Thursday, April 26, 2007

His Dark Materials trilogy

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.

Good reading.

(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).


candyschultz said...

Oh I love those books. I reread them last year. As for the title changes - I'm not so sure the average American has any idea what a philosopher is. Our educational system is really bad. Of course those people would never want to read Pullman in the first place. His books are on the list to grab if there is ever a disaster - other than the one we are living with in the White House.

Anonymous said...

I adore the Philip Pullman "Dark Materials" trilogy... and did you know Nicole Kidman is playing the evil mother in the film?

Some of Pullman's other books are good too - tending towards the melodramatic but still very well written. (Try the series which includes "The Ruby in the Smoke" if you're at all interested in Victorian England and photography).

I've been re-reading the His Dark Materials trilogy at least once a year since it came out, I never get tired of it!

rooruu said...

Caity, I did some imdb digging on the film - YouTube has the teaser trailer (it loads faster than on the official site). Some excellent casting - Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel, Eva Green as Serafina. It looks promising...

Thanks for the tip, I was thinking I'd try the Sally Lockhart ones next.