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Over Sea, Under Stone Audiobook
Over Sea, Under Stone
Written by: 
Susan Cooper
Narrated by: 
Alex Jennings
 >   > 
Over Sea, Under Stone Audiobook

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

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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

4.3 (499 )
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4.5 (296 )
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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.

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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.

    12 of 13 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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan London, Ontario Canada 12-10-13
    Nathan London, Ontario Canada 12-10-13 Member Since 2014
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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

    2 of 2 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 like to go shopping....but as I age the distance I can travel is growing shorter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy Atlin, British Columbia, Canada 12-02-07
    Dorothy Atlin, British Columbia, Canada 12-02-07
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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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NaeNaeSmiles 07-12-16
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    "Took me back to my childhood"

    I first read this book when I picked it up over 20 years ago. It was lying on its side on a shelf of my 7th grade teacher's classroom library. Reading the book again, it is just as good, but perhaps a tad less magical then it was then. Still, an all around good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Bethesda, MD 02-17-16
    Amazon Customer Bethesda, MD 02-17-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Great family entertainment"

    I read these books as a child and adored them. The audiobook versions are wonderful and I have shared them with my children who also have enjoyed the series. The first two books are a good mix of cause a contemporary times and Arthurian mystery. Greenwitch might be the weak link. But the series as a whole still stands strong in the crowded young adult fiction and fantasy category

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-27-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Book, Great series"

    I've liked this series since I first read it as a child, and this is an especially well-presented example. Keep it up

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lois 02-26-13
    Lois 02-26-13 Member Since 2012
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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 Banham Lakewood, CO, United States 01-07-13
    Justin Banham 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
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  • Katheryn
    Leicester, United Kingdom
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic fantasy novels for children and adults."
    What made the experience of listening to The Dark Is Rising Sequence, Book One the most enjoyable?

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Northern Mummy
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    7/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great in-car listening"
    If you could sum up The Dark Is Rising Sequence, Book One in three words, what would they be?

    Exciting, absorbing, adventurous.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jane - pretty positive girl character for the age of the book, adventurous, imaginative and brave.


    Which character – as performed by Alex Jennings – was your favourite?

    Mrs Palk


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

    Yes, definitely


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sandy
    U.K.
    12/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant - loved by young and old alike"
    If you could sum up The Dark Is Rising Sequence, Book One in three words, what would they be?

    Magical, intriguing, thrilling.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Dark Is Rising Sequence, Book One?

    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.


    What does Alex Jennings bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    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.


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

    If we had had the time, we would have listened to this all in one go!


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • FatKat
    UK
    1/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Marvellously menacing!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Dark Is Rising Sequence, Book One the most enjoyable?

    Being able to sit down and have the story read to me. It was just like being a kid again, alongside the characters!


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What does Alex Jennings bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    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.


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

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Katharine
    United Kingdom
    12/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nicola
    10/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful"

    Alex Jennings is superb! I have read this book many times and it was really a joy to listen to it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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