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The Golden Compass & His Dark Materials discussion
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys!

Altough not a bad book, The Golden Compass undeniably remained a YA novel. But I had heard so much concerning Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials that I kept telling myself that there had to be more to this than what I first glimpsed in the opening chapter of this trilogy.

So I gave The Subtle Knife a chance, and I'm sure glad I did so. While its predecessor was definitely aimed at a younger audience, this one can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. There were a number of hints which appeared to point toward a moral complexity to this story in The Golden Compass. And I'm quite pleased that the author has been laying the groundwork pertaining to those by exploring concepts such as the unending conflict between Church and Science. The theological and philosophical aspects of this second volume give another dimension to what is shaping up to be a very good fantasy tale. Yet those concepts are not something I expected to find in children's book. And I know that a lot of noise was made a few years back, because of Pullman's views concerning the Church and all... As adults, thought-provoking stuff is always very interesting. Was anyone else surprised with the direction the author is taking with this series??? I'm certainly not against it, but I'm curious to know how other readers felt about that. . .

I felt that this novel was too short. It gives us a few glimpses of the depth of Pullman's work, but not enough. I can only hope that the final volume will live up to the expectations generated by The Subtle Knife.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys!

Sadly, I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed by this novel. It's not that The Amber Spyglass is a bad book. Far from it, to tell the truth. And yet, it doesn't live up to the expectations generated by its predecessors. The story falls short on certain levels, which prevented me from enjoying this book as much as I would have wanted.

Given the size of this one, I believed that The Amber Spyglass would continue to explore those concepts which, in the previous volumes, seemed to hint at a definite moral complexity. The theological and philosophical aspects, a bit more present in The Subtle Knife, are once more a part of the tale. But unfortunately, the author fails to elaborate on several issues, such as the Church and everything that surrounds it and its power in every world, Mrs. Coulter and her powers, Lord Asriel, etc. Incidently, every secret which I hoped would be revealed in this last volume remained hidden or half disclosed. That was a major disappointment for me.

As was the case with both The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife, the imagery was arresting. But the worldbuilding could have been much better. Pullman basically had carte blanche to create whatever his imagination fancied, so I was hoping for far more interesting worlds and universes. . .

The characterizations and dialogues are much better in this novel. Will and Lyra continue to be a well-balanced duo. But other characters, such as Dr. Malone and Father Gomez, were not fully realized.

The ending was anti-climatic, but I expected as much from a YA book. Volume 2 of His Dark Materials was too short. I'm of the opinion that The Amber Spyglass was a bit too long. The pace is at times sluggish.

All in all, a nice enough series. Yet it certainly doesn't live up to all the hype which has surrounded it since its initial release.

Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love these books.
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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off I am surprised and overjoyed to find others who enjoy this book Big Grin Next off I would have to say I wouldn't want to live in the land of the dead.....I mean it's nothing but a perpetuating torture.

-Also i do believe Marisa loved Lyra becuse I am again re-reading these books and I noticed subtle hints as to Marisa's true feelings for her daughter. Though these only become painfully apparent in the third book.
-As for the Deamons most of the reasons mentioned before I completely agree with.....As for the Witchs I think because of the freedom the witchs feel from the moon and the stars a bird would be the perfect reflection of their personality.
-As for the different worlds I wouldn't stay in hers.....becuase the pain she would feel from my early death on account of me staying for her would be immense. i wouldn't want the love of my life to suffer becuase of me....As heart renching as it would be I would remain i n my home world. (sorry not answered in order.....I think) and i am overjoyed to learn of the book Lyra's Oxford And I thank you for the knowledge of it's exsistance. ( sorry about how impersonal my writing may seem)
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2006 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i just picked up the first book willmlet you know my thoughts what i think
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dammit! I got excited reading about the 'golden compass' thinking there was another book in the series - but I assume this is a different title for what's 'northern lights' here in uk?

Loved these books. But, strangely for me, in fact perhaps uniquely, I have never had the urge to re-read them.

I still can't believed that they are found in the children's sections of bookshops here!
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's surprising. Their about Quantum Physics.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im trying to get my twin to read 'em. Wouldnt it be so cool if we had Deamons? that would be so great, it would be able to say so much about for you. I hope i would get a wolf or something like Asriel. Oh Asriel hes my favorite character. I like dearly!
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunder wrote:
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Im trying to get my twin to read 'em. Wouldnt it be so cool if we had Deamons? that would be so great, it would be able to say so much about for you. I hope i would get a wolf or something like Asriel. Oh Asriel hes my favorite character. I like dearly!


You mean you don't have daemons over in California? Sad

Maybe you just think you don't! Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not very impressed with His Dark Matrials at all. However, went to see the play in London last year and that was extremely well done, the way they used the various parts of the stage (which could rotate as well as go up and down by individual sections was extremely weel done and if they ever do it again I would thoroughly recommend it to anybody and everybody
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

paul.mac wrote:
Not very impressed with His Dark Matrials at all. However, went to see the play in London last year and that was extremely well done, the way they used the various parts of the stage (which could rotate as well as go up and down by individual sections was extremely weel done and if they ever do it again I would thoroughly recommend it to anybody and everybody
Paul - I also saw the play in London. I couldn't imagine how they could portray the daemons - but they did it very well. Also the Polar Bears. I can't wait for the movie but fear that it will be rather "watered down" in the anti-organised religion theme.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe this topic has existed so long without anyone mentioning Paradise Lost.

I really enjoyed the movie (Golden Compass) and then decided to read the entire series as soon as possible. All in all I was quite impressed with the first book (the Northern Lights / Golden Compass) and delighted in how it was so different (and much darker) than the movie. I thought it could only get better from there!

And then halfway through the Subtle Knife I realised that there were very few characters that I actually liked.. And the ones I did like had died.

The Amber Spyglass.. That was pretty poor. There was a particular scene, the fight between the African helicopter folks and the Sweedish crossbowmen at the intense face off between Mrs Coulter,, Will and Lyra.. And in my head it should have been fantastic, but it was so dull to read I struggled to get through it. But WTF was all that with the Dust and Miss Malone's Spyglass? Did Will and Lyra stop the leaking just by falling in Love? WTF??? It that the sole purpose of the Spyglass?? Dissapointing!

And for the Love of God what was it that caused Will's Daemon to become invisible, whilst Mary's wasn't?

And there was this huge build up to a huge war between the Authority and 'the Good guys' which we never got to see much of.

As to the questions.. I'll skip 1 and 2. Kinda irrelevant.

The land of the dead v dissolving is great..It's just like in 'The Other Wind' - the last book in the Earthsea Chrons, cept it was much more well written in that. I love the symbolism (& Taoism) aspect of all the atoms of your being continuing to live on in the natural world as trees and all that..

4. In answer to Question 4.. All I can say is that when the book finished I was left with the feeling that neither Will or Lyra had actually done very much at all.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My sister has been nagging on me for years to read the trilogy, she says it's really good...

I thought the movie stunk...it could have been really good, but the pacing, tone and development were off...too bad...the artistic feel was awesome...
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the movie is frustrating. They had a perfect cast and great production values, they just totally pussed out. The ending was ruined, all the magisterium's connection with religion was nixed, Azriel was COMPLETELY changed. They altered the story significantly to place the climax at the wrong place. The POINT of the first book lies in the last chapter, which was completely removed from the movie.

It's also harder to understand why Lyra is so wonderful and special as a character. She wasn't given a lot of her most validating scenes from the book. The Story doesn't *really* hit the bone until the Subtle Knife, which actually made me weep with joy. These books are among the most important works of fantasy ever. I wish I had a chance to read them when I was a child myself. I would have treasured them.

And Cmon! Will Turner MADE the series for me! He might be the greatest protagonist from any fiction I have ever read.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The movie was awful, i have only read 'Northern Lights', and I enjoyed that.

As someone else pointed out they completely negated the anti-religion angle, it was disgusting to be honest. If i were Pullman i would have distanced myself from the movie.

The only time it came to life was when Kidman was involved, everything else was awful. There was no sense of wonder, you never got involved in it, i couldn't have cared less about any of the charachters. The whole thing was shoddy, poorly realised, and cobbled together. A cash-in of the worst kind.

When you watch LOTR, you can see the effort that has gone into it, it's a labor of love for those involved. It was superior film-making.

It doesnlt seem that thyey're going bother making the other two films, i can't see any plans for it - i'm glad, as the first one was bloody awful I had high hopes, and it was absolutely dreadful.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen the movie.

-----

I read the first book, and while I enjoyed 99% of it, something about the ending really left a sour taste in my mouth, so I never went on to read the following two books, apart from a couple of chapters of book 2.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am afraid they are books you read once to see what the fuss is about and then they moulder away on the books shelves.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hue of bone wrote:
I am afraid they are books you read once to see what the fuss is about and then they moulder away on the books shelves.


Yeah I concur.. Anyone in Australia want my collection of the books? Only read once.. They're pretty to look at.. Maybe you want a gift for someone you don't like?
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bump for current discussion.

(Blast from the past. I also stuck together the two separate topics on it, since the posts didn't overlap and they both had relevant stuff in.)
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for bumping, I searched (I really did!) for a discussion and was surprised the search didn't come up with a topic.

Not much here that wasn't said more succinctly in the "RIGHT NOW?" thread. Smile Though I'm surprised to find the books not as well loved as I would have expected.
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