The Chalk Giants

The Chalk Giants It s the eve of the th century s final conflict But Stan Potts is ready for Armageddon In his Austin Champ specially equipped with his own unique survival kit he heads for Corfe Castle the Purbec

  • Title: The Chalk Giants
  • Author: Keith Roberts
  • ISBN: 9780586041574
  • Page: 163
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • It s the eve of the 20th century s final conflict But Stan Potts is ready for Armageddon In his Austin Champ, specially equipped with his own unique survival kit, he heads for Corfe Castle, the Purbecks the girl of his dreams It s to be an eventful journey This latest most ambitious novel by Keith Roberts is both the story of one lonely man a compulsiIt s the eve of the 20th century s final conflict But Stan Potts is ready for Armageddon In his Austin Champ, specially equipped with his own unique survival kit, he heads for Corfe Castle, the Purbecks the girl of his dreams It s to be an eventful journey This latest most ambitious novel by Keith Roberts is both the story of one lonely man a compulsively readable account of a civilisation s catastrophe the clawing up to a new social order Across Potts gaze pass the ravaged survivors the mutant genius born outside his time the villagers of the new stone age with their credulous, sexually complex lives the iron age horsemen the terror of the sea borne marauders Finally, after the pillage, the cruelty of superstition, the fragility of love its horrific consequences, the story leaps from the Dark Ages into a new awareness Stan Potts tale is told Dream or reality Future or racial memory Forecast or myth Every reader will pass his own verdict on this uniquely challenging book But all will agree that The Chalk Giants is 1st last a stunning feat of story telling, a worthy successor to Pavane The Boat of Fate by an acknowledged master of the genre.

    One thought on “The Chalk Giants”

    1. Here's a larger image of the Panther mass-market (mine says 1975, not 1979 as listed here, but it could have been reprinted with the same cover). Art by Peter Jones.

    2. Keith Roberts’ The Chalk Giants is not so much a novel, but a collection of linked novellas. This linkage, in the edition I read, is slight, involving a returning fertility goddess. How these links are harmonized, is a bit muddy. On one hand, it may be better to take the stories as stand alone efforts, but what you lose with that approach is Roberts’ sense of History as a Wheel of Time, endlessly repeating itself (even with the nuclear possibility). And if you take a step back, you will see [...]

    3. Keith Roberts is best known for Pavane, one of the masterpieces of alternate history. The Chalk Giants is a post-apocalyptic novel, but very different from the usual run of post-apocalyptic books. There are parallel narratives that loop back on themselves. Much of the book deals with a society that is once more in the grip of ritual and myth, and a belief in magic. Roberts deals with these subjects particularly well, and also with the interactions between myth, magic, power and sex. It’s a rat [...]

    4. A story cycle covering the apocalypse and after, dominated (like Roberts' masterpiece Pavane) by the ancient, English omphalos of Corfe Castle. Heady and mystical though it is, for me it's not quite the equal of that book (or indeed Kiteworld). There's a lot to admire in Roberts' portrayal of the double-edged sword of lust et cetera, and its impact on the end of our history and the beginning of what comes after, but the recurrence of certain details feels a little more like authorial obsession t [...]

    5. After a nuclear war, it seems that England reverts to a state of barbarism, with warring medieval-style kingdoms and a pagan religion; the later parts reminded me of "Game of Thrones", though this was written many years earlier. This is more a series of linked stories than a novel, and although some of the individual stories are good, they did not really hang together well in my opinion.

    6. I have really been getting into Roberts lately with his fascination for pre or post technological societies and with his hankering for elements mystical "lost" old Britain, but this book rather put me off with its constant use of rape as a plot device.

    7. Some good writing here - atmosphere and action especially - but ultimately I found the recurring themes a bit wearing and samey.

    8. It has good stories, but it is terribly difficult to read. I would say the reading difficulty would be comparable to opening 1984 about halfway through and trying to understand what is going on.

    9. DO NOT GET THIS BOOK! I don't often hate a book, but this qualified. Could not finish it. [update: I finally finished it. Still don't like it, but it isn't hanging over me any more.]

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