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)
Growing sense of menace
I really enjoyed this first book of the series. It reminds me of Famous Five - but with delightfully sinister and magical elements. It really hooked me in and I eagerly searched for the second book in the series on Audible and found all the others in the sequence but not book no. 2 "The Dark is Rising".... Poo.
I was given this book for my 40th birthday so am ranking it a 3/5 as I prefer young adult or adult books. If you are a child or teenager then I suspect you will enjoy this story and narration!
"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.
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.
"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
"I am a kid at heart....and so is this book!"
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.
"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.
"Great performance of a great story."
While definitely for kids I reread this series every year. This year I couldn't find my copy so I decided to listen to it. Alex Jennings does a great job of capturing the excitement and mystery of the story. Can't wait to listen to The Dark is Rising.
I love the whole series but I never got to read this book until now. The characters are different, and the story is definitely never one you've heard before. The narrator also gives a sort of old feel to the story, as if you were listening to an ancient legend about heroes and heroines. Recommended for those who are interested in the ongoing battle between good and evil and those looking for a new story. Don't forget to pick up the other books in the Dark is Rising series. You'll never know a conclusion otherwise.
"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.
"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
"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
"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!
"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.
"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!
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?
"A great story"
A great story, full of mystery. My daughter (aged 7) loved it! First book in the excellent "Dark is rising" series - well worth a listen.
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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