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The Dark Is Rising Audiobook

The Dark Is Rising: Book 2 of The Dark Is Rising Sequence

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Publisher's Summary

On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift: he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from domination by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical Signs that will one day aid the Old Ones in the final battle between the Dark and the Light. And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and delight.

This book is a rare act of creative imagination in which the listener will be equally moved by the warm happy village life Will shares with his large family and the nearly overwhelming danger he encounters, often in other centuries and places, while he seeks the Signs and learns their power. Interweaving ancient Celtic and English traditions with the legends of the Buckinghamshire hills and valleys where she grew up, Susan Cooper has written a superlative dramatic fantasy of the eternal conflict between good and evil out of which all myth is made.

Listen to more in the Dark Is Rising Sequence.

©1973 Susan Cooper; (P)2000 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the Critics Say

"As narrator, Alex Jennings superbly conveys Will's mixed emotions." (AudioFile)
"So perfect is the match between Alex Jennings' voice and this mysterious magical tale that it is difficult to imagine any other voice reading these words." (The Horn Book Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (529 )
5 star
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4.4 (304 )
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4.4 (297 )
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Performance
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  •  
    W. S. Jasper, GA, USA 04-26-04
    W. S. Jasper, GA, USA 04-26-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "5 for the series, 4 for the reader"

    Well, I have to say I never thought I'd hear Susan Cooper criticized for not creating a believable world, though everyone's tastes are different. I read these books frequently as a child and absolutely adored them. The whole series weaves together a large number of old British folk traditions and legends to form a tight plot fabric. I have no trouble deciphering British accents, so the reader isn't a problem for me either.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhett Brooklyn, NY, USA 05-18-04
    Rhett Brooklyn, NY, USA 05-18-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dark Fanstasy for Exceptionally Gifted Children!"

    Will Stanton was the Harry Potter of MY childhood - a hermetic, pagan, and somewhat fatalistic Harry Potter - but a kid wizard nonetheless.

    That being said, this is an extraordinary children's book. If it is unrealistic and predictable, then it is so only to the degree that all children's novels don't pay the same attention to place and plot-twist as some adult novels.

    The appeal of this piece to a non-child "Audible" listener should be akin to that of well-done animation and fairy tales. Cooper interweaves somber Celtic myth with modern middle-class life. The effect is enchanting and - at times - unsettling. The accomplished narrator, too, I insist performs a conscientious and careful re-telling of what is, essentially, a dark and pre-adolescent Arthurian legend. Unlike the tales of the other kid sorcerer, Will's story wraps around archetypal imagery and highly abstract themes from the vantage of a sympathizable "everyboy" protagonist. Thus - it does not FEEL like a children's novel - nor at any point will a listener feel condescended to by the novel. It treats its child-audienced readers like adults and with dignity. It does not make itself easily accessible for them as some childrens' books do.

    Freud could have a hey-day, carrying on about child-Narcissism and the damaging effects of fantasy writing on childhood development, so I won't recommend it for children anymore than I would Harry Potter. But if you must choose of the two - pick this piece for its 'humanist-responsibility' theme, impressive lexicon, and broad spectrum of emotional imagery. And for adults ... we all like cartoons and crayons - try out this title, which I highly recommend for that exceptionally gifted pre-adolescent in everyone.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Euryleia Buena Park, CA United States 10-26-07
    Euryleia Buena Park, CA United States 10-26-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Younger audiences"

    I read "The Dark is Rising" for the first time at eleven and absolutely loved it- it pulled me into its world so completely that finishing the story was actually disorienting. I read it again at fourteen and couldn't understand it at all. When I purchased the audio version as an adult I fully expected to be royally confused again, but I just couldn't resist the chance to- maybe- recapture some of the magic I remembered from my first read. It was, in fact, confusing- the timeshifts and the 'logic' of the world were surreal and difficult to wrap my head around... but when I was able to stop *trying* to wrap my head around the story and just let it carry me along, it was almost like I was eleven again. I could feel the wonder and excitement. At least until some more grown up sensibility popped in to my head and spoiled the effect, rather like having the most amazing dream and then realizing that it's just a dream and can't be real. Would I recommend this story to others? Yes. Especially if they happen to be around eleven years old and in that age where they can just let stories happen. For grown-ups I'll just say that the narrator is excellent, the production is crisp and clear, and that if you didn't read this in your youth and love it, you probably won't "get" it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. M. Cousins 01-15-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Long before J.K.Rowling..."

    This was the first sci-fantasy series I recall reading when I was about 8. That was nearly 40 years ago and I still recall the prophesy poem and story highlights quite vividly.

    This series touches all the great tropes: The grail, Arthur & Merlin, great Old Ones, magic, effigies, animal companions and magical trees... and kids saving the day.

    Strongly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie 10-31-05
    Debbie 10-31-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Audio Version of an Excellent Book"

    This series has always been one of my favorites and I've read this book innumerable times. I was hesitant about the audio version, because it can change the way you perceive the book. My only complaint would be that the recitation of the poems/chants wasn't, to my opinion, done very well, but that is a minor complaint. I really enjoyed the addition of the correct accent to the way I've always "heard" the story narrated in my mind.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian G. 08-29-16
    Ian G. 08-29-16
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    "Way too long."

    It takes to author far too long to explain the simplest things. Also the author keeps saying "will knew that" or "he knew"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JULIA Tracyton, WA, United States 07-31-16
    JULIA Tracyton, WA, United States 07-31-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Great story, excellent performance"

    Glad this series is available ... love the tale! And Jennings is a wonderful narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gwenn 06-26-16
    Gwenn 06-26-16 Member Since 2015
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    "the best British story ever"

    perfect. amazing.
    better than I remembered it being. I can't wait to listen to the rest of the series

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ToniMarie 04-19-16
    ToniMarie 04-19-16
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    5
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    "Great imagery"

    It felt like a long, vivid dream. I loved the mythology tied up in it. Wonderful writing full of vivid imagery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-30-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Another Great story"

    I happen to love this particular series, and this book is among the best of this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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