January 4, 2005

All about books this year – Part 5

The award for It’s not just for kids goes to the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.
As far as debuts go, this is astounding. It’s consistent, it never slows down, it’s well thought through, it’s a disciplined creation. It has a strong message, but not so strong that the plot is relegated to the status of a vehicle for carrying it. It goes to all sorts of fabulous places, and the images that are produced in your mind are crisp and full of detail.
Though it seems barmy to compare this book to either The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy or The Lord Of The Rings, many of the above compliments can be applied to all three (okay, calling the HHGG a disciplined creation is clearly utter bollocks, I admit). As a result, it probably deserves a place on your bookshelf between them.
Official Philip Pullman site


6 thoughts on “All about books this year – Part 5

  1. I had no urge to read it, until I read that in the film, they’re removing the references to God in it.
    Which I thought was kind of odd, but no big deal, until I read the plot synopsis.
    At which point I laughed, quite a lot, then shook my head and decided I needed to read the books.

  2. I think it was your good self (or Karen) that suggested I read these and I did. And very good they are too.
    As for removing references to God from the movie.. WTF? How’s that gonna work then?

  3. I agree, Gordon, the idea of it with no mentions of God seems – well, bizarre.
    But the books are bloody good – even my father loved them.

  4. I’ve also read them via Karen’s recommendation and enjoyed the trilogy very much. I was surprised by this as first I grabbed another Pullman book with a horrible Hungarian translation and hated it, but fortunately the His Dark materials books were neatly published here.
    Sometimes bad translation can destroy a good book.

  5. Wha…? How can they take out the references to God? How on earth is the story going to work? A definite skip then. One of the reasons I cackled with insane glee throughout the trilogy was because of the revolutionary ideas about [the stern Christian concept of] God. “Children are reading this? Fantastic!” A thoroughly magical and enjoyable series of books.

    Princess of Darkness on January 5, 2005
  6. I can’t tell you how many of my friends recommended this series. I finally had to buy it just to shut them up. It’s on the shelf and I will be reading it the minute I’m back from vacation.

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