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
"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)
I'm not blind drunk, I'm just blind.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
I like to go shopping....but as I age the distance I can travel is growing shorter.
I like reading light hearted books so I loved this one. I liked the twists and turns even if they were not complecated.
The voices and personalities were very nice with acents and all.
The fight between good and evil is always a good plot.
The book is a simple good vs evil story, set in a more innocent time
Lovely child's story
The suspense nearly killed me and I couldn't stop listening til the very end!!!
Rufus the dog
Maybe Gummery too
Entertaining, classic, and youthful
It may be written for younger readers, but it is a very good start to a great series. It does not alienate older readers.
When the children gathered on the hill in the night, and the threats and mystery they faced really came to light.
All quest in the history of good and evil.
The other books on this series start to appeal more to older readers, but that does not mean that this book should be dismissed.
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.
"Classic fantasy novels for children and adults."
This is the audiobook version of a novel I read and reread as a child. It was lovely to be able to revisit it as an adult and find that it was just as good as I remembered!
The narration was clear and unintrusive, the story still a cracking good yarn of Arthurian fantasy brought to modern day Cornwall. My only criticism is that the second book in the series doesn't seem to be available on audible, even though the later ones in the series are!
"Brilliant - loved by young and old alike"
Magical, intriguing, thrilling.
The moment the three children find the map... this is the moment their lives change forever. The rest of the beautifully told story is a race against time and against their foes.
Alex Jennings does a wonderful job of injecting each 'voice' with character and adding the right amount of emotion to each event. He was the perfect choice as a reader for this book. You forget you are listening and just become absorbed in the story.
If we had had the time, we would have listened to this all in one go!
Over Sea, Under Stone is just as good as I remembered from my childhood, and it was a wonderful experience listening with my children. Better written than the Harry Potter books, in my opinion (the children didn't agree with me on this one, they think Harry Potter has the edge) but with as much imagination and excitement. Great fun!
"Great in-car listening"
Exciting, absorbing, adventurous.
Jane - pretty positive girl character for the age of the book, adventurous, imaginative and brave.
We listened to this on a couple of long car journeys as a family (mum & dad, 12 year old and 9 year old girls) and found it really good for making the hours pass by - in fact at one point we arrived at our destination (grandparents' house) and none of us wanted to get out of the car and stop listening! We've downloaded books 3,4 and 5 of the series now and are looking forward to continuing book 4 later in the summer - we have a pact that we can't listen unless we're all together! Alex Jennings reads it in a really accessible and absorbing way and his range of voices is such that you can always tell who is speaking. Just a shame book 2 isn't available on Audible - we've read it at home but it would be nice to have the full set of recordings.
Being able to sit down and have the story read to me. It was just like being a kid again, alongside the characters!
The fact that that the adventure started in the most ordinary way, with a rainy day and the children stuck in an old house. Once the quest had begun, I almost felt like part of the gang.
I read the book years ago, and enjoyed it very much, but Alex Jennings made each of the characters come alive in a different way, and I could "see" much more when he described things.
Yes, most definitely! I had to break off because my tablet ran out of charge, so I ended up having a very late night listening to it on my computer!
Would very much like to listen to the rest of the series, but I understand that the second book isn't available. Please, please do something about that. The film doesn't do the story any justice, and "The Dark is Rising" deserves to be known properly by a wider audience.
"Exciting beginning to classic series"
I read this as a child many years ago but it was a much more exciting story than I remembered it being, largely thanks to Alex Jennings' excellent narration. It's a less obviously magical story than later books in the series, but serves as a very good introduction to the battle between the Dark and the Light. There are some lovely descriptive passages and the final chapters are thrilling. I really enjoyed revisiting this as an adult and have only one question - why isn't the second book in the series available?
Alex Jennings is superb! I have read this book many times and it was really a joy to listen to it!
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