Wednesday, January 3, 2007

His Dark Materials

The Golden Compass (read in 2006)
The Subtle Knife (2006)
The Amber Spyglass (1st of 2007)

Pullman’s retelling of Paradise Lost in a contemporary society that never experienced the Enlightenment is more, well, enlightened than anything else. I love this series. 2/3 of it is perfect.

One of the things I really liked about it is the complete lack of an absolutely evil character, in a reflection of Eastern beliefs that all humans are imbibed with an equal amount of good and evil. Evil exists as a balancing force to good. His combination of Eastern and Western religious and philosophical thought makes for an interesting polemic in the trilogy.

Unfortunately, the series does decline by the end. I was very disappointed in The Amber Spyglass; the events were anti-climatic and did not live up to the suspense in the first two novels. Pullman’s bias shines through in the last novel, which would fine, if it was more subtle.

I must say, this was a disappointing first read for the year. And the next one isn't any better.

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