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From: William Ansley <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Phillip Pullman
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 12:33:54 

I have read them. First, let me say that I like children's books. (Probably 
because I have a childish personality, err... I mean childlike sense of 
wonder.) I am also a big fan of the Harry Potter books, although I don't 
understand all the hoopla.

As far as the Pullman books go, I thought _The Golden Compass_ was 
wonderful. The writing is superb, the characterizations excellent and the 
plot fascinating. Practically the only reason this is considered a 
children's book is that the protagonist is a eleven-year-old girl. In 
nearly every other way, this book is on an adult level.

_The Subtle Knife_ is just as good, but it leaves you with an uneasy 
feeling that Pullman will not be able to pull off a satisfying conclusion. 
And he does not. In spades.

In _The Amber Spyglass_ the whole works just blows up in your face. The 
plot clanks; endless needless complications and characters are introduced. 
The characters, at least some of them, including major ones, start acting 
unlike themselves. And Pullman evidently regards the success of the first 
two volumes in the series to be a license to turns parts of the third book 
into a virulent anti-Catholic screed (thinly disguised but unmistakable). I 
consider myself agnostic, but this aspect of the book made me 
uncomfortable. A certain anti-church bias is evident in the first two books 
as well, but nothing like what comes out in the third.

In short, I might recommend this series on the merits of the first two 
volumes, but only to someone who is not likely to be offended by a very 
anti-Christian message. (This seems to be a real bugaboo for Pullman. He 
apparently gave an interview some time ago in which he attacked C. S. Lewis 
and the Narnia books, which garnered him much ill will from their fans.)

William Ansley

At 11:12 AM 4/18/2001 -0400, you wrote:
>You're thinking of the right person; his series is titled
>His Dark Materials, and comprises three volumes:
>_The Golden Compass_; _The Subtle Knife_; and
>_The Amber Spyglass_.
>It's been strongly recommended to me by my book-
>seller and by other friends, though not with the  . . .
>fervor . . . that Harry Potter seems to engender.
>Mark Millman
>At 10:33 AM 18-04-01 -0400, you wrote:
> > Is Phillip Pullman that children's-book
> > writer. The Golden Somethingorother?
> > I've noticed his name and thought I
> > might look into him, maybe at the li-
> > brary. What are the names of the books
> > in the trilogy? (Too lazy to consult
> > Amazon.)
> >
> > -alga
>*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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