Wednesday, December 12, 2007

His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman

I went to see the movie The Golden Compass over the weekend. Before I went, I didn't know it was based on a series of books...and I also didn't know about the controversy surrounding them. A friend of mine gave me all three volumes as an early Christmas gift, and I just finished reading them today.
These three books, especially the last one, The Amber Spyglass, are without a doubt the most disturbing books I've ever read. Perhaps it's his treatment of his characters, twelve-year-old children, forced again and again to face cruel horrors beyond anyone's imaginings but Pullman's.
I'm torn, because the writing was fantastic, the characters rich and real, the story riveting, and yet, rather than the post-great-book afterglow I usually experience, I felt nauseous, like I'd been forcibly strapped into a bus climbing the road to Machu Picchu. Yeah, the view was great, but...
If anyone else has read them too, I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts. And if you haven't, they're selling a nice big fat compilation at Walmart under the title, "His Dark Materials" for a decent price.
Oh, and p.s.; if you have a child, DON'T take them to see the movie unless they're thirteen or older. Trust me.


Catherine said...

I'm glad to see your review, I think we agree! I just posted mine as well here if you're interested. I'd love your feedback!

Mary Cunningham said...

Bravo to you, Jacquelyn and to Catherine for your thoughtful reviews.

Having never read the books, nor seen the movie, I won't comment on either. Nothing annoys me more than someone either praising the message or vowing to boycott the movie when they haven't seen it! Or they're calling for a book ban and they haven't read them. They're just parroting snippets of e-mails and reviews.

I'll reserve judgement.