The 10 best adventure novels from 1965


I’ve read most of these, at probably about the same time period. And I’ve been constantly reminded by kid’s fantasy films of Susan Cooper’s books, but had completely forgotten her name since reading them as a child. Thank you. I know some smalls who are gonna get literatured now! :slight_smile:


Yeah, although Susan Cooper probably wasn’t the first to do it, she is definitely a pre-cursor of the modern “urban fantasy” genre where epic magic battles between good and evil aren’t occurring in a far off magical land or in the distant past but in the modern “real” world.

I’ll add my voice here about Susan Cooper. I adored those books as a child.

(Those other books are pretty good too!)

“… The Dark is Rising: the best YA fantasy series ever …”

There are probably other claimants to the title – perhaps Le Guin’s “Earthsea”? But it’s certainly among the strongest contenders.

“Over Sea, Under Stone”, incidentally, is in some ways an outlier in the series, not only because of the ‘Swallows and Amazons’-style ‘family adventure’ model, but because it doesn’t feature Will Stanton, the protagonist of the other books. It’s more like a standalone than part of the series, in some respects.

I would have picked some of the also-rans for my list. The book of The Warriors was OK, but nowhere near as exciting as the movie.

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One correction - the first book in Susan Cooper’s Dark Is Rising series isn’t Over Sea, Under Stone, it’s The Dark Is Rising.

Wow! Love the Philip K. Dick and Frank Herbert covers. Really brilliant.

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Nope. Over Sea, Under Stone predates The Dark is Rising by nearly 10 years.

There were no Westerns from 1965 that could make the cut?

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Also Samuel R. Delany’s The Ballad of Beta-2 and Zelazny’s This Immortal – two excellent SF books of the proto-“new wave”.


No Modesty Blaise? The first novel is from 1965, and Modesty from that one, if she met the rather lacklustre Bond from Man with the Golden Gun, would have dazzled him with a sardonic smile, judo-chopped him into the dirt, and pinched his family jewels, easy.

It looks like that your recommend books are in the early days, I prefer the modern books. But Susan Cooper’s YA fantasy adventure Over Sea, Under Stone, I also like a lot!

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