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Over Sea, Under Stone: Book 1 of The Dark Is Rising Sequence | [Susan Cooper]

Over Sea, Under Stone: Book 1 of The Dark Is Rising Sequence

On holiday in Cornwall, the three children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is even more than that: it is the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil known as the Dark. And in searching for it themselves, the Drews put their lives in peril.
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Publisher's Summary

On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is even more than that: it is the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil known as the Dark. And in searching for it themselves, the Drews put their very lives in peril.

Listen to more in the Dark Is Rising Sequence.

©1965 Susan Cooper; (P)2001 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the Critics Say

"Jennings' ability is outstanding as he slips in and out of the numerous voices with the rapid dialogue as it approaches the climax....This is an outstanding reading of a classic tale that all young listeners and adults will thoroughly enjoy." (School Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (329 )
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4.4 (139 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bryan J. Peterson Twin Falls, Idaho United States 06-02-12
    Bryan J. Peterson Twin Falls, Idaho United States 06-02-12 Listener Since 2006

    I'm not blind drunk, I'm just blind.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A short but excellent tale."

    I actually started this series, although I didn't know it was such at the time, back in 1993 whenI was in Junior High, with the fourth volume. It wasn't until about ten years later that I got the proper skinny on it and read the series in proper order. Over Sea, Under Stone opens with the Drew family, Dick, Ellen and their three young children, arriving in Cornwall for a summer vacation, which they'll be spending with their Great Uncle Merry, a mysterious professor who often appears unexpectedly on the Drews' doorstep to vanish just as quickly in the night. While exploring the massive house that Uncle Merry, Meriman Lyon to the wider world, the three Drew children, Simon, Jane and Barney, discover an ancient manuscript which they believe to be a map showing the location of what they believe to be an ancient treasure. Though a game to the three Drews, the importance of the manuscript begins to surface, first when a mysterious man and a woman claiming to be his sister appear and ask the Drews about secret passages and maps, then even more so later when the house is burglarized while the Drews sleep. Realizing what the thieves must have been after, the childen show the manuscript, which they managed to keep safe, to Uncle Merry, who reveals that the treasure is in fact an ancient grail from the time of King Arthur. Thus begins a dangerous race as the Drews attempt to decipher the clues of the map and reach the grail before their myysterious enemies do. But it quickly becomes apparent that their foes, though relatively few in number, are extremely resourceful, and the outcome of the race is continually in doubt.
    As usual with audiobooks, the narrator can sometimes ruin the experience even if the story itself is good. Fortunately that wasn't the case here. British actor Alex Jennings not only has a good voice for storytelling but also a talent for accents and dialects that lend personality to the characters he portrays, from the Cornish accents of the village locals to Uncle Merry's deep, commanding tones. This is definitely a listen I wuld recommend to others. It's not an entirely traditional fantasy with swords, dragons and wizards but it's a gripping tale all the same.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Roseman Seattle, WA USA 09-27-10
    Neil Roseman Seattle, WA USA 09-27-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Great start to a favorite series"

    The "Dark is Rising" series is a favorite of mine -- so I was excited when my 7-year old was ready to make it his next chapter book for us to read/listen to (we often combine reading aloud ourselves, and listening). This is an excellent narration of this favorite. Jennings is clear and compelling, his character voices are fine, and the pace is brisk and exciting.

    One of the things I love best about the book is that the way Cooper captures that sense of wonder and play kid's have -- the ordinary can seem magical, and the magical can still fit into their world.

    My seven-year-old gobbled this up in a couple of lengthy listening sessions. Well worth the download.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Euryleia Buena Park, CA United States 11-30-07
    Euryleia Buena Park, CA United States 11-30-07 Member Since 2007
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    "solid tale"

    This is a solid adventure story; a good start to the series and much less surreal than the stories to follow. I found, revisiting this as an adult, that the 'voices' of the children seemed to be just a little off- they kept saying things in a way that were much older than the characters themselves were (but that could just be a culture difference I guess, as I'm American and not British). Also, the peril wasn't very believeable this time around. I do remember that when I first read the books at around 10 years old I was completely enthralled, but now the conflict seems fabricated with no real power. Still, I'd recommend it for the 6-11 crowd.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy Atlin, British Columbia, Canada 12-02-07
    Dorothy Atlin, British Columbia, Canada 12-02-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Over Sea, Under Stone"

    I bought this for my 10 year old grandson and I am not sure which of us enjoyed it more! It is a nicely paced story which held our interest. Some great twists and also connections with history.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan London, Ontario Canada 12-10-13
    Nathan London, Ontario Canada 12-10-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Just remember it's a classic and for kids"

    It was an easy read as I read it over a weekend as part of a readathon.
    Not quite sure how to fairly review this. It's written as a kids books so the plot is simple. Group of kids in a new place track down a mystery in classic good vs. evil. Was its 40th anniversary so the tropes and cliche's probably weren't back then. At first I wasn't sure if I was reading a Narnia book by mistake.
    The pacing had a good flow keeping me interested. I like the main kids interaction and thought it was authentic. Overall a good start to a series and a classic to declare I have rea

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lois Canada 02-26-13
    Lois Canada 02-26-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Scared like a kid"
    Where does Over Sea, Under Stone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The book is a simple good vs evil story, set in a more innocent time
    Lovely child's story
    But...
    The suspense nearly killed me and I couldn't stop listening til the very end!!!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rufus the dog
    Maybe Gummery too


    Have you listened to any of Alex Jennings’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Lakewood, CO, United States 01-07-13
    Justin Lakewood, CO, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A good start to a good series"
    If you could sum up Over Sea, Under Stone in three words, what would they be?

    Entertaining, classic, and youthful


    What did you like best about this story?

    It may be written for younger readers, but it is a very good start to a great series. It does not alienate older readers.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the children gathered on the hill in the night, and the threats and mystery they faced really came to light.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    All quest in the history of good and evil.


    Any additional comments?

    The other books on this series start to appeal more to older readers, but that does not mean that this book should be dismissed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    suerhae Damascus, Oregon 97089-8354 07-09-12
    suerhae Damascus, Oregon 97089-8354 07-09-12 Member Since 2006

    I did not know until I was in my 40's that I had learning disorders. I had gotten my Masters in Social Work by then and knew that reading was the most difficult part of school. Now I listen to books instead of avoiding reading and I feel that I am finally learning the many aspects of life, culture and politics/power through books!

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    "I am a kid at heart....and so is this book!"
    Would you listen to Over Sea, Under Stone again? Why?

    I like reading light hearted books so I loved this one. I liked the twists and turns even if they were not complecated.


    What about Alex Jennings’s performance did you like?

    The voices and personalities were very nice with acents and all.


    Any additional comments?

    The fight between good and evil is always a good plot.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frances LEONARD, MI, United States 02-13-12
    Frances LEONARD, MI, United States 02-13-12 Member Since 2010
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    ""Great story""
    What made the experience of listening to Over Sea, Under Stone the most enjoyable?

    love the series; good interaction between characters. Like how there is a Historicist value in the story.I liked the magical moments as the story developed between the characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Covington, KY, USA 06-27-10
    Kelly Covington, KY, USA 06-27-10
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    "The start of one of my favorite series."

    I really enjoy this book. Mystery with Authurian legend background.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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