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David Almond’s extraordinary novels have established him as an author of unique insight and skill. These stories encapsulate his endless sense of mystery and wonderment, as they weave a tangible tapestry of growing up in a large, loving family. Here are the kernels of his novels—joy and fear, darkness and light, the
healing power of love and imagination in overcoming the wounds of ignorance and prejudice. These stories merge memory and dream, the real and the imagined, in a collection of exquisite tenderness.
set off on his journey through the ages? Who will enter our marvelous museum and learn of the intrepid voyagers from the past? Who will be there when the boy returns with his stories and his souvenirs . . . ?” We enter the blue interior, and behind us the people of Felling begin to step up to pay and follow . . . Inside: a translucent canopy, straw spread upon the grass, shelves, caskets and cupboards, another low stage, and the machine itself. It’s an upright cylinder, tall and broad as a
Morlock puts his arm around me. He says the boy is exhausted. He announces that it is over. He tells the crowd that they have seen a wondrous thing and that they may go now. They leave, whispering, wondering, laughing. Dad waits and we step down from the stage. “I traveled in the Time Machine as a boy,” he says. Morlock smiles. “Ah! In my father’s day. In Corinna’s mother’s day.” Corinna kisses me. She whispers, “Don’t forget. Make sure you come to me.” Morlock carries the earth to the
poltergeists and human vanishings. I took home books on yoga and propped them on the bedroom floor as I attempted the Plow or the Lotus or teetered upside down on my head. I squatted between the beds, meditated, and attempted to reach some higher plane. I kept reading about the body’s subtlety: there was the thing of bones and the thing of spirit; in between was an astral body with elements of both these forms. This body could be inhabited by adepts, who traveled in the astral plane above the
sweetness and her breath, and my anticipation of tomorrow. Mick and I stood beneath the trees. We breathed smoke through the mist toward the lights. “Tell me about the Fathers,” I said. “Why’s it always that you want to know?” “Were there things you can’t talk about?” “Things?” “Secrets. Things they taught you. Things they showed you.” “We did Latin all the time. They told us about Africa and malaria. They went on and on about Hell. They showed us how to lie in bed in an attitude of
toward the club across the fields, where as always he’d spend an hour or two with old friends. I set off for home with fresh flowers and a lettuce under my arm. A scorching afternoon had settled on the neighborhood. Children played in the gardens, on the verges, in the meager shadows of young trees. Front doors were wide open. Old people in battered sun hats sat in the shade at the sides of their homes. There were prams in many gardens, shades drawn up, chrome trimmings sparkling. There was the