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Reading Cooper

Just picked up my unread copy of The Dark Is Rising and realised that it is in fact the second book in the series. (Yeah, I know, only forty years late discovering that.) How important is it to have read Over Sea, Under Stone before starting The Dark is Rising?

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
sbisson
Dec. 18th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
It`s the second book in the series chronology, but I tend to think of it as the best place to start the story - Over Sea is a lot weaker.
matgb
Dec. 18th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
I read Over Sea as a book at school, and have seen the film of Dark is Rising.

They don't appear to be linked that closely, only one character transfers (who is reintroduced anyway), but the three kids from OSUS appear to be in book three.

I keep meaning to read the whole sequence, but never get around to ordering the books.
bopeepsheep
Dec. 18th, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
The film has no bearing on the book...
cairmen
Dec. 18th, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
And was sufficiently awful that it's in the single-figures number of movies I've walked out of.
scalzi
Dec. 18th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
It's not important at all, in terms of enjoying the book on its own. You might want to read OS,US before reading Greenwich, but even that is not entirely necessary.
steepholm
Dec. 18th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
I can speak with some authority on this. Rest assured - starting with The Dark is Rising is absolutely fine - even recommended, especially at this time of year. You probably want to read Over Sea, Under Stone before starting on Greenwitch, though.
nwhyte
Dec. 19th, 2010 08:20 am (UTC)
Aren't you also her nephew or something? Or am I thinking of someone else?
steepholm
Dec. 19th, 2010 09:52 am (UTC)
I think you must be. I'm happy to call Susan Cooper a friend, but we're not related. If I remember right she has one brother who lives in Kent, or somewhere like that. Perhaps you know one of his children?
cairmen
Dec. 18th, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
Not even a little bit. Over Sea, Under Stone is almost unconnected to the rest of the series, except as foreshadowing. The Dark Is Rising is actually a much better intro.
shereenb
Dec. 19th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
I read The Dark is Rising first in childhood, and it was many years later before I discovered and read the rest of the series. I think The Dark is Rising is by far the best book of the lot.
steve_mollmann
Dec. 19th, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
I have to disagree with everyone here-- The Dark Is Rising is my least favorite of the series, as I think its protagonist is an obnoxious snot, and I much prefer the book featuring the other kids.
nickbarnes
Dec. 19th, 2010 12:13 pm (UTC)
I agree with this. TDiR has put me off reading the others.
mizkit
Dec. 19th, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
It's more important to read OVER SEA before you read GREENWITCH, which is the third book, than it is to read it first. I think I started with GREENWITCH (it's a little hard to remember, as I read them when I was 8) and then read the first two and then the last two. I can say conclusively that you should read the first three before reading the last two, but that I think the order of the first three doesn't matter all that much.

Also, those books are among my desert island books. I hope you love them even just half as much as I do. :)
Neil Walton
Dec. 19th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
I started with...
The first book in the series that I read was Over Sea Under Stone and I did not particularly like it. Several years later, I discovered the Dark is Rising and enjoyed and went on to the other books. (Greenwitch is my favourite)
The film suffers from making the story more American friendly and an absurd happy ending with the twin. It also, of course, has to miss chunks of background story.
Books like these deserve to be made into films but really they should be 2 or 3 part mini series raher than a single film.
I am not Sky's biggest fan ut their treatment of Terry Pratchett's discworld has been excellent and is a good example of how to do it well.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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