Susan Cooper was born in Buckinghamshire and began her career as a reporter for the Sunday Times. Her fantasy sequence, The Dark Is Rising, has won many awards, including the Newbery Medal. She has written a number of other books for children and adults, a Broadway play and several screenplays. She is married to a Canadian actor, has two children and lives in Connecticut in the United States.
Gr 5-9-Alex Jennings' commanding reading of Susan Cooper's poetic, apocalyptic fantasy novel (S&S, 1973) makes this audiobook highly worthwhile. Part quest novel, part coming of age tale, The Dark Is Rising tells of young Will Stanton who discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is the last of the Old Ones. These immortals keep the world safe from the forces of the evil Dark. Will learns how to defy the confines of time; he travels in and out of centuries with amazing grace. In an interesting section, he reads the magical Book of Gramarye, which helps him feel sensations and experience astronomical flight. This passage will remind many listeners of Virtual Reality. Cooper's thoughtful prose captures the calm of a lovely Christmas Eve, the terror of a horrific snow storm, and the exhilaration of the final showdown between darkness and light. Throughout the reading, Jennings slips into the voices of the various characters with finesse. Fantasy lovers will find this beautifully written epic challenging yet rewarding. Many may be fascinated with the setting (the English countryside) and how Cooper mixes scenes of naturalistic family warmth with moments of unearthly mystical adventure.-Brian E. Wilson, Oak Lawn Public Library, IL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.