14 May 2006

The Dark rises from memory

I recently listened to an audiobook recording of Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising. I'm not sure this counted as rereading the novel, though I read it several times in my early teens; this time I was being read to.

In any event, I found myself surprised over and over by the scenes with showy magic: Will's training from the book of grammarie, sudden transformations from one century to another, the royal funeral ship. Yet over more than twenty-five years I've never forgotten the simpler scenes: the flooded country lanes, rooks circling, snow building up on the farmland, and of course the line, "Tonight will be bad, and tomorrow will be beyond imagining."

I hadn't visited England when I first read the book, and probably pictured rural New England instead of Buckinghamshire. But I wasn't too far off. Now that I've been to the UK several times, I better understand the cosmic significance of Will Stanton, last of the Old Ones, being a Chelsea Football Club fan.

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