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Showing posts from March, 2018

Books: The Dark is Rising

A DARK AND TIMELESS BEAUTY The Dark is Rising: Book Two of The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper (1973)by Andrew Wallace I had this novel as a boy, but didn’t read it because the cover was too frightening. It was the Puffin UK second edition, with art by Michael Heslop, and featured Herne the Hunter as an owl-eyed, antlered figure with an uncomfortably human face. Herne is riding the white horse, which through a curious use of negative effect and collage appears to be black. The picture is dynamic, even threatening; due to the colouration, it looks as though we are seeing Herne through a rifle sight. It is not clear whether this menacing figure is friend or foe; he looks like trouble, but there is something about his eyes that is not so much evil as uniquely focused.
I’ve dwelt on this cover for two reasons: one is that the combination of familiar and uncanny elements makes it one of the most enduring images of the weird I know; the other is that it so perfectly captures the …