Friday, July 9, 2010

Under The Mountain.

By Maurice Gee. (1979)

I adore this book, so it was with great delight I took to reading it as the bed time story for the boys.

This is an utterly classic sci-fi story for children, involving red headed twins, Rachel and Theo Matheson, extinct volcanoes, strange slug-like alien creatures that have lain dormant for thousands of years and the mysterious Mr Jones. It is the book that made the name Wilberforce synonymous with evil for a generation of New Zealand children. I remember watching with fear and fascination the 1981 television series they made of the book, it was the highlight of my week - I probably even had nightmares about it.

I was rapt that the boys enjoyed listening to the book as much as I did. And I'm looking forward to showing them the TV series, which thanks to the wonderful people at NZ On Screen, is available for all to see. The link for those wanting a nostalgia trip is here. It's almost worth it alone to see 1980's Auckland, let along the wonderful twisting tunnels under the volcanoes and the eerie Wilberforces.

Go on, watch it, you know you want to...


Anonymous said...

Vanda - Oh, fun! Sounds like your boys had a wonderful time with it : ). It's always fun when you children discover a favorite author like that.

TK Roxborogh said...

Ah, yes. I remember hiding behind the big arm chair during certain moments of the tv programm (what with me a very cool and sophisticated 6th former! who had marched against the tour).

Loved the updated film too. LOVED IT. just as scary. Didn't matter that the twins were older. Loved also that I was able to go - taught him; she was in my Y9 class; oh, look - remember when we took you there; dad and i....

Classic Arthur C Doyle stuff. Ray Bradbury. Go M. G.

Anonymous said...

Well ,I would say - stay with the book. Many year 6 children at my school have had it read to them and have read it for themselves a second time, a sure test of a 'good one.' I missed the book and tv series as I was living away from NZ at the time. I found as an adult that the 1981 series is very dated and lacking in enough tension and scariness to get me watching to the end; the recent film was slightly better and maybe aimed at an older viewer - say Intermediate age to early teens. But I still wasn't engaged - yeah, I know I'm not the target audience but films/books like 'Coraline' have me fascinated and shivery. And recently John Connolly's "The Book of lost things" has done it for me as an adult.
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