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Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
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Over Sea, Under Stone (1965)

by Susan Cooper

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Dark is Rising Sequence (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,119911,220 (3.81)1 / 235
  1. 30
    The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston (tyranist)
  2. 20
    Earthfasts by William Mayne (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Another classic children's book with an Arthurian theme, bringing the Matter of Britain into the 20th century.
  3. 10
    The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White (Hibou8)
  4. 10
    Elidor by Alan Garner (bookwyrmm)
  5. 00
    Mystery at Witchend by Malcolm Saville (humouress)
    humouress: The same sense of adventure, and children in mid 20th century Britain striving against sinister adults.
  6. 00
    The Greenstone Grail by Amanda Hemingway (bookwyrmm)
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Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
Children on adventures...what fun! Seems to be a more subdued fantasy within modern elements. Really enjoyed it. ( )
  learn2laugh | Sep 14, 2014 |
First off, I'm much older than the intended audience for this book. I give this three stars reading it as an adult; I can see why I liked it as a kid, but there is a big gap between then and now! ( )
  dcunning11235 | May 21, 2014 |
Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper; (5*)

I don't know what I expected when I began this Y/A book but it certainly wasn't the ride I was taken on. Most of the reviews I had read on this title were underwhelming to say the least so it was a very great & pleasant surprise to me when I found myself so ingrained in the story that I literally got goose bumps, didn't hear my husband when he spoke to me and was on the edge of the chair for most of the book. I could not put it down. And now I can't wait for the entire set of the series to arrive. I ordered it as soon as I completed Over Sea, Under Stone.
The story begins with Simon, Jane and Barney arriving with their parents for a nice holiday visiting their great Uncle Merry in Cornwall.
But then, but then............the children find an ancient map in the attic while exploring the old house. They must unravel the mystery of the map and what it might possibly lead them to. They try to keep it a secret but word gets out somehow and strange & somewhat frightening people begin to follow them and ask them questions. All of a sudden everybody seems very interested in them. And why is their Great-Uncle being so protective of them? Are they in danger? Their Uncle Merry has discussed the fight between the Light and the Dark and tells the children that as long as the Light is still out there, the Dark cannot overcome all.
This book is a wonderful beginning to what I hope is a roller coaster of a thrilling series. This book is not openly about the battle between the Light and the Dark. It is just about three children trying to understand the map and what it is leading them to.
Susan Cooper has done a very good job of writing this little thriller. It sucked me right in and I was frightened when the children were frightened and found myself saying aloud: "No, don't tell him. He isn't good." I was in it with the kids all the way.
I highly recommend this book to youngsters & adults alike who enjoy a tingling good story. ( )
5 vote rainpebble | Apr 12, 2014 |
For many years, I didn't realize this book existed--I thought [book:The Dark Is Rising] was actually the first book in a series of 4. I was excited to learn that there was another book in the series I'd liked so much, but wasn't crazy about it after reading. I found the Drew children kind of stupid and missed having Will as a main character. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
It'll surprise no one who knows me that I'm rereading this set of books at this time of year: Over Sea, Under Stone is more of a summer book, I suppose, but the one most rooted in a particular time of year is The Dark is Rising, the second book, in winter. (The runner-up would be The Grey King, set in the autumn around Samhain.) So I imagine that a few more reviews of these books will be added to my total before the end of the year...

I read Over Sea, Under Stone in one go, this time. There are still a couple of things that bother me, aside from the Enid Blyton-esque tone of the boys-own-adventure stuff. Like, why would Merriman leave them alone up on top of the hill? Why wouldn't he ask more questions about who is attacking them? Why --

But it's probably best not to ask those questions of this book, the earliest and least subtle. There are many subtle touches which I love later in the sequence, but this book is decidedly less mature. Which is not to say that it doesn't have some very powerful sections: the last two chapters have an unbearable build up of tension that gets to me even at twenty-four years old. Mostly, I love that the characters feel real, squabble and support each other and have fears and weaknesses like real kids, real siblings. Simon's such a superior brat, but he's the more real for it. Jane's a little bit stereotyped, I think: she's more easily frightened than the other two, carries around "practical" things like a roll of cotton (but no mention of a sewing kit of any kind?), isn't interested in male pursuits like fishing and sailing, etc. But even that isn't so bad -- she's not Blyton's Anne or George, but something closer to a rounded individual.

(Has anyone written an essay where each member of the Famous Five reflects a facet of a single psyche, or something? Because I just came up with that idea on the spot, and I'm too lazy to explore it myself.)

And, finally? Barney's "cleversticks" is still the best pseudo-insult ever. ( )
  shanaqui | Dec 20, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Cooperprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gill, MargeryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jennings, AlexNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westrup, Jadwiga P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my mother and father, with love
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This LT work, Over Sea, Under Stone, is Book 1 (of 5 Books) in Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising Sequence. Please distinguish it from other single titles in the series, and from any combination(s) of part or all of the series. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0020427859, Mass Market Paperback)

On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is even more than that -- the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil known as the Dark. And in searching for it themselves, the Drews put their very lives in peril.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:59 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Three children on a holiday in Cornwall find an ancient manuscript which sends them on a dangerous quest for a grail that would reveal the true story of King Arthur and that entraps them in the eternal battle between the forces of the Light and the forces of the Dark.… (more)

» see all 10 descriptions

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