One of the few advantages of having been knocked over by a nasty fluey cold is the chance to catch up on reading. Having had "Philip Pullman" and his "His Dark Materials" graze my consciousness several times recently, I've finally read the trilogy.
The first book in the series (Northern Lights in the UK, The Golden Compass in the US) has been filmed (don't hold your breath, it's not due out till December) but I wanted to explore the world in words first, let my mind imagine rather than just accepting the vision of the film-makers.
Not an 'easy' read - it's shelved among the teenage literature, but those wanting a quick read won't find this suits, it's too meaty and thoughtful. Pullman's interested in exploring ideas and isn't afraid to grapple with large ones. Great imagination in the side-shifts, a world like and yet unlike ours and well-drawn characters.
(Apparently the same editor was responsible for changing the first Harry Potter book's title and the first book in this series. I'm boggled. I've met plenty of intelligent Americans - it's hard to believe the US market couldn't have coped with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Northern Lights, instead of saddling them with a sorcerer's stone and golden compass).