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Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials

Discussion in 'Children and Young Adult Books' started by LMJenkins, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. lies

    lies New Member

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    I just finished Northern Lights. I would like to read the next books now, cause I'm curious to see where this series is going. I don't know yet if I like it or not... It was a page turner, but was it good?
     
  2. simonj

    simonj New Member

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    The play was awesome, can't wait for the film.
     
  3. jcsoblonde

    jcsoblonde kickbox

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    *cough* so much i would like to say but cant...sighs...for all those fanatics NO. im not gonna see the movie yes i hate the books. i think he has a talent for writing but hokie doodle! athiesm splashed all over the place! it was so obvious in the first book i didnt even read the 2nd, and someone told me that will and lyra have sex in the third???!!?? 12 yr olds? wuh?... ... obviously he let his hate for God and christianity control his writing and as ive heard especially in the last book. i mean really...the least he could do was write an unbiased book. i was really shocked at all his vain imaginings of taking over heaven and overthrowing God. what a awful hatred. maybe he had a bad experience with christianity i dunno...in that case i feel sorry for him.
     
  4. JustinDT

    JustinDT New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    His Dark Materials (Currently, Book 3/3)
    I'm literally in the middle of it now. I really enjoyed the first book and the second is quite good as well. Probably finish the series by this week. I picked it up as part of my anticipation for the final Potter book. It's good, but so far I don't really see it as being better than Potter and can only imagine people say that, in most cases, because HP is more popular and thus should be rebelled against. But on the topic, I am quite enjoying it, and I normally don't like fantasy much at all. And I *love* the covers of the Scholastic Press editions for the adult section of the book store.

    Is "Lyra's Oxford" worth reading? What is it exactly? And what was this some posts back about a supposed book 4, "The "Book of Dust"?
     
  5. Libra6Poe

    Libra6Poe New Member

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    I just finished the trilogy today. I don't find it to be at all atheist. It was absolutely brilliant.

    If you've read and understood the works of William Blake, you will really see how amazing Pullman's piece comes together.
    Blake himself was highly against organized religion, but he was not atheist.

    My boyfriend was the one who recommended it to me. When I was reading the first one, I kept telling him how much it reminded me of Blake's Songs of Innocence & Songs of Experience.

    I was happy to learn that Pullman was in fact influenced by Blake's works.

    I'm not going to mention anything about Milton because that's too obvious.

    My favorite was the 1st. I felt the 2nd was really just setting things up... and I loved the 3rd. Amazing.
     
  6. FrodoLIVES

    FrodoLIVES New Member

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    Well, I picked up Lyra's Oxford at a garage sale for $1 and I'm VERY happy that I didn't spend any more on it. It was boring, made no sense, and was just generally bad. It's hard for me to say this because I'm a diehard fan of the trilogy. I've heard Lyra's Oxford is just leading into this 'supposed' fourth book. Anyway, see if your library has it before you buy it because it only comes in a cloth-bound edition which is a bit pricey, especially if the content is not worth it.

    About the movie, I'm pretty excited but I'm also anxious. I mean, look at what they did to Eragon! If they cut the religion out to satisfy people who might be offended, I don't see what the point of the movie is anymore. The trailer looks promising though, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
     
  7. yami_shinyi

    yami_shinyi New Member

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    Wow, I must be the only one to like the first two and dislike the third one. I only finished it for the Asriel/Coulter side stories.
     
  8. beer good

    beer good Well-Known Member

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    So, a few thoughts on His Dark Materials.

    - On a whole, I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed it. While it's clearly written for the YA crowd, it's complex and well-written enough to be well worth reading even by a somewhat snobbier reader like the undersigned. Pullman's prose does acquire a certain purplish tint once or twice, but for the most part he does a good job of telling a story without reminding us that he's there. He's not a great stylist, but he's an excellent yarn-spinner.

    - Of the three books, I think I prefer the first - the second is good too, by the third the formula starts wearing a little thin and Pullman introduces a number of characters that make me want to call the silliness police. If the first two are a solid 3+, the last is pushing a 3-. Still enjoyable, but could have used some trimming. There's some plot holes, but nothing TOO jarring.

    - The characters... well, it is a pretty plot-driven story, isn't it? I found myself thinking that it's a novel (or three) written like a computer game; fight scene, cut scene, solve a problem, cut scene, fight scene, cut scene, etc. There are some truly memorable characters even if they serve the story rather than the other way around (especially noticable in the third book). Not to mention that while a lot of the story is dependent on every single adult finding Lyra so utterly special and adorable that they are prepared to die for her, I can't help feel that she comes across like an insufferable brat at times. Not enough to ruin the story, just enough to wonder exactly what the big deal is.

    - The bit that everyone seems upset about lately is the anti-Christian (as opposed to Antichristian) subtext, which becomes text by the third book. While I'm not going to get too far into that debate, a few thoughts; I do think he has some points about the dangers of blind faith and organized religion, but I certainly don't agree with all of it and he gets a bit overly preachy at times (even if I agree with the basic gist of the message, getting hit with the Message Bat still hurts). It's certainly not an atheist book - more like a pantheist one - but after Tolkien, Lewis and all that bunch it's nice, from a storytelling perspective, to have a story that's not based on the Messianic model. The story becomes free to forge its own paths and draw some conclusions of its own, which adds a little extra unpredictability; nobody here has a fixed user's manual for What It Means To Be Good, they have to find their own ways. I like that.

    - I think Thomas Pynchon may have read this before he wrote Against The Day. There might be a few Pullman references in there.

    - The ending? Yeah, I'm a sap. It works, I guess, even if it comes a little too easily (again, it's a YA novel, isn't it?) The twist on the myth in question is a nice touch and in keeping with the rest of the story. And yeah, I smiled at that last little P.S that Pullman included in this particular edition - I don't know if it was in the original.

    I liked it. It was a romp. Didn't exactly change my world, but I could think of a lot worse things for kids to read. Or adults, for that matter.
     
  9. mdragon159

    mdragon159 kickbox

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    Waiting for the last two books to ship in, but The Golden Compass is great and I want to read the next book, especially since the other universe is supposed to be this universe.
     
  10. The waveguide

    The waveguide Member

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    Great book!

    I had a long flight of about 7 hours, and I had not pay attention how fast the time passed - I was so much into this book! To me it seemed that it took us only 5 minutes to hop over the Atlantic - probably it has to do something with general relativity :D

    I do not know however why peole compare it to Tolkien - I saw no similarities at all, neither in a style nor in a plot! This book is much more children-oriented than the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings...
     
  11. The waveguide

    The waveguide Member

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    I had EXACTLY the same thought when I read it! Kind of a "Quest" style: go-there-bring-me-that-and-we'll-see-what-would-be-the-next-task which will bring you to the finish!

    Well said!
     
  12. bridgetjones

    bridgetjones kickbox

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    Katzen....do you mean you say that in england not english???
     
  13. bridgetjones

    bridgetjones kickbox

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    So what does everyone one think of the first movie offering......the Golden Compass???

    Did we like or dislike????

    I personally thought it was pretty good, mainly due to the effects and the animation of the animals.
     
  14. Cooroo

    Cooroo New Member

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    I enjoyed the movie, but it leaves so much unsaid, as they almost always do.

    I'm reading the trilogy to my 11 year old. I thought it might be too hard for her (she certainly wouldn't get through even a chapter on her own!), but she's loving it. We're currently on The Amber Spyglass, and they are in the Land of the Dead. It is so dark, so desperately sad, but she can't get enough!

    They are great books. I sometimes get bogged down in the politics, but the ideas are so powerful, and I love the way he makes no concessions to young readers - it's a dark book about a dark world.
     
  15. venusunfolding

    venusunfolding New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    The Subtle Knife - Pullman
    Pullman just released another little book as a companion called Once Upon a Time in the North. You get to read about how Scorseby and Iorek met. I really enjoyed it.

    The movie comes out on DVD next Tuesday. Despite its flaws I loved the movie. I can't wait to see it again.
     
  16. Maria Regina

    Maria Regina kickbox

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    I read Northern Lights a while ago... I think for my last birthday or maybe the birthday before. (That's in October last year by the way) My memory's a bit off, but from what I could remember:

    When I read Northern Lights, I didn't know that there was a sequel and I thought that the ending wasn't much of an ending.

    The book itself is pretty good though. Not something I would read over, and over, and over again. But it was a pretty good read.

    Reading it makes me want to have my own Daemon. Oh how I would love my own one! Phillip Pullman, you are a fantasy genre book-writing genius!


    I do however think that the first in the trilogy is better than the other two, not that the other two aren't good but Northern Lights basically has a better flow (for me) and usually in trilogies, the first is the one I prefer more.

    Nonetheless, I recommend this book or these books for reading to the general Young Adult target market \(^_^)/
     
  17. Fantasy Moon

    Fantasy Moon kickbox

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    I am in the middle of The Golden Compass right now. I enjoyed the movie so much that it made me wish to read the books. It is a good read so far and I'll probably have it finished within another day. I shall have to get the next two books soon.
     
  18. ichigo

    ichigo kickbox

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    I think that a children's story is an understatement, my cousin is in 5th grade and his mom would not let me get him these books for christmas. I loved them and thought it was a great story with lots of great characters created by an author with an extensive imagination
     
  19. Champagne

    Champagne New Member

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    Was his mother concerned that the books would be too difficult, or was the subject matter bothering her? I've seen a few discussions of this series where people have said they wouldn't let their children read them because of the anti-religious messages.

    I really liked the books, and I wanted to get them for a young friend (11 years old) but I did ask permission from her parents first. Fortunately they wanted to read the books themselves so they said to go ahead and give the set to her so they could borrow the books too!
     
  20. Tintin

    Tintin New Member

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    This is a top series. My favorite is The Subtle Knife. The darkest and most adventurous of them all.

    The movie was just a fast-forwarded version of Northern Lights.
     

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