Jesse, Paul Weimer, Trish E. Matson, and Alex talk about The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
Talked about on today’s show:
1973, what’s the deal with this book, middle of a series, 2nd book, 1st book written in 1965, standalone, oh there was a movie?, the screenwriter and the director never bothered to read the book, I don’t like fantasy, go see my movie, The Seeker The Dark Is Rising, they adapted the 2nd book, Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys, kids looking for lost treasure, magic stuff at the end, parents not paying enough attention, different feel, the Grail has been found, fantasy, powering through the whole 5 book sequence, Jenny Colvin level reading, Greenwich, Over Sea Under Stone, Connor Kaye, Ghostland: In Search Of A Haunted Country by Edward Parnell, M.R. James, Lovecraft, BBC and ITV and Yorkshire TV adaptations, Children Of The Stones, every Christmas there were ghost story adaptations, travels to places in the UK, the landscapes, birds, birdwatches, hedgehogs, they don’t have big dangerous animals, the occassional fox, ooh a badger!, a Mrs. Tiggywinkle-style relationship with the landscape, cancer, a powerful and strange book, literature, TV adaptations and the British landscape, snowing, set at Christmas and today, incredibly appropriate, snowy season, a comfort book, a cozy kind of book, tentacles in a lot of writing, the big threat is not world ending, an amorphous unspecific threat of eevvviil, not WWII bad, coal strike bad, your porridge would be cold, always winter and never Christmas, the snow sequence, the manor, that’s brilliant, why this book is cherished, as a kid, weird evil, Neil Gaiman, Harry Potter, Jim Dale telling me I need to read Harry Potter books, on the nose, the evil in Harry Potter, hyperbolic vs. sedate, staid, I found a need for it today, down the street, adventures around the neighborhood and through time, very British, especially English and Welsh, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Wales, the brother in Jamaica, a worldwide thing?, a local thing, all southern Britain, she’s writing what she knows, no strong criticisms of it, just a good book, a fun book, the relationship that she’s promulgating is we are here, things are as they are, there’s a vague sense of danger somewhere, going to the lord’s manor, an inheritor of an estate, very British, if written today, respectful of authority, tricked by seeming authority figures, the butler/valet, Ian McShane, Lovejoy, Kings, an antiques guy, old beautiful art auctions, a mystery series, rich people, lords and ladies, marry into that, Jonathan Gash, when not out for himself, con-man, small businessman, just out of prison, a convicted felon, like Magnum, PI in the UK and not driving an expensive car, that is not the relationship we have in this book, they respect us and we respect them, bizzaro world, Gray, a respect for tradition, she gives us something nice to eat, not a rant against modernism, Mr. Jim Moon is one of the best podcasters ever, if he wasn’t so busy, surgery lately, 30 shows for Christmas, The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, second wave fantasy, The Graveyard Book, cairn or barrow, what he is tapping into, Rudyard Kipling, Mr. Kipling, rarely ever kipple, Philip K. Dick, American Gods, away from the UK, changes the book in a large degree, a legit old school YA book, a special kid has a special destiny, how special is this kid?, he’s an old one, a seventh son of a seventh son, female old ones, the destiny stuff, the chosen one, how is he the chosen one?, chosen by destiny, Susan Cooper chose him, I’m a special kid reading this fun book, power to feed the rabbits, some Hagrid shows up, much subtler and nicer and less chosen-oney, randomly chosen, powerful, receptive to learning, not just any person can wield these signs, almost but not quite reincarnation, more remote from the rest of humanity, fine with this ending, almost nothing happens, belt buckles, opposes evil, saves his sister, low stakes, fewer books and movies should be about saving the world, loyalty and betrayal, Walker, a liege man (not a servant), not just a hired hand, a feudal relationship, the Book of Gramarye, feels betrayed, given the dark his loyalty, goes to the dark side, the slow path to the present, wander the earth, like Cain, rather poignant, a nice shmaltz, a liegeman of Merlin, walker, black rider, the lady, this is Tolkien, the huntsman, scary guy hiding in the bush, Gollum, a lady who dispenses wisdom from her manor, out of the same drawer as Tolkien, a very respectable age for a Hobbit, small and naïve, as smoker outside of his mansion he is naïve, he’s rich, he has his own family home, he’s comfortably middle class, he is not employed, living on his ancestor’s investments, the economics of the Shire, pipeweed exports, the golden time, a sidewalk a cold beverage and a comic book, Philippines, Alfredo Alcala, Ernie Chua, the disconnection from the global economy, rabbits that need to be fed, the eldest brother in the Navy, connecting him to that global empire, he doesn’t know what that means, very pleasurable, but not very critical, that set of drawers, technically good, forced to watch, extraordinary experience, student is reading something, the movie adaptation of Twilight New Moon (2009), a bad movie and a great movie, the writing is pretty terrible, her themes are bad too, but it so pure, multiple guys liking her and her needing to choose, all of the criticism doesn’t matter, good at what it is doing, technically interesting but also very setpiecey, lego put together mixing and matching, he reads it and we never see what’s inside of it, not a Brandon Sandersonian magic system, Tolkien’s magic system basically doesn’t exist, Gandalf’s relationship with fire and light, staved off for today, Jack Vancian, as an analogy for a childhood, potions class, algebra, why am I learning this?, a spitting spell, Harry Potter style fantasy, that other branch or softer side covered in leaves, more dreamlike, getting mental illness, the sensuality of temperature, you feel the cold, the crunching of the snow, cozy crunching, somebody trying to synthesize and doing it very well, pre-doing Harry Potter, what the studio was trying to do, aping the Harry Potter movies, deliberately derivative, with her own experience, an echo of an echo, King Arthur, we will not name, three ships buried on the Thames, trust the audience, Juliet McKenna’s Green Man series, half-dryad, in the same tradition, another good criticism, very trusting of the audience, the secret to the success, a Newbery Award, what will the legacy of this series/book, still out of fashion and still works, not as timely, Neil Gaiman is dead 50 down the road, Neverwhere, American Gods, Coraline, like Philip K. Dick, people don’t read Philip K. Dick, random non-special kids, a treasure hunt, their property, this interloper, Will Stanton, non-chosen ones, Greenwich, Jane doesn’t know much about this battle, make a wish, you look sad, I wish you could be happy, cold and mission focused, winning this battle, light vs. the dark, prejudice, The Gray King, most people don’t like albinos, the Stanton kids, bullies pester a Pakistani kid, being on the national health, topical and pertinent, debates still going on today, how the dark uses prejudice and hate and insecurities that lead to racial prejudice, a rural adventure vs. a city adventure, how the dark gets into people, 15 at the end, don’t worry about time, like Doctor Who, kids books moving on, [Elidor by Alan Garner], the magical object, grimoire, you’re speaking old languages right now, sedateness or staidness, a knife going after a baby, softened experience, a story I’ve seen before, good book, later and earlier, has she written anything else?, The Selkie Girl, Tam Lin, The Shortest Day, Seaward, 1983, everybody is dead, their final destination, The Screwtape Letters, Out Of The Silent Planet, an iceberg of C.S. Lewis, wow, what a book, The Sandman, a writing career, Silver On The Tree, saying goodbye, the evil that is inside men, the hope is always here, the second coming of anybody, man has the strength to destroy this world, could have been set before WWII, before cellphones, the childhood time, 1977, unless it is a reprint, BBC Radio adaptation, a chapter a day, BBC Radio drama, in massive decline before COVID, pretty good, the sound mix is not perfect, it should work on its own, pretty good, being a writer, a personal journey, Among Others by Jo Walton, dying parents, a good book and an interesting book, new things on the schedule, The Skull by Philip K. Dick, optional to watch the movie adaptation by James Cameron (The Terminator), Jesse’s essay on The Terminator (1984), The Moon Maid, centaurs and maids on the moon, The Cave Girl, prehistorical, there are no boring Edgar Rice Burroughs Books, Shadows In Zamboula, trying to find art for Tweets Of High Adventure, Space Viking by H. Beam Piper, blonde dude in chains, The Golden Slave by Poul Anderson, 6th century?, late Roman Empire, the degenerate Roman Empire, The Venom Business by Michael Crichton, Rocket Ship Galileo, say it with a smile, back to Heinlein!, filling up the corners, Podkayne Of Mars, Starship Troopers, juvenileish, Farnham’s Freehold, a pre-show all about rage, late 1990s, Mike Vendetti took the hit, Unseen-Unfeared by Francis Stevens, The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, Conan The Emerald Lotus by John C. Hocking, Conan The Living Plague by John C. Hocking, Metropolis is public domain, we need an audiobook, Thea Von Harbou and her husband, an amazing BBC audio drama, radical and really cool, is our main character mentally ill, adds a layer to the film that is not present, super-good, one of the best things Jesse’s ever heard on BBC, new content being added all the time, everybody gets excited but they’re not counting the [lack of] renewals, they only count by not looking, it had to be renewed, when you only count by how many years ago, why we only got Dracula and Frankenstein, claiming to have copyright, people don’t know how copyright works, most lawyers don’t know, a script or script outline by Philip K. Dick for The Invaders, very Philip K. Dick, paranoid, The Fugitive, pod people, The War Of The Worlds: The Series, post apocalyptic, a secret invasion, the movie of The War Of The Worlds is a suppressed documentary, getting corpses out of barrels, a terrible idea, Men In Black, cute, a fun idea, grizzled guy: peak Tommy Lee Jones, his career took off quite late, a working actor, good talking with you, first show first fun, a 34 hour Christmas, the neverending Christmas, when Halloween is over it is NEVER OVER, an increasingly popular lifestyle, the 1995 miniseries of The Invaders, Roy Thinnes, dodging the aliens for 20 years, Continuum Drag podcast, Firstwave, Nostradamus, Gor movie, Yor?, Sebastian Spence, Canadian science fiction shows, the 2nd highest paid actor, Millennium, Lance Henriksen, a kludge, a game for accountants, The X-Files, its cheaper, guest stars, cast locally, The Lone Gunmen, the Cigarette Smoking man, The Killjoys, Dark Matter, Wil Wheaton as an villain, casting against type.