Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1973
Genre Fantasy
Origin UK
Publisher Simon and Schuster
ISBN-10 1416949658
ISBN-13 978-1416949657
My Copy paperback
First Read June 16, 2010

The Dark is Rising

Re-reading this in time with the book itself - and just as weird and lovely. I really want to read this with the kids, but I think there's just too much complicated action here. Or rather, lack of action? The action takes place in a very fuzzy, slightly poetic way - so maybe hard to follow for the kids. For now!

Noted on December 26, 2017

The Dark is Rising is a part of a five-book series; they're a perennial favorite of mine and one I pick up for comfort. I was sick a few weeks ago and grabbed this one off the shelf for a quick re-read.

The whole series (sorry, the official word Cooper uses is 'Sequence') is a weird beast. The first one feels almost like a Boxcar Children book, where overly nice children solve a mystery. In the second book, we never hear from those nice children at all, and we're on a mystical journey and battle with what seem like gods and demons. These two worlds start to bleed into each other in the rest of the books, but really putting it that way makes it sound more cohesive than it is.

The actual plot of The Dark is Rising has a strange, fate-like quality - it moves forward without any decisive actions taken by the protagonist, and its mystical moments seem to unfold without much rhyme or reason. Our hero Will is carried along just as inexorably as we are, even through the wild and magical ending. But here's the kicker - the plot feels just right, in spite of this. There's some kind of harmonic whole here, or a poetic shape, or something that makes every strange occurrence in the book seem like it had to be that way. I lack the literary understanding to really explain this, and I think that's one of the reasons I keep coming back to these books.

Noted on June 20, 2010

When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone.

Quoted on June 20, 2010

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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