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enchantedfire5
08-03-2007, 07:01 AM
Has anyone in here ever read Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising?" I know it's not hardcore fantasy but those books were some of the best books I've read. They were just fast paced and exciting for me, especialy the title book "The Dark is Rising." "Greenwitch" was a little boring though, but nonetheless it was a great series.

Dhewco
08-03-2007, 07:24 AM
I've read and enjoyed them since I was a preteen. Very good. My favorite is "The Grey King."

rugcat
08-03-2007, 07:31 AM
True classics. She's a fine YA writer.

Cassidy
08-03-2007, 09:18 AM
loved them as a kid and have re-read them and still love them as an adult. she's written a book about her own experiences and ideas about writing for kids-- think it might be called "dreams and wishes"-- which i enjoyed too.

JoNightshade
08-03-2007, 09:39 PM
I read those when I was in... sixth grade? Loved them. It's been so long I can't even remember what they were about, though.

sunna
08-03-2007, 09:41 PM
Read them as a kid, still occasionally re-read them now. I loved The Dark is Rising and Silver on the Tree best, I think.


Can't wait for the movie to come out!

Anonymisty
08-03-2007, 10:30 PM
Can't wait for the movie to come out!

I'm a huge fan of Cooper's Dark Is Rising books. With that said, I think it's only fair to mention the movie's director has made sweeping changes to the story and characters, and it doesn't sound good. To the point that I'm considering sitting outside the theater with my book and a sign that says, "Save your money - buy the book instead."

sunna
08-03-2007, 11:03 PM
Oh, damn. What kind of changes? I noticed the preview looked a bit...off, but I never put much stock in previews (plus I was waiting for HP5 to start, so I wasn't paying much attention).

Ravenlocks
08-04-2007, 12:02 AM
I loved them as a kid but reread them as an adult and found them a bit repetitive. I still love the character of Bran, though.

Anonymisty
08-04-2007, 12:31 AM
Oh, damn. What kind of changes? I noticed the preview looked a bit...off, but I never put much stock in previews (plus I was waiting for HP5 to start, so I wasn't paying much attention).

The family's American, instead of British.
The parents are career-oriented to the point of almost ignoring their kids.
Will's 13 (remember the book began on his 11th birthday)
Will fights with his brothers.
Max (the older brother in art school, who was a minor character in the book) is Will's best friend and role model.
Speaking of Max, he's pierced and tattooed and very defiant of the father.
Merriman, who was described as tall, gaunt and sharp-nosed, is being played by Ian MacShane. (I love the actor, but he is not Merriman.)
The Arthurian themes are all but wiped out.

Here's a better breakdown of most of the changes: http://community.livejournal.com/authorblog/5880.html

It breaks my heart, since I've loved the books for over twenty years.

Just Mike
08-04-2007, 01:07 AM
It breaks my heart, since I've loved the books for over twenty years.

I have a cold lump in my chest as well. Given that they paid a lot of money to option the book, why would they change so much? I understand the director's impulse to "own" the film, but good gravy this is beyond the pale!

To address the OP, The Dark is Rising played a fair role in my youthfull decision to become a writer. I happen to agree with you that Greenwitch played a bit slow, but was a worthwhile read in its time as a part of the overall series.

CoriSCapnSkip
08-04-2007, 01:53 AM
Great book series! Only three changes have been made in the movie, that is, the main character's age, the main character's nationality, and everything else in the story. That the author seems to have approved of these changes, gives me a sick feeling. I smell sellout here. :mad:

Anonymisty
08-04-2007, 02:01 AM
Great book series! Only three changes have been made in the movie...

More than three. And now I just learned they've changed the name to The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising.

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=0&id=42990&type=0

I wouldn't blame Ms Cooper, though. Once her publisher sold the rights, she had no say in what the movie producers decided to do with her story.

sunna
08-04-2007, 02:53 AM
Oh - that is heartbreaking. What were they thinking?


I'm not sure I could watch that without getting seriously POd.

Ravenlocks
08-04-2007, 05:21 AM
Wow. A lot of those changes I could tolerate, but I simply don't see how they can leave out all the Arthurian stuff (which is HUGE).

Ian McKellan would do a good Merriman, except that he already played Gandalf.

If there has to be a love interest, it really should be Jane (keeping things all in the family, so to speak), although I think she really would have been Bran's love interest, not Will's.

JBI
08-04-2007, 06:00 AM
got like 60 pages in of kids running around a mansion. boredom please.

enchantedfire5
08-04-2007, 03:00 PM
Wow, I didn't know they were making a movie! And they've taken away the Arthurian theme? That was the most facsinating part in "The Dark is Rising" when the flood uncovered the ship.

And it's called "The Seeker?" What the hell!!

Enraptured
08-04-2007, 07:00 PM
Those books have been some of my favorites ever since I first read them. I'm a bit worried about the changes as well; the ones mentioned sound potentially okay; I'm worried they're going to change the character of Will though. For me, the heart of those stories has always been Will's balance between having the wisdom of an Old One and being an ordinary kid; I'm afraid they're going to change that part to make him more of a Harry-Potter-ish character. (Not that I have anything against Harry Potter, but that's not who Will is supposed to be.)

Moonfish
08-04-2007, 08:09 PM
I loved the Dark is Rising and still do. For the longest time I didn't realize she'd written anything else, then found The Boggart, which I hated. This summer I read The King of Shadows which I thoroughly enjoyed. Began Seaward, but haven't gotten into it yet.

pdr
08-05-2007, 12:26 AM
An American director ruining another set of good British books? I shouldn't be surprised, Disney ruined Winnie the Pooh the same way.

Wasn't the first book 'Over Sea, Under Stone' then 'The Dark is Rising,' 'Greenwitch' and the 'Silver on the Tree'?

If you like Susan Cooper you might like Alan Garner's 'Weirdstone of Brisingham' and 'Elidor' or 'Earthfast' by William Mayne.

Evaine
08-05-2007, 02:28 PM
pdr - The Grey King comes between Greenwitch and Silver on the Tree (I thought Bran was a wonderful character too - and the scene where the dog was pinned to the floor by magic was the one that really stuck in my memory).
Ian Richardson would have made a superb Merriman, if he'd lived.
And Christopher Eccleston is the Dark Rider.

I found it a bit hard to get into Seaward, too, but there are some interesting ideas in there.

MMcC
08-05-2007, 03:47 PM
Is this the same Susan Cooper who once wrote very dark, but gorgeous adult fantasy?

I saw her in the bookstore the other day and wondered.

thursdayb
08-06-2007, 02:30 PM
I almost cried when I saw the preview -- it's so horribly different. It seems that the director had some issues with some of the more religious-y stuff in the book and after that had been excised, everything else was entirely fair game.

On the other hand, the preview did inspire me to a) re-read _The Dark is Rising_, b) look up Susan Cooper and find a bunch of adult fiction of her's that I never heard of, and c) swear not to waste my hard earned money on a crappy movie.

Anonymisty
08-06-2007, 05:28 PM
Is this the same Susan Cooper who once wrote very dark, but gorgeous adult fantasy?

I saw her in the bookstore the other day and wondered.

I don't know, but if it is the same person, I'd love to read the adult stuff! Do you remember any of the titles?

thursdayb
08-06-2007, 05:33 PM
These are at least some of her adult titles: _Mandrake_, _Dawn of Fear_, _Seaward_, _The Boggart_, _King of Shadows_ and _Green Boy_.

Anonymisty
08-06-2007, 05:39 PM
These are at least some of her adult titles: _Mandrake_, _Dawn of Fear_, _Seaward_, _The Boggart_, _King of Shadows_ and _Green Boy_.

I work in a middle school library, and we have "The Boggart" and "King of Shadows" on our shelves, but they're both listed in our d-base as YA. I haven't read the others you mentioned, but I'll try and find them. :)


(I thought Bran was a wonderful character too - and the scene where the dog was pinned to the floor by magic was the one that really stuck in my memory).

I absolutely loved Cafall (the dog). In fact, the whole book was amazing. I hope the director of "The Seeker" doesn't get his hands on it, too. I don't think I could stand it.

MMcC
08-07-2007, 12:12 AM
I thought one of the titles was Indigo, but NOTHING on amazon or BN with that title was the same. There was a series involving a young woman who goes to a forbidden tower and causes the world to break because of her sin... she travels through time and space with a talking wolf, if I remember correctly. Her name was changed to Indigo when she committed her sin, and she was tipped off to the evil following her by the color or metal silver.

I seem to remember the evil thingy being called Nemesis.

Ravenlocks
08-07-2007, 12:31 AM
I'd completely forgotten Cafall until you mentioned him. Now I remember his name, but that's about it.

I remember liking Alan Garner. I think I was reading him about the same time I was reading Cooper. But I had no idea Cooper wrote adult fantasy as well. I'll have to try to get my hands on some of those titles.

Anonymisty
08-07-2007, 07:04 PM
I thought one of the titles was Indigo, but NOTHING on amazon or BN with that title was the same. There was a series involving a young woman who goes to a forbidden tower and causes the world to break because of her sin... she travels through time and space with a talking wolf, if I remember correctly. Her name was changed to Indigo when she committed her sin, and she was tipped off to the evil following her by the color or metal silver.

I seem to remember the evil thingy being called Nemesis.

That's Louise Cooper - one of my favorite authors. She wrote the Time Master trilogy as well. I love those books!

Evaine
08-09-2007, 03:03 PM
Dawn of Fear was published as a Puffin, for children, in the UK. It's a World War Two story.

DragonHeart
08-29-2007, 06:35 PM
When I heard about the movie I did the same thing as for the Pullman's His Dark Materials - started reading the books, I've only read The Dark is Rising so far though. I would have bought the rest when we went to the mall yesterday but they were missing books 1 and 3. >.< But anyways, I thought it was pretty good. Definitely different. I'll be looking for the rest of the series at some point in the near future.

I suppose you could say I'm regressing a bit, reading two YA series, but in all honesty I never got the chance to read much YA when I was actually part of the target audience.

~DragonHeart~

Christine N.
08-31-2007, 03:10 AM
I Mooched the entire set of these books, and I'm waiting for them. I had a reviewer once tell me my stories were like hers, and I've never even read any.

I have to go remind that person to send my books!

enchantedfire5
09-29-2007, 03:58 PM
At first, I was excited when I saw the preview, but then it seemed more like foolishness! Will seems like a silly tweeny-disney character, a dork, not like the Will of the series. And the one who plays Merriman does not look like a Merriman. I dobt I will see it. Why do they have to change everything. Either do the book or not, or not make so many ridiculous changes. The guy had a problem with the religon of it? Oh boy, I hope it utterly fails hardcore.

Bran and Cafall would be furious!!

enchantedfire5
09-29-2007, 04:15 PM
I've just read some recent reviews about this movie, ok, i will NEVER see this movie, it's BS 100% and I hope it sinks faster than anything! Totally BS!

Evaine
10-02-2007, 07:45 PM
I've just read an interview with the director of The Dark is Rising in which he says "And we have a snake sequence - we brought in a thousand real snakes from the Czech Republic"

I don't actually remember a scene with snakes in the original book.

Nakhlasmoke
10-02-2007, 09:37 PM
This is so sad. I do wonder why film people do this - buy the rights to a book and then mangle it until it bears little more than a passing resemblance to the original.

i love her books, And the Grey King and The Dark Is Rising are probably my two favourites. One book I hope *never ever* gets turned into a film is Diana Wynne Jones's Dogsbody. I think that was the book that made me want to be a writer.

Christine N.
10-16-2007, 07:46 PM
I just got a copy of the first book in the sequence from Book Mooch. I haven't had time to read it yet, but it's in my queue.

Is the second one Greenwitch or Over Sea, Under Stone?? The copy I have, which looks a couple decades old, based on the cover art, text font, and yellowed pages (but still in terrific condition) says at the end that the next one is Greenwitch, but Amazon (I think) says the second is Over Sea, Under Stone.

Or is this a 'Magician's Nephew/Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe' thing?

ETA: Is the FIRST book 'over Sea, under stone' and the SECOND one 'The Dark is Rising'? Crap. I gotta go mooch the first book.

Anonymisty
10-17-2007, 04:46 AM
...
ETA: Is the FIRST book 'over Sea, under stone' and the SECOND one 'The Dark is Rising'?

It goes

Over Sea, Under Stone
The Dark Is Rising
Greenwitch
The Grey King
Silver on the Tree

The first and third books feature Jane, Barnabus and Simon, and the second and fourth books are about Will Stanton. Everyone comes together in the last book. :)

Christine N.
10-17-2007, 02:39 PM
Thanks. Wikipedia gave me a hand too. Over Sea, Under Stone is actually a prequel??

Okay, back to BookMooch to see if I can't score an Over Sea, Under Stone.

Anonymisty
10-17-2007, 07:25 PM
Thanks. Wikipedia gave me a hand too. Over Sea, Under Stone is actually a prequel??


I wouldn't call it a prequel - it's the first book in the sequence,but since it doesn't feature Will Stanton, you have the freedom to read either it or TDIR first. Merriman is in it...in all of them, so I guess he's the linking character throughout.

Christine N.
10-18-2007, 01:16 AM
Thanks. :)

Shweta
10-19-2007, 05:47 AM
Love Cooper!

I read the entire five-book sequence at night under my covers with a flashlight, with a gale raging outside. Okay, I probably started at 4pm or so and went till way too late, on a weekend. But still. That's one of the formative experiences of my life.

I've read those books aloud to my cousins, I've reread TDIR aloud with friends in the midwinter, and I really would like to find children to read them to now. I also rather like the audio book versions, the ones I've found. Lovely reader voice.

And, must share! I went to Cornwall this year, with my husband (and my parents), and we stayed in a B&B called Trevelyan, and were close to a town called Trevissick, and we clambered up and down the Cornish hillside and explored a cave and saw the ships in the harbour and everything.

We also discovered why those kids get so tired running away and such. That countryside is hilly like San Francisco!


I loved the Dark is Rising and still do. For the longest time I didn't realize she'd written anything else, then found The Boggart, which I hated. This summer I read The King of Shadows which I thoroughly enjoyed. Began Seaward, but haven't gotten into it yet.

I didn't hate the Boggart, but having read Dawn of Fear and Seaward I was severely disappointed by it. Good to know that King of Shadows is worth picking up. I was scared to. Though I did mostly like Green Boy.


An American director ruining another set of good British books? I shouldn't be surprised, Disney ruined Winnie the Pooh the same way.

This seems even worse to me.
Nothing in this life will make me watch that movie.

And, even authors like Neil Gaiman have no say in what directors do to their books once the rights are signed. I sincerely doubt Cooper approves of the movie.


If you like Susan Cooper you might like Alan Garner's 'Weirdstone of Brisingham' and 'Elidor' or 'Earthfast' by William Mayne.

Yes! To Weirdstone and Elidor. I liked Moon of Gomrath a lot too. I need to look up Earthfast.



I would have bought the rest when we went to the mall yesterday but they were missing books 1 and 3. >.< But anyways, I thought it was pretty good. Definitely different. I'll be looking for the rest of the series at some point in the near future.

Over Sea, Under Stone is not what it seems at first. Which is one of the things I love about it, but it's also fair warning.

Christine, I guess the only reason I'd say most people should read Over Sea first is that The Dark is Rising spoilers it a wee bit. But if you only have one of them and don't mind spoilers, you can totally read Dark is Rising first.


I suppose you could say I'm regressing a bit, reading two YA series, but in all honesty I never got the chance to read much YA when I was actually part of the target audience.

Bah, some of the best stuff out there is YA. It's not regression to read good books.


One book I hope *never ever* gets turned into a film is Diana Wynne Jones's Dogsbody. I think that was the book that made me want to be a writer.

Oh *cringe* no, never ever Dogsbody. I'm about ready to sink about the Dark is Rising movie; I think I'd burst into tears if they mangled Dogsbody. *holds it protectively close to her heart*