Just finished Northern Lights, the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman. As we used to say back in the sixties, “Heavy.”
I’ve caught parts of The Golden Compass (the book’s North American title) on cable and wanted to see how the movie compared to the novel. Very well, it turns out. I’m eager to get on to Books 2 and 3.
I enjoyed most of the Harry Potter books –and it’s probably unfair to compare the two– but Pullman challenges readers in a way that Ms. Rowling never did.
Definitely on the short list for the next church bonfire.
UPDATE: Finished the third book today and I’m a little numb. I read somewhere that Pullman wrote the book for “young adults.” I’m not sure what that means… teenagers? Younger? Whatever, I wish I had read the book in my teens, although I’m not sure how much I would have understood. Maybe that’s the point.
I thought it was a terrific story. Life and Death; Sin and Redemption; Good and Evil; Witches and Angles. And a less-than-attractive view of religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular. Easy to see why they weren’t keen on a sequel to The Golden Compass.
If you learned everything you needed to know in Sunday School, you can skip this book but I found the book to be very spiritual and mostly uplifting. A couple of quotes:
“I felt as if something they all passionately believed in depended on me carrying on with something I didn’t.” pg 954
“We’ll be alive again in a thousand blades of grass, and a million leaves, we’ll be falling in the raindrops and blowing in the fresh breeze, we’ll be glittering in the dew under the stars and moon out there in the physical world which is our true home and always was.” pg 854
“If you wanted to divert a mighty river into a different course, and all you had was a single pebble, you could do it as long as you put the pebble in the right place to send the first trickle of water that way instead of this.”