The Hollowing

Publication Details

UK: Harper Collins, 1993; TRB. ISBN: 000224201X
USA: ROC, 1994; HB. ISBN: 0451453557
UK: Harper Collins, 1994; PB. ISBN: 0586212930
USA: Harper Collins, 1995; PB. ISBN: 0451453565
UK: Earthlight, 2003; PB. ISBN: 074344079X
USA: Orb Books, 2005 PB. ISBN: 0765311100

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Simon Bradley, a highly imaginative child, brain-damaged after a bizarre attack, vanishes one day from his home. Months later a body is found on the edge of Ryhope Wood. The wood shields a heart of primeval forest wherein live phantoms and strange creatures – mythagos – those shades generated over time by our dreams and nightmares.

Alex has in fact been absorbed by the wood, drawn into its green heart – through a ‘hollowing’. There his dreams will continue to populate the wood with its mythagos. But like Alex, they too are damaged: the great heroes he conjures are warped, incomplete and dangerous. Savage and lost, they are compelled to seek their creator. The havoc they wreck threatens those who search for Alex, including his father, Richard.

In the end, it will threaten the very existence of the wood itself and of its natural mythagos. Richard must quest repeatedly through Ryhope’s hollowings in an attempt to bring his son to safety and quiet the monsters Alex has created.

There his dreams continue to populate the wood with “mythagos”, warped, dangerous hero figures, threatening all those who come in search of the boy.

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‘Brilliant…In the end we come to understand exactly how much resonance of the mythic past continues to influence the present.’
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

‘A variety of treasures’
Publisher’s Weekly

‘Exquisite characterisation and prose’
Chicago Sun-Times

‘A nail-biting read, glittering with ideas which might be real. [Robert Holdstock] is an enquiring individual, with theories on the human subconscious, on imagination and myth which vein his books to make them compulsive and un-put-downable’
Eastern Daily Press