Mythago Wood

Mythago Wood

by Robert Holdstock

Paperback(First Edition)

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Myth and Terror in the Forest Deeps

The mystery of Ryhope Wood, Britain's last fragment of primeval forest, consumed George Huxley's entire long life. Now, after his death, his sons have taken up his work. But what they discover is numinous and perilous beyond all expectation.

For the Wood, larger inside than out, is a labyrinth full of myths come to life, "mythagos" that can change you forever. A labyrinth where love and beauty haunt your dreams. . .and may drive you insane.

"This is a winning novel with a fine feeling for the interface between airy dreams and sweaty reality."--Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765307293
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 09/01/2003
Series: Mythago Cycle Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 333,478
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

Robert Holdstock's novels include Mythago Wood, which won the World Fantasy Award; Lavondyss; and Gate of Ivory. He lives in London.

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Mythago Wood 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
fiverivers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think it's me, to be honest. Robert Holdstock is an award-winning author, receiving praise from pretty impressive peers. And I'm a highly critical reader, always reading through the eyes not only of a reader, but writer and editor. Can't help it.While the concept of Holdstock's sentient forest is haunting, even compelling at times, his characterization is, in my opinion, so stilted that the characters themselves prevent the story from unfolding in a satisfactory manner. Or rather that is to say, Holdstock's method of writing characters gets in the way. His people lack credibility. They lack reasonable motivation. They appear to me as automatons employed to drive the plot, but are so weak that the plot stalls and stutters.There are credibility problems, for me, with the plot as well. If there is a mystical, magical, haunted wood in real-time, post WWII England, then wouldn't there be local legend of this? Wouldn't the extras in the novel, even the main characters, know about the strangeness of the wood? If people disappear in the woods, wouldn't the locals discuss this? If planes can't fly over the woods, especially in the atmosphere of post WWII Gloucester, England, where there was very sharp, immediate memory of German bombing and raids, wouldn't there be cause for the RAF and other authorities to be involved? Absolutley there would! But no. It's taken as something of a surprise that no one can fly over the woods outside of Gloucester, and moreover a surprise isolated to two men only. This is a major flaw in the realization of this novel, and because of that lack of credibility, the remainder of the novel failed, in my opinion.Other credibility problems lie with the main protagonist, Steven, whose brother, Christopher, goes missing in the woods, and Steven doesn't seem overly concerned about this, and even after months of Christopher's disappearance, Steven does nothing to notify the authorities, put together a search party. A man recently reuinited with this sibling, after the horrors of WWII, would most certainly set about finding his brother, at least in my world he would.And while Holdstock's exploration of the genesis of myth, and in particular Arthurian myth, is fascinating, his realization of that concept, for me, is blurred and confusing. There is no clarity in the novel.Lastly, I feel this novel, the second of the Mythago Cycle, should have come first. The third, Lavondyss should have been second, and the first, The Hollowing, should have been third. But that's just me. Clearly thousands of people have felt otherwise.
turtlesleap on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Steven Huxley returns to his family home on the edge of Ryhope Wood at the end of World War II and finds that his brother, Christian, seems changed in ways that are hard for him to understand. As part of the story narrative, Steven recalls painful and bewildering experiences from their childhood together, the death of their mother, and their father's abstracted indifference to both boys. Christian seems more and more drawn to the wood, as his father was before him, and tantalizes his brother with stories of a beautiful young woman, with creatures who take form from the thoughts of people and who reflect the evolving myths of the human race. Eventually, after Christian's final departure into the mysterious wood, Steven comes to know the young woman, Guiwenneth, loses her and with his friend Harry Keeton, goes on a quest into Ryhope Wood in the hope of recovering her. This story is a good concept but is never fully realized. It lacks a cohesiveness that would make sense of the fantasy world and simply seems to stagger from incident to incident without an internal logic. The characters are so tepid and lacking in emotion that they are simply not believable. The narrator stands apart and tells the reader how very intensely he, or other characters, are feeling, but there is no evidence of that emotion. It all seems curiously flat and dispassionate.
Philotera on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked up Mythago Wood not expecting to like it. I was right. I didn't like it, I loved it. The prose is so smooth, and the story drew me in so that I was truly lost in this Cain and Abel story played out against a mythical wood populated with archetypes created from our own past histories. It was brilliant, and deserves as wide an audience as LOTR, in my opinion.
wallacep on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting and darkly satisfying book. Anyone who is a fan of Gaiman will really enjoy it. A man searches a primevil wood that produces shades from his own subconcious. Combines Jungian archetypes with traditional fantasy motifes. Very interesting and original.
Evadare on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really, when it comes down to it, my only real problem with Tolkien is that, as creations, the Old Forest, Old Man Willow, and Fangorn are SO FRAKKIN' AMAZING I wanted a whole series of books just about them. This'll suit me nicely as the next best thing. :D
wandering_star on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mythago Wood is about a swathe of ancient forest, with primeval energies which can work with human (adult, male) consciousness to bring forth incarnations of ancient myths - all created from the fear and hope which occurred when one community is invaded by another. So we have Celtic myth-figures imagined into existence to fight the Romans, Saxons against Normans, Roundheads against Cavaliers (interesting definition of invasion there). One of the myths is a seductive Celtic princess, who comes to obsess the members of a nearby household - first the father, and then the two brothers. One after another they seek to find the secret of the woods. But the woods have ways of keeping them away from the sources of their power.Um, I realise that this makes it sound like the most cliched kind of sword-and-sorcery (especially the seductive Celtic princess)! It really isn't. I don't think it would convert anyone who hates the genre, but for me it was an interesting idea, cleverly developed, well-written and satisfyingly scary.
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A strange, enthralling novel about a wood that is somehow all the woods in all of history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it as a teen and as an adult.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you loved reading greek and roman myths then this book is for you! A love story filled with fast paced adventure, and a noble quest, that also blend myths and legends from many cultures together which serve as the landscape through which our hero must travel to find his true love!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not a story for those without imagination, or the faint of heart. If you prefer the original versions of the stories the brothers Grimm collected to the bland sugary visions of Disney, then this is for you. A patch of old growth forest, unnoticed by most, hides deep, dark secrets, marking and gripping those who venture within. Like a TARDIS, it is far larger inside than out, and even time is warped, more and more, the deeper you go. Strange people and creatures, many deadly dangerous, populate these woods - the mythagos.
tolkienistheonlytrilogy More than 1 year ago
I'd hoped to be intrigued, inspired and amazed.  Instead I was just plain bored.  I considered putting the book aside at page 100, but plowed on hoping for better. I considered putting the book down at page 200....but stoically I read on.  I considered putting the book down around page 350....and did.  I was glad to leave this book behind.
ASageCalledQ More than 1 year ago
Just finished this novel and found it to be amazing. It has a slow start but once it gets going it keeps you in its grip. I have to agree with a previous poster in that the book draws you in so that you feel that you're on the adventure the characters take as well. One of my favorite parts Mythago Wood were the legends that were told about the various characters our protagonist meets on his journey. Overall I found the book to be very enjoyable and worth checking out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is without a doubt one of the most origional and enjoyable novels I have ever read. It's a truely addicting novel that just instantly takes you inside its wings on an amazing journey. I felt like I was seriously in the story with them. The first time around, many things got complicated, but when i reread it, I found I just loved it all the more, and there were soo many hidden things I never realized before. A true classic in my eyes, and definetly one of the best and most origional books out there!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely genius. It is funny, adventerous and at times frightening. It is also a love story told with amazing skill.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story was more than just fantasy. It was a story of a dysfunctional family and brothers battling for once the same thing, now different. I felt drawn into Steven's quest to find Guin. His love was so powerful. Keeton looking for his own answers and the many details of his travels. I was lost in some of of mr Holdstucks discriptions to long but it created the visual in my mind to see the story unfold. Truly enjoyed and looking forward to his other writtings.