Alan Garner's Red Shift deals honestly with many of the problems of modern youth: love and sex, parental conflicts, and alienation from other people and even from the world. It is also a highly creative, experimental book which uses history and myth to cast light on everyday life.
The novel is difficult and disturbing because it places scenes from different centuries next to each other without explanation, portrays violent emotions, and projects a bleak outlook on life.
Although some readers doubt that it is a book for children, it was written for a young audience, and adolescents who can handle the unusual approach and are willing to spend some time with the novel will enjoy the book's energy and originality.
Instead of reading Red Shift as a conventional novel, readers may be wise to compare it with film or poetry. Like a film, it presents a series of...