Thursday, May 15, 2014

His Dark Materials, The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman

I plowed through this a couple of years ago, adored it and therefore insisted on reading it aloud to my initially reluctant offspring now that I consider them old enough. 
(After a couple of chapters, of course, their unwillingness had given way to enthralment. Good literature IS, after all, good literature!)

Admittedly, the plot can seem somewhat intricate for a ten-year-old, although Lyra's disneyesque 'daemon' alter ego not only tantalizes the kids but also allows for enlightenment and explicating. 
The plot is a young girl's quest in a parallel universe, sharing a common geography with our world, taking her from the Oxford colleges up to the North Pole (= extra fun for Scandinavians).

The trilogy predates Potter by a few years, yet the two have a lot in common (otherworldly exploits of an orphan predestined for great things). 
Pullman is more virulent in his criticism, particularly of the church and of parenthood. (Absent parents are a narrative necessity in books about youngsters - but downright evil mothers are few and far between in YA literature!)

Brilliant writing!

My views on the film

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