, but this is a worthy addition to a collection of stories based on folklore, further reading for those who have enjoyed Susan Cooper's books or as an atmospheric read around Christmas. It is kind of hard to understand. May 13, Susanna Grant rated it it was amazing. May 29, lia rated it liked it. It did't focus on 1 idea and the scene changed to constantly. Jan 15, Maureen Lovewell rated it really liked it Shelves: children-teen , scifi-fantasy.
A good "green man" fairy story. I really wish I had read this as a kid- it would have fit perfectly with the books I loved. I'm not great at telling what age books are best for, but i'm guessing I would have read this around age 10 though it would easily work up through teenage years It's nearly pages but the book is slightly smaller format. What a cool and dark story though. Ancient pagan forces spring from nature to crush your calm English town With all the whining the religious right did about Harry Potter, i'm curious if this book angered any holy rollers.
Anyway, awesome book, and it rightly holds classic status. Get the older edition that has the incredible incredible cover art by Antony Maitland and warp these kids right! Elizabeth Laird. Valentina Giannella. Written by John Gordon. John Gordon, a Geordie by birth, moved to East Anglia with his family at the age of twelve. He served in the Navy during the Second World War and afterwards worked as a journalist.
He is widely recognized as one of the finest contemporary writers of horror and the supernatural. Married with two grown-up children, he lives in Norwich. Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone. Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Kids community is free. Find out more. The M Word Brian Conaghan. Chinglish Sue Cheung. All Fall Down Sally Nicholls. Red, Cherry Red Jackie Kay. Face to Face with Manatees Brian Skerry.
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