So I was over at a friend’s house the other day and saw this battered, beaten up old copy of a children’s novel from seventies. The cover was this great, frightening mural of scratchy illustrations depicting charging horses and cloaked ghost-men. The title on the cover was The Dark is Rising.
Now for those of you who’ve seen the trailer for the new movie of the same name – stop a moment and take a breath. This book is actually part of a fantastic series of books by Susan Cooper that have little to no resemblance to the teeny-angst shown in the trailer. Granted, the movie seems to have beefed up its credentials by casting Ian McShane (the brit we love to hate from Deadwood) and Christopher Eccleston (Dr. Who!), but still the whole MTV opening makes me a wee bit queasy.
But back to the books and that great cover. Here’s the thing – that cover is spooky. Genuinely spooky. If I were a young adult I’d totally pick it up and proudly brandish it as antidote to all those Gossip Girl pink and baby blue books that are littering sis’s desktop. In fact, I was so impressed by the sheer presentation I ran out to the local bookseller and bought me a copy. Only, the modern cover is nowhere near as cool. It’s slick, sure. But scary, nah.
Bring back the scary says I. And go read these books.