The Muse, Amused (penmage) wrote in tdir_readathon,
The Muse, Amused
penmage
tdir_readathon

The Dark Is Rising

Here is a discussion post for The Dark Is Rising. Feel free to jump in (or start your own!)

Spoilers for the whole book may appear in comments.
Tags: tdir
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 25 comments
The Walker is abroad. And this night will be bad, and tomorrow will be beyond imagining.

How can you not keep reading after that?

I seem to recall finding this book hard to get through the first few times I attempted it. Yet now, I find I like the slow build, which really isn't as slow as I'd remembered after all: something is off, something is wrong, and the reader realizes it just a little bit before Will does.
I'm reading the first chapter right now, and I am amazed once again at how good it is. It builds so subtly; everything seems normal, but is off in such slight ways. Brilliant.

I also love the Stantons--I'm from a large family myself, and I can tell you, that's exactly how it feels--noisy and loud and often annoying, but altogether loving.
The Stantons are one of the best parts about Will's background: a loving, crazy family that aggravate him on occasion, but who love him - Barbara's hug/kiss when he wakes everyone up on his birthday - and whom he loves so desperately that he can't bear to have Paul look at him as a stranger after the incident at the church.

It's just so cool and mashed-together and crazy - and yet adorable.

(I'm not actually re-reading the books, but I've read it so many times over the years that I know the story pretty well.)

ashfae

10 years ago

See, I find large families interesting because I never had that experience. Yes, I have a loooot of cousins, but there was just me with my parents. Until of course they took on Hailey, but that was only last year and I was far gone from the house. So, I find the dynamic fascinating..which may be another reason for me to like this book.

ellenmillion

10 years ago

ladyluna

10 years ago

You know...I think a lot of that could be do to aging/growing up/what have you. Granted, I don't know how old you are, but a lot of books that I read when I was younger are so much easier to read now as an adult. Plus, you already know where the story is going, so you can probably appreciate the slow build a bit more.

This is my first time reading these books. The first twenty pages or so I just read in a random way. Whenever I felt like taking a break from job hunting...when I was in the bathroom (what? I'm a girl who admits to reading in the bathroom...heh)...but after that point I got really into it and had to just sit down and finish it.
I so love Will's family. It seems like most fiction forces an over-used, abusive, non-understanding family on the hero - it's wonderful to see a large, happy family.

This book is like comfort food - I've read it a dozen times and still, on today's re-reading, I'm turning pages eagerly, wanting to know 'what happens next?' because the *way* it happens, and the way it's written is so important. I also didn't remember so many hints to the rest of the story occurring in this book.

The big thing - what really makes these books stick to me more than others, I think - is that I *like* Will. I don't get the feeling he's a good guy because the writer is forcing it down my throat - he gets to prove he's a good guy, with understandable flaws and admirable qualities. I think Cooper did an amazing job mixing ageless wisdom and young boy. It's believable.

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts.

It's our second day of snow for the winter and felt like the perfect day to reread this book.
Wow. Snow already. But, I suppose, that does make a perfect setting for reading this book. I agree that the nice family was a good thing. This is my first time reading this series and so I was actually worried/carrying about what would happen to his family members. It kind of reminds me of the Weasleys.

I really wish I would have discovered these books before now.

I don't think I'll see the movie. After reading this initial book and then watching the previews for the movie I want to vomit.
I don't get the feeling he's a good guy because the writer is forcing it down my throat

Yes.

Which is fascinating because one of the things I remember bugging me about this book the first time I read it was that while there are reasons Will is good, there are never any reasons the light is good, or that the dark is bad.

I'm still only a chapter in, but am really curious to see if I still feel this way as I read on.
...there are never any reasons the light is good, or that the dark is bad.

Oooh, now THAT is interesting. Because so far the only thing that is bothering me about this book (and granted, I'm only on page 50) is that it's Light Versus Dark, plain and simple, without the attempt at metaphor that most fantasy writers usually stick in. I mean, it's always Light Versus Dark, but the Dark is usually something with a name (like Sauron!) or even a personality (unlike Sauron! ...but like Voldemort, or the White Witch, or any of those classic characters), not just Dark. But your comment just gave everything a whole new layer, and I will DEFINITELY be reading with that in mind.
And heh--I just found thoughts about this in my journal from the last time I read this, where Cooper herself by the last book seems aware of the nature of what she's created with the light and dark, and of the problems therein. (But I'll wait until we get there to link to them.)

amerrywanderer

10 years ago

I think it's one of the things that adds depth to these books - that Light and Dark are Causes or Ideals rather than representing individuals. They are kind of outside human understanding and feelings. There are times, for example, when the Light can be cruel in an impersonal way - that serving the High Ideal means sacrifice of the small individual. It's well handled and interesting.
It's interesting that you mention that. I'm not sure whether it's because I reread it this time in a very interrupted fashion, but I found it rather more irritating than I usually do that there is no reason why the Light is good and the Dark is bad. Both Light and Dark do things that are not particularly nice to humans, each for their own higher ideals. About the only other thing we have to go on for a reason is that the Light gets associated with pretty music and the Dark is nastily cold. It does become clearer (I think) in the other books, but it really just seems like an arbitrary distinction.

And I never understood what made Hawkin actually choose the Dark, apart from being narked off at Merriman. What did the Dark offer that made it so enticing? Why would anyone ever choose the Dark? For that matter, why would anyone ever choose the Light? I would be quite strongly tempted to tell both factions to leave me the hell alone.
I've just reached the end of section 2, and I'm wondering exactly the same thing. That's about the only thing that's ticking me off so far about this book: I don't know what the Dark IS, just like I don't know what the Light is. They're supposed to be good and bad -- fine, I get that. But why? What characterizes good and bad, Dark and Light, in this book?

I think I'll start a new post for this. Once I finish the book.

Light or Dark?

tooticky

10 years ago

Re: Light or Dark?

alecto23

10 years ago

Re: Light or Dark?

janni

10 years ago

Re: Light or Dark?

alecto23

10 years ago

Re: Light or Dark?

tooticky

10 years ago

Re: Light or Dark?

tooticky

10 years ago

I think part of the point is that light isn't necessarily "good"--they do a lot of things that would be considered bad--and that dark isn't necessarily "bad", they're clearly points of view. But I also think this conversation needs to happen after everyone's read all of them!
(Read on this time, that is. I felt this way through my entire first and second readings. But they were some years ago.)