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Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
Runt
Niall Griffiths
ISBN: 9780224071239 (0224071238)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Chwefror 2007
Cyhoeddwr: Random House, Llundain
Fformat: Clawr Meddal, 214x134 mm, 149 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Allan o Stoc - Archebir yn ôl y galw Ein Pris: £11.99 
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
 
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Stori drawiadol am fachgen sy'n meddu ar alluoedd rhyfedd iawn. Mae'n gadael ysgol yn 16 oed ac yn mynd i fyw ar fferm ei ewythr sy'n ŵr gweddw. Mae'n fachgen diniwed ysbrydol iawn ac yn medru siarad ei iaith ei hun, rhyw fath o farddoniaeth yn deillio o chwedlau Paganaidd a Christnogol. Drwy berlewyg ysbrydol y mae'n dysgu fod ganddo le penodol yn y byd.

A gripping story about a boy who, although barely educated, is possessed of extraordinary insights. He leaves school at 16, and goes to live on his widower-uncle's farm. The boy is innocent, spiritual and can also speak a language of his own, a poetry laden with Pagan and Christian myth. Through ecstatic trances he learns that he has an appointed place in the world.
Knowing of Niall Griffiths’s reputation as a ‘gritty’ writer who tackles tough issues such as addiction, violence and social marginalization, and being a bit of a wuss myself, I have, to my shame, tended to run shy of his books. By the time I had read just a few pages of Runt, I realised what a mistake I had made in avoiding the work of this talented and bravely innovative writer.

Told in the highly distinctive voice of the first-person narrator, Runt is the story of a sixteen-year-old boy who has just finished school and is sent, for his own protection, to stay with his bereaved uncle on a remote Welsh hill farm. The boy, whose name we never learn, suffers from seizures which he calls ‘My Times’ and whose cause we also never learn. In many ancient spiritual traditions, the names of powerful beings must not be spoken, and fits or seizures are a sign and symptom of shamanic wisdom. In contemporary society, to fail to use a person’s name is a mark of disregard and to have fits is perceived as subnormal. Niall Griffiths conveys these two conflicting perceptions in a language that is both simpler and more profoundly expressive than ordinary speech, in which nothing is explained and yet all is understood. The deeply instinctual nature of the boy is mirrored in the narrative voice, in an exceptional piece of writing (and it does read like one, seamless piece) that draws and builds upon tradition, both literary and spiritual.

Griffiths’s use of minimal punctuation, mid-sentence capitalization and ‘made-up' words (Aarn, the dog, has ‘redsome’ ears; the boy feels ‘a nothingment’) contribute to a narrative pace and tone of building tension that crescendo in the remarkable description of one of the boy’s fits and the violent denouement. This is a book to be read as much for the story it tells as for the unique way in which it tells it.

Suzy Ceulan Hughes

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Gwybodaeth Bellach:
Runt
The nameless protagonist of Niall Griffiths's novel is a sixteen-year old boy who has just left school. Liberated, he dances in the rain to celebrate being away from 'all them walls'. Barely literate, the boy's internal monologue is redolent with pagan myth, and richly evocative of the natural world around him. His mother, physically abused by her partner, has an eye like a smashed blackbird's egg: 'all blue and bulgey with bursted veins and reddy-yellow stuff everywhere and swollen'. The boy, almost wild and a marginalized figure in his Welsh community, is dismissed as a 'freak' by the man he names "NotDad". Yet the alcoholic uncle, who invites his nephew to live with him at a remote farm, sees him as a shaman, who will serve his community in an important way. 'Drunkle' is grieving for his wife, who committed suicide after losing her livestock during the foot-and-mouth epidemic.
At the "High Place" farm, the boy warms to the runt of the cat's litter. The smallest kitten, with 'angryness in its scrunched up face', is the one who dares to bite him. Later, his own similar fate will be fulfilled as he battles a brutal Goliath type figure in a violent and stunning climax.
The power of this short novel comes from the idiosyncratic voice of the central character. He feels life so intensely that at one point he states that 'there was a sad on me the size of a mountain'. For the boy, the emotions and voices of both humans and animals, as well as the fluidity of time itself, are all dizzyingly interconnected. All this is wonderfully undercut by more prosaic and contemporary references to Mars bars, flat Coke in the pub, and searches for the legendary Bala Lake monster on an internet webcam.
Niall Griffiths tackles momentous themes with his characteristic empathy for the underdog, whilst breathing life into the language of fiction. As well as ruffling feathers, he dares to break some bones of the English language before resetting them into something new and startling.
Cyfnewidfa Lên Cymru/Wales Literature Exchange
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer, hyd yma, i'r llyfr hwn.
 
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