The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So I am working my way through the Dark Is Rising sequence at present, and now is the turn of The Dark Is Rising itself. I am struck, struck, struck by the ferocious nature of Cooper’s prose throughout these books; a prose which is both eloquent and vicious and raging against the dying of the light and the darkness of the worlds.
The Dark Is Rising is Will Stanton’s story, and in a way it is his story that he was destined to always have and to always be at the heart of. There are echoes in this story, echoes of lives lived and lives to be lived, and Will is one of those echoes. He is an Old One, and as an Old One, he is pre-destined to be part of the battle between the Light and the Dark. Will Stanton has a very specific part to play in this struggle and play it, he will and he must.
Cooper’s wildly eloquent, occasionally vicious, and fearless prose hit me in the first book and swings, spectacularly, to new heights. She is not afraid of fear, or of terror, both for Will and the reader, and The Dark Is Rising is rich with fear. It is impossible to not be unnerved by this book, this magnificently edgy book which makes snow terrifying and birds, the formed-of-shadows rook, something spectral and horrific.
I am caught by this series and I am caught by the richness of it, and the way Cooper throws her story out, like a fisherwoman casting a net, and draws you back with it, into it, and makes you part of it.
8 thoughts on “The Dark is Rising : Susan Cooper”
I have never read any of her work. Not a word. Now I’ll have to, of course. Your reviews are always so passionate that I’ve often ordered the book before I’ve finished reading the review. I want to know how she makes snow terrifying. I’m in!
Ah, thank you! I hope you like it 🙂
Ahhh Carmen’s right, you won’t rest till you’ve emptied my wallet on lovely lovely books. I guess I ought to try and counter that by recommending John Gordon’s stuff. “The Giant Under the Snow” is brilliant as is “The Midwinter Watch”. Reading the first couple of pages of the Dark is Rising has the same sort of vibe so I’m hooked, gotta get it 🙂
Ooh yes, please, do reccomend away! *adds them to my list* Thanks!
DAMN YOU ALL TO THE SNOWY LANDS! *orders*
How about reading Susan Cooper’s classics with readers around the world? The Dark is Rising Sequence 40th Anniversary Readathon begins Dec 7th! http://tdirreadathon.blogspot.ca
OOOOH. Thank you! 🙂