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I've just read _The Golden Compass_ and _The Subtle Knife_ and I'm absolutely entranced. I can't wait for my kids to read these books.

Is it fair to compare these to the Harry Potter books (which I've never read and, at this point, don't really intend to)?

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I can't wait for my kids to read these books.

I get this vision of Dan leading around a herd of kids a la the Pied Piper.

I have the omnibus of this sucker sitting around. Like too much else in my apartment, one day I'll actually read it.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:39 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

(And FWIW, Dan, there's a movie version in the works...)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Northern Lights

mark s (mark s), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

search the excellent radio 4 dramatisation over christmas just gone.

Ed (dali), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink


Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'm not, its perfect for radio.

Ed (dali), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Maybe, but the radio production that was made was a bit meh.

RickyT (RickyT), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

More people watch movies than listen to radio serials, though. The more people who are exposed to this story, the better.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:51 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Dan, there's a major fansite here, go nuts. Details on the next book, movie news, etc. New Line is the studio behind the movie and since they handled LOTR that's a fairly good sign...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I think they're more comparable to Lord of the Rings because they're darker and less silly than Harry Potter, and the invented world is of a greater scope. Also, Dan, stupid question but do you have kids? How old are they? I thought you didn't but I don't read ILX that carefully.

Maria (Maria), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I watched a south bank show program abt these books (i taped it and watched it last night) and will def read 'em at some point.

i shold def try and read it before the movie, i suppose (its also being made into a theatre production).

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Is it fair to compare these to the Harry Potter books (which I've never read and, at this point, don't really intend to)?

Only sort of. The Potter books are episodic, for one thing, and although there's an overarching plot throughout the series, the books are more concerned with "so, in year two, this stuff happened, and also that other plot got advanced a half-inch or so." There are differences in tone and theme (for lack of a less grammar-schooly term) and whatnot, too, but I think that's the difference you'd notice first.

Also ... post again when you finish the trilogy? Cause the third book is very different, and I know a lot of people were put off by that.

Tep (ktepi), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

that interview with pullman was so funny esp the bit where he rubbished the narnia books. he came across really well. christopher hitchens tried to place him in a left wing bunker, since pullman doesn't believe in god etc.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

he rubbished the narnia books? oh no!

Maria (Maria), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Also, Dan, stupid question but do you have kids?

Not yet. Check back in a couple of years and I most likely will.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

WTF is The Golden Compass?

Archel (Archel), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

_The Golden Compass_ = US title of the first book.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 July 2003 14:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

OK... do you not have the Northern Lights there?

Archel (Archel), Monday, 7 July 2003 15:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

For half of the country, they're only visible every few years, and for the rest they're rarely all that spectacular (and even when they're technically visible, light pollution gets in the way.)

Tep (ktepi), Monday, 7 July 2003 15:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

(Also, I think "aurora borealis" is much more commonly used here than "northern lights.")

Tep (ktepi), Monday, 7 July 2003 15:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Also, I think the title change makes sense given the other two books are named after the major implements that they introduce.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 July 2003 15:15 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'm intrigued as to how a His Dark Materials movie sequence will go down in the USA, considering what happens at the end of the trilogy.

caitlin (caitlin), Monday, 7 July 2003 15:44 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

he hasnt read the third book yet
(i know what you mean, though)

joni, Monday, 7 July 2003 15:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Apparently they are thinking of re-titling the first instalment of the movie in the US as "The Lead Balloon".

Sam (chirombo), Monday, 7 July 2003 15:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I wouldn't put any stock in the idea of a movie. Much better to see this whole thing in your head; any cinematic adaptation would be watered down like county fair beer. ("We've got Anthony Hopkins to play God, so now he's not a senile old drooler, he's hale and hearty! He kicks ass!")

My brother and I have spent hours arguing over these books, but my kids won't even want to read them before age 12, at which point my daughter will be all over them.

Neudonym, Monday, 7 July 2003 16:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Is it fair to compare these to the Harry Potter books (which I've never read and, at this point, don't really intend to)?

Whether it is or not, Steven King did just that in his review of the new Potter book. He claims that Order of the Phoenix is better than any of the books in the books in this series.

Nicole (Nicole), Monday, 7 July 2003 17:51 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Interesting. Then again, I think that King might be reacting strongly to Pullman's general theological conclusions, as I seem to remember King's a fairly devout Christian. Is there a link?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 July 2003 17:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Woah, Stephen King is getting all meta, comparing a book to a book in a book. ;-)

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 July 2003 17:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

King was raised a devout Christian, but based the mother in Carrie on his own mother ... I think it's safe to say that if he's still religious, it isn't in that sense.

What King probably is reacting strongly to, though, is that Pullman pisses off an inordinate number of writers by giving interviews in which he comes across like he thinks he's the only writer to ever work in a genre and write stories which are about more than dragons and robots and robot dragons -- that it hadn't occurred to anyone else to address some kind of, you know, theme, and possibly employ some characterization and so forth. I like his books, but he's definitely part of this "everyone sucks except me, and possibly several people who are now dead" recent generation of writers.

Tep (ktepi), Monday, 7 July 2003 17:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ah, that makes more sense. If that is Pullman's attitude indeed, well, he sucks. Still, King was pretty overt about The Stand being a battle between good and evil and all...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I think King ... well, we could derail the thread and I could project like one of those things that ... you know ... projects a lot ... but I think he was raised with a certain powerful, compelling worldview, and even though he doesn't espouse it himself -- or not to the same degree or utility -- he draws on it for fiction because when he reaches for the fastball, that's what comes to hand.

... not, like I said, that I'm projecting or anything :)

Tep (ktepi), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Nicely done. ;-) I have to say that based on a variety of essays and introductions I've read that King is generally a perceptive and excellent critic -- his recent one for the edition of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House works not only as a discussion of her but of Lovecraft and he makes an excellent (and I think ultimately compelling) argument for Jackson as the better writer that moves beyond the usual attacks directed at Lovecraft.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:08 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ned: just because a writer is a self-centered asshole doesn't mean his or her writing is bad. These three books kick more ass than Bear Bryant on a meth-fueled 1964 practice session, and screw what their author says in interviews.

And Stephen King is not innocent hisself. Maybe skeered though.

Neudonym, Monday, 7 July 2003 18:10 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, the Pullman books are still excellent. I've got a whole mental list of writers I just avoid outside-the-story.

I think in this case -- I'd have to read what he actually said -- King was just blinded. I like both Harry Potter and Pullman, but I can't see how anyone could argue that Order of the Phoenix is better than the Pullman books. It's got that whole "it's about damn time it came out"/"hunger is the best spice" thing going for it, granted.

Tep (ktepi), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ned: just because a writer is a self-centered asshole doesn't mean his or her writing is bad.

Hey now, back up -- I wasn't saying THAT. As noted above, I haven't even read his books yet (though I know something of the general story and approve).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Here's the quote from King:

My own feeling is that they are much better than Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, which is their only contemporary competitor. Will kids (and adults as well) still be wild about Harry 100 years from now, or 200? My best guess is that he will indeed stand time's test and wind up on a shelf where only the best are kept; I think Harry will take his place with Alice, Huck, Frodo, and Dorothy, and this is one series not just for the decade, but for the ages.

I would reprint the whole review but I don't want the copyright police after me.

Nicole (Nicole), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink



Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Nicole, keep your head down until Labor Day and the Copyright Police won't be able to come after you (unless they have winter uniforms).

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink


Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:33 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

White after Labor Day? MAJOR FAUX PAX.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:35 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Copyright police arrest these men/they talk in maths, etc.

Nicole (Nicole), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:38 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Some military strategist Perry is. CAMOFLAUGE YOU RIDICULOUS MAN.


Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

(I am now wishing I'd said, "If those are their winter uniforms, the commanding officer of the Copyright Police must be Major Faux Pas.")

(Is it Pas or Pax? God, I'm hopeless.)

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:43 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The DanandNed collective would dress the Copyright Police in camo Pink.

Nicole (Nicole), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:43 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

just didn't want you to go too far with that 'if that's his attitude then he sucks' thing, Ned m'boy, you'd be depriving yrself, that's all

Neudonym, Monday, 7 July 2003 18:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

My oldest friend (who shares a surname with the evil foster parents in HP) introduced me to Pullman, and loved the first two books - then listened to an interview with PP, and loathed him so much he's not read the last. I have therefore avoided interviews etc. with PP to avoid the risk of similar effects.

I suspect the substance of the themes and the brilliant bravura superscience will be lost in a movie adaptation, which will surely aim at the HP audience. I think these are genuinely great books on all kinds of levels, far better than Tolkien in pretty much every way. They are probably my favourite children's books ever, even ahead of Alan Garner. Well made, a lot of it will look really fabulous, especially duelling polar bears in armour. I hope they don't cop out on the seriousness, or the religious and scientific content.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:50 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I hope they don't skimp on the sheer loathsomeness of most of the adults. Lyra's parents = Ma and Pa Dickface.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 July 2003 18:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

martin those are only yr fave children's books because you've never read mine! [insert emoticon indicating lighthearted way of making a point that's SERIOUS AS A HEART ATTACK]

Neudonym, Monday, 7 July 2003 19:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I didn't know you had written any, Matt! Sorry!

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 7 July 2003 19:21 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

the churchy backlash was inevitable. i'm surprised they haven't made a bigger deal out of the books before, they've been popular enough in the u.s. i guess the forces of light were too busy fighting harry potter.

tipsy mothra, Monday, 29 October 2007 13:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I would like the film version to be 2.5 hrs of bears in armor, with Marlon Perkins voiceover.

rogermexico., Sunday, 4 November 2007 22:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Sara, send them Pullman's v long interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury and/or tell them to shut the hell up.

Laurel, Sunday, 4 November 2007 22:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The second of two interviews, not sure if the first one is also online.

Laurel, Sunday, 4 November 2007 22:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Sorry, the first occasion wasn't a conversation, it was the Archbishop's address on the subject of religious education.

Laurel, Sunday, 4 November 2007 22:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Just to clarify, Laurel's excellent link was to the last page of the conversation. Here is the start of it. Any hysteria over this book/film should be dispelled by reading this conversation.

Lostandfound, Sunday, 4 November 2007 23:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

So we went to see the film last night, and...

Emma and I really enjoyed it. It wasn't amazing, and nowhere near as good as the books, but considering I think the books are amongst the best I've ever read, to match them is a big ask.

I thought the girl who played Lyra was terrific. Nicole Kidman was very good. They kept all the key elements of the book, both plot and characters. The aesthetic was TERRIFIC, from the 30s style dinner parties to Scoresby's ship to the panserbjorn's armour, I thought it all worked. The electric carriage was particularly cool.

I wish... I guess I wish it had been a little braver and a little more adult; I wish they'd made it twenty minutes longer, given more context to the world, to the Gyptians, had the bit on the fens, not quite telegraphed things as much. The first 30 minutes of the film were SO FAST. I wish they'd upped the scariness / gore a touch too, made it a 12 or a 15A.

But overall, thoroughly enjoyed it, and would go to watch it again on a 2for1 Wednesday, definitely.

Scik Mouthy, Thursday, 6 December 2007 11:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I like the previous work of that polar bear in the Coke TV ads.

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 6 December 2007 15:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i have to go see this today for work. lol.

chaki, Friday, 7 December 2007 17:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i'm pretty much with scik. it's hard tho if you know the books already.

s1ocki, Friday, 7 December 2007 17:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I am seeing it specifically because of this comment in the NY Times review:

"Despite the pit stops and lovely clutter, some of it visibly influenced by David Lynch’s “Dune,”

Spencer Chow, Friday, 7 December 2007 19:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

that's a WARNING

Dr Morbius, Friday, 7 December 2007 20:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

not to people like me and spencer!

El Tomboto, Friday, 7 December 2007 20:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

And HI DERE (who is seeing this in 3 hrs, 25 min)!

HI DERE, Friday, 7 December 2007 20:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Bombing at the box office, apparently:


StanM, Sunday, 9 December 2007 13:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I never ever wanted to see this until I just read that Dune quote.

But I think its not being 3 fucking hours long is kinda commendable.

Noodle Vague, Sunday, 9 December 2007 13:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think Scik's review absolutely nailed it. Good. But could have been so much more...

The books are amazing.

I'd almost say the best order would be to see the movie, then read all 3 books, then see the sequels (assuming they get made).

Nate Carson, Sunday, 9 December 2007 13:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The folks I went with who weren't familiar with the book liked it more than I did. I still liked it, though.

HI DERE, Sunday, 9 December 2007 14:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Nicole Kidman was great. omg the scene where she slaps her daemon.

danzig, Sunday, 9 December 2007 14:13 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Nice euphemism.

Noodle Vague, Sunday, 9 December 2007 14:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

is anyone here as annoyed by the ending as every reviewer seems to be (they cut off the end of the book; apparently filmed it but took it out, i assume it'll be on the dvd or used for the opening of the next movie, or put on itunes as a premovie trailer before subtle knife, or some newfangled trick)

akm, Sunday, 9 December 2007 14:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I wish whoever posted that snopes thing would have said that there is a MASSIVE SPOILER in the first sentence. Pity as I had another browser open to order the first two books off amazon.

I know, right?, Sunday, 9 December 2007 15:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oh, man, Nicole Kidman's face, watching her try to arch an eyebrow. Cut back on the botox lady.

Cutting out the end was pretty bad, but I thought they stayed truer to the spirit of the book than most reviews led me to believe. Best parts, like the book, were Lyra's relationships with the Gyptians, Scoresby and Iorek.

milo z, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 00:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Now that I know what these books are about I want to read them. I knew it was "some kind of cult following thing," and that's about all I knew. I will probably skip the movie since I don't care for the look of the animal souls that I've seen in clips from it.

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 01:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Anti-religious children's books. Yesssssss my precious.

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 01:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

xpost- sorry about the spoiler; I'm sure I posted that link (and I know I only skimmed the snopes article). Be assured, though, there is way WAY more interesting material in the books than that; it's almost anticlimactic. (I *think* I know what spoiler you're referring to; it's in the first paragraph, though, not the first sentence, so not entirely sure...?)

My first chance to see this movie is going to be Dec. 16. I really want to go. The mixed reviews people have been giving it make me want to see it even more.

Sara R-C, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 01:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I really enjoyed the movie. Going to read the books now.

Spencer Chow, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 01:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

can't believe this thread is missing

milo z, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 02:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The movie's ultra-mega-feh.

But imagine the pitch to the studios:

"It's Paradise Lost but with bears?"

"In space?"

"No...just bears."

The books are the greatest books written in the history of book writing. At least that's how I felt reading em.

i, grey, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 06:00 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i didn't like the movie, but want there to be more, because i liked the idea of the movie. overseas b.o. more boffo than domestic could help, but probably not.

Gukbe, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 06:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

the movie really bummed me out.

not because it was horrible, but because i felt like they really were in distance of making something really great, something that lived up to the books...the set designs and visual style was perfect, excactly how i imagined.

the girl cast as lyra was brilliant, didn't seem like one of those creepy child actors at all...kidman, james bond, james bond girl as the witch, john faa, farder coram, all great casting...having mckellen be the voice for iorek was a little distracting, but not as bad as i thought...don't really get why they had christopher lee come onscreen for like 3 minutes, i guess they thought more LORT mojo the better.

buuuuut....of course, it wasn't great, only OK, and it's a shame.

biggest thing for me was the movie could have used AT LEAST another hour. it felt terribly frenetic just speeding between plot points. i really like in the book the part where she becomes a part of the gyptian community and the long journey north...that lasted about 10 minutes. you don't really get a feeling for any of the characters.

also they chickened out on so much stuff, not necessarily the church stuff which i expected, but when they find the boy in the shack why did they change the fact that he was clutching a dead, decomposing fish? That made it so vile to me, really got home how terrible it would be to lose your daemon....so many little things like that.

but yes the religion was played down, but i could live with that. what i can't live with is the ending...for shame. ugh. the big thing for me at the end of that book is you realize that azreal is just as ruthless and bad as everyone else, or apparently so at that moment, that it's not just a simple matter of black and white, good guys vs. bad guys....i just reread the book and it's amazing how unlikeable he is throughout the whole thing...but i think his betrayal of lyra at the end is important for the whole series, and to have them just sail off into the sunset defeats the book.

so yep overall, i don't mean to be a trainspotter, i was more than okay with many of the things that jackson changed/left out in LOTR...because i felt that it was a filmmaker whose motivation was to make the best possible LOTR film he could...this felt like a filmmmaker who had the studio and the marketing dept in his ear saying "oh well you know we can't have it be too long" ...."We can't get into a religious controversy"..."We can't have daniel craig seem like a bad guy"...

shame, too, because weitz really did a number of things well, i'd be curious to read an interview w/him and i wonder how much he clased with the studio...i know that mckellen was forced on him, that was not his choice....

M@tt He1ges0n, Tuesday, 11 December 2007 19:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I just saw this and I thought it really sucked. :( A real shame, since I thought the cast were fantastic, and the design and look was pretty much perfect. There just didn't seem to be any real resolution - everything was simply skimmed over way too quickly.

I think this would have worked much better as a mini-series rather than a movie because so many things weren't properly established, like the importance of the daemon and why it was so bad to separate a child from theirs. I saw this with my sister who has never read the books and she was either bored or completely confused by the various characters, many of whom appeared for less than 10 minutes tops. But it did make her want to read the books - only because it was clear this was a good story being told at breakneck speed.

Roz, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

When my wife and daughter came out of the theater and said "...well...it was good..." I was pretty shocked and knew it had to be bad. If it had lived up to any of their expectations, they would have been squeeing like crazy.

Rock Hardy, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Director's cut needed

caek, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

All you folks who LOVE the books (like me) might want to read the best (adult) sci/fantasy series of all time The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. Yes, it's better than Tolkien or Pullman or Herbert. Thank me later.

Nate Carson, Thursday, 13 December 2007 04:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Holy shit... I think I read that...

rogermexico., Thursday, 13 December 2007 05:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Wolfe's pretty damn great, no question.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 13 December 2007 05:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i liked those gene wolfe books a lot. they were pretty weird. i never read past the first 4, i think there were more.

tipsy mothra, Thursday, 13 December 2007 05:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

this movie had its heart in the right place but still managed to be almost completely terrible.

omar little, Thursday, 13 December 2007 07:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one month passes...


milo upthread OTM -- the plottier adventure parts of the story were by far the most intoxicating parts of the trilogy (everything about <i>Golden Compass</i>, when Will and Lyra recover the alethiometer in <i>Subtle Knife</i> -- awesomes!), and while I have to admire the ballsiness of the its anti-church bias, it stacks the deck too neatly against religion -- curious, since the bad guy(s) in the work that inspired HDM is extremely morally equivocal. If I had to identify a shark-jumping point, it was two-thirds of the way through <i>Subtle Knife</i>, when the story just became Will & Lyra walking forever, and Will losing blood.

And OTM x 1000000 about Lyra gradually transforming into a weepy & clutchy broad after <i>TGS</i>, very dispiriting since she started out as such a compelling spitfire in vol. 1. Also very ;_; that from vol. 2 on, she barely got to lie, and when she did, she was immediately punished for it.

Totally didn't realize that the decrepit angel getting eated by ghasts was the Authority until I read this very thread! I ar dum!

Leee, Friday, 25 January 2008 23:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

I'm on my second read through of these, this time aloud to my son. He's entranced by them; I'd wondered if he was too young (he's 8, but he's kind of a mature 8), but we'd already finished all the Harry Potters and needed to move on to something else. Haven't let him watch the disappointing film yet, maybe I won't.

akm, Wednesday, 17 September 2014 05:58 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

BBC TV adaptation!



Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, 3 November 2015 13:24 (three years ago) Permalink

nice, I hope there's an opportunity to see these in the US

I re-read these over the summer, they were still great despite bogging down a bit in book 3

too young for seapunk (Moodles), Tuesday, 3 November 2015 13:40 (three years ago) Permalink

Could be good, the beeb have been doing well with literary adaptations of late.

the joke should be over once the kid is eaten. (chap), Tuesday, 3 November 2015 13:41 (three years ago) Permalink

On a similar note, is their version of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell worth a watch?

the joke should be over once the kid is eaten. (chap), Tuesday, 3 November 2015 13:42 (three years ago) Permalink

thank good, the film was a botched opportunity.

akm, Tuesday, 3 November 2015 14:33 (three years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Anyone check out The Book Of Dust: La Belle Sauvage yet?

hoooyaaargh it's me satan (voodoo chili), Monday, 12 February 2018 21:48 (one year ago) Permalink

i finished last night and I didn't fall head over heels in love with it like I did Northern Lights, but it was engrossing, especially towards the end. Malcolm was always an interesting character to follow, even if his adventures were a bit repetitive until the flood came. Pullman really knows how to capture the thoughts, languages, and feelings of a kid, even after all these years. The image of creeping religious authoritarianism in schools really resonated with me given current events. It was cool to see younger versions of characters like Asriel and Mrs. Coulter, and seeing how their characterizations conflicted with the characters we saw in HDM. No spoilers, but I think if the old trilogy was about exploring the magic of the North and traveling to other worlds, the new one will focus on the magic that governs Oxford and Britain, along with the continuing fight for intellectual liberty in Lyra's world.

hoooyaaargh it's me satan (voodoo chili), Monday, 12 February 2018 21:59 (one year ago) Permalink

I read a couple weeks ago, was totally absorbed in it though looking back at it the pacing is super weird and Malcolm’s back-and-forth spy adventures are pretty repetitive. Not as great as Northern Lights but he’s still excellent at describing people discovering the world around them. Was caught off-guard by the more mythical elements, fairy food and so forth - they didn’t seem as well integrated as the armored bears and witches in the original trilogy; and there’s something v ugly implied near the end that seems to be weirdly not followed up on. Thought it was funny how much Pullman mentions characters needing to pee, change diapers, etc. But it’s great immersing oneself back into that world, I’ll def read the next one.

JoeStork, Monday, 12 February 2018 22:13 (one year ago) Permalink

Was caught off-guard by the more mythical elements, fairy food and so forth - they didn’t seem as well integrated as the armored bears and witches in the original trilogy

It was a more "realistic" book overall than either of the first three--despite the presence of daemons, it felt more speculative than fantasy for about the first 2/3s of the book. I think part of the reason the tone was strange was just because Malcolm was the single most unflappable 11-year-old anyone has ever met. He took every single mythical interaction in stride and somehow always knew exactly what to do. That was true of Lyra in the original books, but it was always implied that she was a girl of extraordinary talents, while Malcolm seemed to be clever, but more ordinary.

Still, looking forward to the next book

hoooyaaargh it's me satan (voodoo chili), Monday, 12 February 2018 22:20 (one year ago) Permalink

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