Greetings, and happy holidays everyone.
I have merely just began reading the first 50 pages of this incredible book, and It made me feel quite good as if I haven't read a good book in awhile. Overall, the author did a great job with describing settings and characters and such; it's as if you're truly there.
As you may or may not know, people have been bringing religion into the series, when in reality, it should be left alone in my opinion. However, this topic is in my opinion rather dull and one I prefer not discussing towards this great series.
Suspense is around every corner in this book. Fantasy creatures, and people unite as one to help each other live what we call every day lives.
What are your opinions regarding this book?
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Posted 04 December 2007 - 07:14 PM
Greetings, and happy holidays everyone.
Posted 06 December 2007 - 03:16 PM
It's an interesting enough set of books and I read the first 2 in a day each. The 3rd one I found a bit less engaging though, the stuff with the Wheelies just didn't grab me as much and I'd much rather read about the kids.
There's some great stuff in it though. It's not my favourite kids series but it's interesting, quite well written and I have a think for Blake stuff so a lot of the themes are really interesting for me. I'm hoping Hollywood won't ruin the other 2 films by trying to tone down the religion-related elements of it, because that would be a real shame.
It's a good series, but I prefer Robin Jarvis, Lemony Snicket or Garth Nix's stuff.
Posted 08 December 2007 - 02:13 PM
I'll say myself... I don't have that much of an interest in reading it, especially due to Pullman's comments (Whether the book has anti-Christian symbols or not, I don't like it when people bash religion X_X. Pullman saying that he wants to "destroy God in the minds of all children" is really enough for me to say no to anything he writes. ), but I heard it is a sort of good book. Then again, the people who say so are reading it because it was written by an atheist... so... I don't know.
I'd much rather take Narnia any day.
Of course, as you know, I never READ the Golden Compass or His Darkest Materials. All I heard is that the story has a lot of mentions of how the 'religion' in it is bad (An ex-nun says the religion was "Never suppose to exist." ), and all I really know is that Pullman hates CS Lewis and Narnia, and that in the end the children kill someone that's suppose to be God/impersonating God (Jesus, anyone?). The book is about 11 years old anyway >>. I heard the movie itself was advertised a lot but a lot of people said that it was not a really good movie (Bad special effects, too complicated story). BUT, the anti-religion stuff was edited out.
Posted 08 December 2007 - 04:11 PM
It does show that there can be good people who are not built on faith in the authority, and also for the record the thing that they kill is not actually god and it is definitely not jesus (it's not even the one from our world anyway). And it isn't a vicious attack, it is something merciful (not to mention accidental), putting something out of it's misery that has been abused and used to further lies for centuries.
The anti-religion stuff wasn't edited out, it was just toned down to be a little less preachy, and works better for it.
As for it being better than Narnia, neither are at all my favourites but having studied Narnia in depth at uni and written about it, I much prefer Pullman's as regardless on your faith, His Dark Materials is against dogma whereas Narnia is thinly veiled Christian allegory with some pretty dubious moral elements thrown in there. (In narnia you only have true faith if you're willing to kill things for it, and hey, that cow Susan likes makeup and boys, of course she can't go to heave-- I mean the narnia within narnia. Not to mention to potentially horribly racist Tash stuff in The Last Battle, which is going to be a political minefield to film.) I'm not a big fan of indoctrination, and while there is some cool stuff in CS Lewis, there has been so much written since that it has dated really quite badly at points. (And really, can you brush off Pullman as 11 years old and then go to Narnia? That's MUCH older.)
It's worth reading the Pullman stuff. The ex nun (one of the least interesting characters in the story) doesn't come in till like the 3rd book anyway. The writing is a little clunky, but there is much more depth and emotion to the story, rather than the clear cut black and white good vs evil of Narnia. But seriously, it's much more against the abuse of religion than being anti-religion itself. It's also very much about free will and growing up, and abuse of ideas like original sin to mess with the lives of others.
If you utterly can't stand something that deals with stuff like that, you might want to steer away from them, though there are thousands of amazing works of fiction that are written by people who are not all 'woo, god!'. Seriously, if you close yourself off from all literature written by someone who had opposing religious views to your own, then you will miss a lot of good things. Open your mind a bit, books are not the person who wrote them, they're what YOU make of them. And I'm not saying this as an atheist, I'm an agnostic. Go read the things before you decide what they're saying is so offensive. Anything is just buying into controversy and hype.
Seriously, people need to stop getting outraged about books they've never read. It's silly. XD
Posted 08 December 2007 - 04:51 PM
I read the books when I was in my early teens, and there is A LOT of things in there that has shaped my own beliefs, along with christian views from my childhood. If you want it to be a book that "bashes religion" then hey, I'm sure you can make it into that. For me however, it was a story about growing up and standing up against authority in various ways. I never saw it as "Anti-God", just anti-religious abuse just like KT said.
As for it being 11 years old...*cough* I find it funny that you take that as something worth dismissing the books over, seeing what this forum is dedicated too. XD
Posted 08 December 2007 - 05:52 PM
Posted 08 December 2007 - 07:57 PM
Posted 08 December 2007 - 09:27 PM
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