His Dark Materials Trilogy

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His Dark Materials Trilogy

Postby lyra belacqua on Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:37 am

"We don't need lists of rights and wrongs, tables of do's and don'ts: we need books, time, and silence. 'Thou shalt not' is soon forgotten, but 'Once upon a time' lasts forever." --Philip Pullman

The triology includes the books: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass
Additional texts include: Lyra's Oxford and the play adaptation of the triology titled His Dark Materials

For those not in the know:
Lyra Belacqua is growing up in Oxford, but not our Oxford (which does exist), but an alternative Oxford where parts of our souls live as beings, kind of like pets, but emotionally and physically connected to us. There is also a Church, evil experimentation on children, travels between alternative worlds, parents with missions, angels, witches, armored polar bears, and the mystery of "Dust". The books delve into philosophy, theology, physics, love, ideology, morality, and so much more. Although the books are marked Young Adult Fiction, they are probably better appreciated and understood by adults.
Warning: If you really like the character of "God" and all the religion (especially Christian) that surrounds him, it would probably be best to skip these books. Unless, of course, you really are open minded.

My name here in the forums refers to His Dark Materials and I hereby recommend the books to everyone.
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Postby Man-in-the-Box on Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:47 am

Lyra, I am a Christian, but I think tha I'm pretty open minded. Would you consider these books to be over the top offensive to a Christian. It sounds like interesting reading, but I wouldn't want to spend my money on something that felt was bludgening me over the head with how stupid my beliefs are. What say you?
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Postby PVIII on Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:58 am

I loved these books when I was younger, but I'm not sure how they hold up. I know New Line has the rights to them though, and I'm sure they'd make a great trilogy...

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Postby TonyWilson on Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:08 pm

*******SPOILER ALERT********


Ok Man In Box, I'll go out on a limb here and say you will probably not like these books.
The plot or main thrust of these books involves, what people in our reality, see as the devil trying to kill god, however what the book is saying is that God isn't god merely the first angel, powerful and egotistical and that the devil should kill him.

I mean that is a really simplified view of it but it's what angers most christians about these books.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Jul 18, 2005 6:58 pm

If it is true that you are open-minded, I would, for the first time, have to disagree with my esteemed colleague Tony Wilson, and say READ THESE BOOKS!!!

I was raised as an athiest, have since become agnostic, so the religious controversy surrounding the books is beyond me, but I would think, if one was open-minded, that if anything these books will stir debate and make one think about religion, life, death. And whilst obviously not being a biblical scholar, isn't thinking what St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and numerous other great Christian Scholars did?

Also Man-in-box, it's also really only the third book of the trilogy that got the religious right here in the U.S. really upset.

And to leave out the religious debate, these books are brilliant fantasy fiction, up there with "Lord of the Rings", "Harry Potter". Great reads. Don't let what others tell you stop you...and even if you are offended and despise the message of the books, at least we have a forum here where we could debate them.
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Postby TonyWilson on Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:07 pm

Hmm, keepcool, I see your point.

I mean maybe I'm just too clouded by what we get over here with these books. There's a very large divide. I wouldn't want to tell anyone not to read them. Though I did say I though he wouldn't like them I should have been a bit more positive about peoples openmindedness on here.

From my experience with christians who I leant them too they really did just pick up on that one thing and couldn't let it go.


These books are really quite excellent, they really do rival Narnia or LOTR and for me are much better then the Potter series.

I shall go and post in AICN CONFESSIONS for my sins.
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Postby Man-in-the-Box on Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:13 am

If I get the opportunity, I'll give them a chance. Why not, right. I enjoyed The Da Vinci code, and I always welcome new thoughts and ideas. Thanks to all of you for the feedback.
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Postby PVIII on Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:38 am

Am I the only one who HATED the Da Vinci Code? I thought it read like shite.

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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:20 pm

No, you not a the only one... it was a, how you say? shite. But a the goddamn putz, he made a the millions. Dino always a say, nobody ever a went a broke a pandering to a the lowest a common denominatrix. Just a look at a me! Hehehe...
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Postby Nordling on Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:46 pm

Something about this series didn't take for me. I don't know. I liked a lot of it, but I just didn't get all that excited about the characters. That last book I just finished so I could say I finished it.
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Postby John-Locke on Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:50 pm

Sorry to be pedantic but shouldn't the title read...

His Dark Materials Trilogy
Instead of
His Dark Materials Triology

or am I missing some vital information about the series.

I hope you don't teach English Lyra ;-)
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Postby lyra belacqua on Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:54 pm

Of course I teach English. I just cannot spell. I seriously spell check every other word I put up here on the forums. Obviously, I missed that one.

I'm practically perfect in every other way.
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Postby John-Locke on Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:07 pm

Hey it's easily done. It's only because it was the boards name that I noticed in the first place.

As far as His Dark Materials goes, I am yet to read them. If they don't start working on the Movie soon I'll pick them up.

Personally I love films so much, that when something is meant to be this good, I'd rather wait for the film so I can enjoy it with an unbiased opinion, then read all the good stuff they left out. I did that for LOTR and I was not disappointed.

The themes of the books do sound fascinating and is sure to whirl up a storm for a lot of Religious types.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Fri Jul 22, 2005 12:02 am

Dear lord, The Da Vinci Code is one of the most overrated and overhyped piece of dime-store fiction I have ever read in my life. The "religious controversy" aspect of the book only served to hide the fact that the book was a cheap, cliched thriller. Which it didn't.

Our heroes flee from the law in a race against time to stop a mysterious string of murders and uncover an ancient secret before an unknown villian (who may be closer than our heroes imagine) and his 007-style weirdo sidekick beat them to it. How fucking paint-by-numbers can you get? It's as if he grabbed a random novel from an airport book store, read the copy on the back, and said "Let's throw some Jesus shit in this!"

Honestly, that either side of this "controversy" thought this book was worth the effort...it just pisses me off.
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Postby lyra belacqua on Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:06 pm

The Da Vinci Code was simplistic and sensationalistic=big hit in US. I barely look at best seller lists anymore b/c the mass of American readers read crap. I finally read it after receiving the upteenth recommendation by people I know, people I thought had decent taste. I clearly need to know more people. I read it in about three hours and then had to tell those that wanted to know what I thought that it was crap (sure I could have lied, but why do that when the truth is more destructive?). It was one of the last times I had friends recommend books to me.

On the other hand, I did talk my old-lady-library book group into reading The Mayor of Casterbridge by Hardy. The jumped at the "drunken man sells his wife and child in a bar one night" story synopsis. Now I'm just praying they at least get through the whole book, otherwise the book club meeting is going to be painful.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:04 pm

The Da Vinci Code was "Literature" and I use that term loosely for the masses. It was quite simply..... Simple. No depth, no "big words", no plot structure that would confuse those of a low IQ. I felt dumber after reading it.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:12 pm

The Dino, he loves a him a the Betty Page...

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Postby Guest on Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:18 pm

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Re: His Dark Materials Trilogy

Postby Bean on Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:20 pm

lyra belacqua wrote:
My name here in the forums refers to His Dark Materials and I hereby recommend the books to everyone.


Woah and here I thought I was the only one who did that! I put these series on my list to read, thanks for the recomendation!
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Postby John-Locke on Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:25 pm

Anand Tucker is a brave and bold move, I used to work with someone who had worked with him extensively as Line Produced on Saint Ex as well as producer for his adverts. I think this could be a good choice, he'd certainly treat it with the respect it deserves.

Who posted the link though?
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Postby lyra belacqua on Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:26 pm

Bean, why is your signature so long? It's moving the whole page.

And wait, I forget who you are, are you the youngster? I'm too lazy to look you up in the intros thread.
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Postby bluebottle on Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:35 pm

someone described a series of books to me as "steam punk"...

same books?

i've got the golden compass, but it's in the middle of my "to read" pile.
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Postby lyra belacqua on Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:42 pm

What the hell is "steam punk"?

Move it to the top please or nearer the top. It's worth it. There aren't many books I can point to and say it helped to change the way I think. These books did. It may seem silly to think that YA books can do that, but I think ALL books have that power. OMG, I'm such a fucking English teacher.
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Postby Adam Balm on Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:48 pm

Steam punk is like Sterling and Gibson's the Difference Engine. It's SF set in the victorian age with a cyberpunk mentality.
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Postby John-Locke on Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:51 pm

So Lyra are you happy it's going to be made into a movie, are you happy with the choice of Director?

I'm not going to read the books until I've seen the movies because the books are always going to be better than the films, so I don't want to got in with preconcieved expectations, How well do you think they could be adapted to the screen?
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Postby lyra belacqua on Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:59 pm

NO! NO! NO! You read those fucking books before the movies! Are you listening? You don't have that kinda time to wait.

And yes, I'm very happy. I was kind of jumping up and down a little after I read the article. I liked what I read in the article about Tucker, but I'v never seen anything he's directed. I better head over to Netflix.

What I'm worried about is budget. The only way, I think, the movies (and I'm giddy over the fact that they seem to be doing all three instead of just one mixture of all three) could be adapted was with lots of $$$. I like that it's New Line, but His Dark Materials is not as well know as The Lord of the Rings. I think I now know how LotR fans felt when that was announced.
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Postby John-Locke on Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:03 pm

Lyra wrote
You don't have that kinda time to wait.


What does that mean? do you think I'm going to die or something? You've got me worried now.
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Postby lyra belacqua on Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:07 pm

I'm sorry. It's just a twist on a quote from a movie my family basically knows by heart. It's just one of those short-hands I'm used to using and not remembering that others don't get it.

I just mean that the books are too good to wait around to read.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:42 pm

AAAWWW YEEEAAAHHH!!! :!: :!: :!:

ARMORED POLAR BEARS!!!

If Pullman's happy, so am I.

Locke, in terms of putting this on the big screen, the problems would be...

1. Will they stay true to the message of the books? With Pullman being pleased, I'd say they must've done something right. Even if they pull some punches (and I fully expect they will), getting Pullman's blessing is a good start.

2. Casting...child actors. This will be tricky. Are they filming all 3 at once? Lots (and lots) of things occur in these books, but in a relatively short period of time. If they take too long inbetween movies it could be an issue.

3. Budget. Good call Lyra. To do it right it's gotta be huge. There are many moments that could be shot in any studio on the cheap. But the big moments are fucking huge. And a CGI polar bear, daemons...thank your god that it's New Line. I'm more excited that they're behind this than the director. Not that I have anything against him (and he should be able to nail the drama), but his handling of the action scenes/CGI is what I'm concerned with.

and oh, by the way, if I didn't make it clear...

ARMORED FUCKING POLAR BEARS!!!
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Postby lyra belacqua on Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:05 am

keepcoolbutcare wrote:If Pullman's happy, so am I.

ARMORED FUCKING POLAR BEARS!!!



I've given up on your number 1. I know Pullman says he's happy, but there is no way these books are going to be made into marketable movies without major concessions. I'll be happy if they keep the angels.

And I'm with you on the casting. I think they would have to try to do the movies back to back, like with HP, to keep the child actors at the right age or they will raise Lyra and Will's ages to later teenage. I could see the age change happing b/c I know it would address a major criticism that other people I know had with the final book (the sexual maturity thing).

I don't care. I want them made. NOW!
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:46 am

trouble in paradise...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/4133846.stm

That's the kick in the nuts I was waiting for. Oh well, get Iorek right, have Will be a total badass, cast it properly, and...oh fuck, now I'm depressed.
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Postby evolvingsensblty on Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:03 am

John-Locke wrote:Anand Tucker is a brave and bold move....
Who posted the link though?

Maybe it was Anand Tucker hisself...No, It was me, I forgot to log in. (That's something that needs to be changed, or were going to have a million "guests" insulting Harry, Mori, just causing mayhem.)

I'm not going to read the books until I've seen the movies because the books are always going to be better than the films, so I don't want to got in with preconcieved expectations

That's a good point, but I'm just the opposite. Because the books are better, I would rather discover the material through the reading, rather than have the movie images in my head as I read. The images I can picture in my mind will always be better than any movie. That's easier to do if I haven't seen the movie yet.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:45 pm

A brilliant fantasy novel.

The world's foremost director of the fantastic.

And they don't even talk to him? Was he allowed to pitch his ideas at least?

Oh, let's get one of the creators of "American Pie" (I guess that could be considered a fantasy) and a guy with 2, count 'em, 2 movies under his belt to film a big budget adaptation of a seminal fantasy series. Sigh. A man can dream, a man can dream.

http://movies.monstersandcritics.com/news/article_1041191.php/Terry_Gilliam_expresses_interest_in_His_Dark_Materials
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Postby thomasgaffney on Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:19 pm

Bringing back on old thread here, but I'm almost done Subtle Knife at this point and I love these books! I'm so hooked, it's not even funny. And I can't begin to guess how this thing is going to end. For other Zoners who haven't read this trilogy, you should pick them up. I thought Golden Compass/Northern Lights (1st book - title depends on what country you are in) started off a little slow, but once the plot really got rolling, I've been unable to stop reading. I'd love to see a movie on this story, but at the same time, It would never capture what I picture in my head as I read them...
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Postby John-Locke on Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:28 pm

You do know that Anand Tucker (Hilary and Jackie) is set to direct the first book?

You knew that right?
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Postby thomasgaffney on Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:30 pm

I knew directors were being attached to a movie version, but I never paid attention to any Dark Materials news cause I hadn't read the books before now. I still don't know if I would go see the movie and have my perceptions of the characters and everything change.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:11 pm

thomasgaffney wrote:Bringing back on old thread here, but I'm almost done Subtle Knife at this point and I love these books! I'm so hooked, it's not even funny. And I can't begin to guess how this thing is going to end. For other Zoners who haven't read this trilogy, you should pick them up. I thought Golden Compass/Northern Lights (1st book - title depends on what country you are in) started off a little slow, but once the plot really got rolling, I've been unable to stop reading. I'd love to see a movie on this story, but at the same time, It would never capture what I picture in my head as I read them...


Glad you like 'em.

Good analysis as well...I tell people to just give the first book about 75 pages, and then BAM! You're sucked right in. The Subtle Knife, heretical as it is to suggest, may be my favorite. Will rocks.

I was a bit let down by the The Amber Spyglass though. Not that it doesn't have its moments (and those moments soar), it's just a bit...well, you decide.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Oct 17, 2005 8:03 pm

Pullman laying the smacketh upon the Narnia films...

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=18&ObjectID=10350705

I'm still going to see Narnia (unless the reviews are dreadful) but Pullman makes some valid points...where's the love indeed!
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Postby thomasgaffney on Mon Oct 17, 2005 8:06 pm

Damn..... I just can't bring myself to see Narnia (no matter how good the trailers look) cause of the Christian propoganda.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Sat Dec 10, 2005 7:50 pm

Right now I am reading The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman during any free time that I can find...
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Postby The Dude on Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:53 pm

The His Dark Materials trilogy are three of my favorite books. I was disappointed when I heard all references to God and the Church had been removed in Weitz's draft (if only they had stuck with the Tom Stoppard draft, which I can only imagine was fantastic).

I haven't seen anything by Tucker, but if he can pull it off, more power to him. I just wish all three were being filmed at once ala Lord of the Rings. Hopefully New Line will bring in Weta for the practical and special effects, I'd love to see Richard Taylor's vision of Iorek Byrnison.

I wrote a fairly lengthy essay on the religious aspects of trilogy earlier this year, with my conclusion being that the books were not anti-Christianity so much as anti-religion in general. I think anybody with an open mind should enjoy the books.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:02 pm

The Dude wrote:the Tom Stoppard draft, which I can only imagine was fantastic.


and if Gilliam would've gotten the chance to direct that script? JEEBUS!

The Dude wrote:I'd love to see Richard Taylor's vision of Iorek Byrnison.


The Dude abides.

The Dude wrote:I wrote a fairly lengthy essay on the religious aspects of trilogy earlier this year, with my conclusion being that the books were not anti-Christianity so much as anti-religion in general.


Gotta link to that?
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Postby doglips on Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:07 pm

I was hoping for some news on this before the year end but it has all gone quiet.

Pullman has also removed some interviews from his website stating that the religious themes would not be changed completely. So I do not know where he stands now, at the time of the interviews he said that if New Line had wanted to change the stories significantly he would not have sold the rights.

So, the 'Book of Dust'? Excited or should he leave the trilogy alone?
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Postby TonyWilson on Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:07 pm

keepcoolbutcare wrote:
thomasgaffney wrote:Bringing back on old thread here, but I'm almost done Subtle Knife at this point and I love these books! I'm so hooked, it's not even funny. And I can't begin to guess how this thing is going to end. For other Zoners who haven't read this trilogy, you should pick them up. I thought Golden Compass/Northern Lights (1st book - title depends on what country you are in) started off a little slow, but once the plot really got rolling, I've been unable to stop reading. I'd love to see a movie on this story, but at the same time, It would never capture what I picture in my head as I read them...


Glad you like 'em.

Good analysis as well...I tell people to just give the first book about 75 pages, and then BAM! You're sucked right in. The Subtle Knife, heretical as it is to suggest, may be my favorite. Will rocks.

I was a bit let down by the The Amber Spyglass though. Not that it doesn't have its moments (and those moments soar), it's just a bit...well, you decide.



******SPOILERS*******
The last book, is not really good at explaining everything I was expecting to be explained, in some ways I think this was for the best, I didn't want specifics into dust and dark matter and consciousness that would have taken away from the magic. I really enjoyed Pullman going all out with his ambitions about matter and consciousness being connected. The Mulefla parts were unexpected but the end of the book is so powerful because of those parts. I cried, really cried when I found out about Lyra and Will having to be apart, it just seemed so cruel. But I suppose necessary.
*******SPIOILERS END*******

Northern Lights is probably my favourite book because I adore Lyra's world, Pullman made a world just as modern as ours but completely different.
Overall I think Pullman tapped in to some universal subconscious will, that we al have about God and physics and growing up.
Elitism is positing that your taste is equivalent to quality, you hate "Hamlet" does it make it "bad"? If you think so, you're one elite motherfucker.
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Postby The Dude on Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:10 pm

keepcoolbutcare wrote:Gotta link to that?


Not a link, but I can email it if you like.
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Postby TonyWilson on Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:15 pm

thedoglippedone wrote:I was hoping for some news on this before the year end but it has all gone quiet.

Pullman has also removed some interviews from his website stating that the religious themes would not be changed completely. So I do not know where he stands now, at the time of the interviews he said that if New Line had wanted to change the stories significantly he would not have sold the rights.

So, the 'Book of Dust'? Excited or should he leave the trilogy alone?


As far as I'm concerned if you take out the religious aspects or the authortiy of ANY of that, you ruin the books and what they mean.
It would be like taking Aslan out of Narnia, stupid, pointless and cowardly.

What's this "Book of Dust" all about then?
If they continue Lyra and Will's stories (god knows how though) I'd love it, against my better judgement no doubt.
It could well be just a cash in though.
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Postby magicmonkey on Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:07 am

I've asked for these for Christmas... Can't wait to read about cosmology and dark matter. I hear alot of his writing is well informed, can anybody back this up and to what extent?
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Postby magicmonkey on Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:58 am

Well, I read the books since new year, a long train journey certainly helped with "The Amber Spyglass".

Loved them. I must admit I had problems with The Subtle Knife though after the very compelling opening chapters, it just seemed a bit filler, but "The Amber Spyglass" was great, never a dull moment in the whole book.

I wish, in all seriousness, that Disney were making these books into films. I feel as though the magic could only be captured through animation. Plus, Disney endorsed values here would be aces, heh, I can dream.
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Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:04 am

New Yorker article on Pullman. I'm beginning to think that I need to hunt down the books. I am becoming more intrigued by everything I hear about them.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:34 am

yes.

yes you should Tyrone.

nice to see your round', btw.

Lyra, myself and others have been touting this series for a while, and I know a bunch of Zoners have read it since, with nearly all of them enjoying it.

Trust us, drink the Kool-Aid...
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
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