Series overview[ edit ] Duncton Wood and its sequel have as its protagonists anthropomorphic moles living in Moledom, a community in Great Britain. Moledom has its own social organization, history and written language. The moles do not otherwise make use of technology or clothing. The other focus of the Duncton series is the Stone, a religion based on the standing stones and stone circles of Britain. The novels are mainly set in and around megalith sites such as Avebury and Rollright.
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The Secret World of the Moles 18 February There are some books out there that it doesnt matter how long they are, the story is really engrossing and I really dont want to put them down. However there are other books that start off good but are so long that by the time I start getting close to the end my eyes start glasing over and I quickly begin to lose interest.
Then there are books that are basically crap. Actually, one of the major flaws that I did find in this book was not so much that it was too long but rather that it contained two distinct stories and thus it could have worked much better, and been much more interesting, if Horwood has divided it into two books. Mind you, I also have books two, three, and four on my bookshelves which makes me wonder if I am ever going to get around to reading them, or whether they are going to be tossed out at the next Church Fete — we will see.
Another thing about this book is that the author seems to be using the same method that was first used in Watership Downs , though I had no idea that this was going to be the case until I started reading the book. Actually, it does tend to be pretty hard to be original these days, especially when there are so many influences that are going to go into your writing.
However, I guess the originality comes out in how you produce your writings, and if you let your own personality and style dictate your work as opposed to simply copying something else.
So, Duncton Wood is a story about moles, though it is more than just a story it is more of an epic. However, as I suggested, it is actually two stories in one. The first half of the book is about this nation or system as the book calls it of moles who live in Duncton Wood which apparently is somewhere around Oxford. It sets up our two main characters — Brachen and Rebecca — and tells us that it is a love story. Then it introduces the antagonist, a mole named Mandrake, who is actually a pretty big mole that came into the system from afar and pretty much took over.
Except that Brachen was taught these chants and managed to survive and escaped into ancient tunnels to prepare and eventually emerge. So, the two stories are thus: defeating Mandrake and freeing the systems; and then going on a quest to restore the religious beliefs of the moles in Duncton Wood.
Religion actually plays a central role in the book, namely because we have Mandrake coming along and dominating the system by destroying the religion and then ruling through brute force. Then we have Brachen go off on a quest to restore the religious rites that Mandrake had destroyed.
The whole thing about Mandrake dominating the system is an interesting one and he does it namely because he can — he has the power and because he has the power he basically uses it. However, he has a weakness and that is that he hates all religion and actually goes out of his way to basically destroy all aspects of it. Mind you, Mandrake also forbids moles from traveling outside, which means that even the sight of the stone becomes a myth.
This is another key theme of the story — how time creates myths. By destroying all semblance of the religion means that everybody or everymole as it is written forgets the tenants of the religion, which means that in the end Mandrake is the one that they all look up to — he is the biggest and the strongest.
However, there must be some sort of issue with his self-esteem if he has to do all of this. Despite being the biggest, and the strongest, he has to destroy any rivals, and religion is a big rival to any dictator, and put himself to replace this. In such societies mythologies develop much more often than does one in a society like ours where pretty much everything is recorded.
Even then, as time starts to intervene, the past does become more and more of a distant memory, though we are much more able to record those memories than the past. However, to me, a memory is much stronger, and more valuable, than a photograph ever will be because there are just things that a photograph simply cannot catch.
The Duncton Wood books are superb! The fact that the characters are moles adds to the quality for me. I ill be reading the whole series all over again.
[PDF / Epub] ☄ Duncton Wood Author William Horwood – Bandrider.co.uk
If I owned this book I wouldn t give it away unlike a few that I m trying to pass on, so that next time I move house there aren t quite as many boxes for the poor removal men to carry there were over boxes of books What else can I say There are some excellent reviews done already For me, Horwood has got the combination of animals and fantasy and faith and countryside just right I never once wanted to skim through any of the descriptive passages, and I really enjoyed the anthropomorphism now that didn t touch type quickly moles doing the things that moles do, but also interacting like humans in community. I do hope the library has the next one sitting waiting for me on the shelf Sadly, this library in my new town of residence charges for each item reserved I am not going to pay anything at a free library, so I have to adjust my library habits But that s got nothing to do with reviewing this book, so I ll get going. A re read for me, this has always been my favourite of the Duncton books There are six in all, three in the Duncton Chronicles and three in the other series But this is the best of them, I felt that the others got a little too bogged down in philosophy and Horwood turned slightly preachy with his pacifist moles. Despite that, I will be on the lookout for the others in this series as I had forgotten how well written they were These moles are full of life and personality, yet at the same time they remain moles throughout the book. In essence this is a love story between Bracken and Rebecca, but it is also the story of how violence and hatred can be overcome. It is this capacity to love that brings us the story of Bracken and Rebecca, two moles who grow up in the Duncton Wood system At the time of their birth, the system is being overthrown and then led by two evil moles Mandrake and Rune We learn over the course of the book that there are reasons for Mandrake s ability to be so cruel his upbringing on the wild slopes of Siabod bred him that way but Rune is pure evil.