Sunday, October 07, 2007

Found my Daemon

I love the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. It's probably one of the best young adult fantasy series of the last twenty years, and yes I'm putting it up against Harry Potter. In terms of sheer literary power and quality of writing I give the edge to Dark Materials.

The first book The Golden Compass is about to become a movie and so far looks pretty good. One good thing about the huge success of the Lord of the Rings films, the Potter movies and the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe may be the message to film-makers that following the books as closely as possible is the avenue to artistic and commercial success.

The His Dark Materials trilogy is in many ways the anti-Narnia. While Narnia was very strongly a Christian allegory - despite C.S. Lewis's denials - the world of His Dark Materials is very definitely not. There are enough cogent critiques of the organized religion mentality in this series to put it on the top of your average fanatic's bonfire list.

In the world of The Golden Compass, human souls are externally projected in the form of daemons, animal spirits almost always the opposite gender from their human with strong personalities of their own. At the film site for The Golden Compass you can do a quick personality test and get a daemon of your own. Here's where to get yours:


bigcitylib said...

Thought the third book (Amber Spyglass) fell apart towards the end.

Cliff said...

It's interesting how similar it was to the ending of Le Guin's Earthsea saga. Almost identical in fact. I don't think either writer copied the other - I think it was an example of two writers coming to the same themes simultaneously.

The ending worked for me, but I can see how it might seem anti-climactic.

berlynn said...

My eldest teen insisted that I read Pullman and I am very glad I did. There are many good authors a young adult fiction, but Pullman is one of the finest.

The daughter is a little worried about the movie, hoping they don't flub it like so many others have.

Matthew The Astrologer said...

Strange. I've always really wanted to be a raccoon...

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