The Owl Service

  • by Alan Garner
  • Narrated by Wayne Forester
  • 4 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

After hearing scratches in the attic, Alison discovers a dinner service covered in an intriguing floral owl pattern, and a series of events are set in motion that will change her life forever. Alison, her step-brother Roger, and Welsh boy Gwyn are forced into a cyclical replay of the tragic Welsh legend of Blodeuwedd, in which a woman is turned into an owl as a punishment for betraying her husband.
The Owl Service is a fabulous, multi-layered book of mystery and suspense, but also a contemporary musing on love, class structure and power.


What the Critics Say

"Garner's remarkable writing is simple and straighforward without one wasted word. He lets the audience figure things out through action and dialogue. Characters are well defined. Experienced narrator Wayne Forester is superb. Not only does he take on the voices of disparate characters with practiced ease, he also manages it so seamlessly and immediately that it seems as though there must be two speakers." (


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

For Anyone Who Loves Myth

Garner has thought deeply about myth, but instead of producing a commentary, he has written a novel, thrilling and wise, that links Welsh legend to teen angst and the gulf of adult worry that gapes before the young. This book is never straightforward in how it treats the old stories, but it never loses its way as it guides you deep into the feelings of its characters. A good example of a "kids" book that dares to do things few "adult" books could pull off.

This is a top-quality recording. The reader paints the characters well, and has complete command over the various Welsh and English voices the story calls for.
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- Colin

Chapter 17 is completely missing from recording

Would you try another book from Alan Garner and/or Wayne Forester?


Any additional comments?

The performance of this book is very good, but the apparently accidental omission of an entire chapter is inexcusable. Chapter 17 is short but contains key exposition, and the rest of the book is confusing in its absence. If you purchase this audiobook, you should have a print copy handy if you don't want to be confused by the missing chapter.

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- Larry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-30-2008
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks