His Dark Materials Trilogy

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His Dark Materials Trilogy

Postby Seiryu » Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:17 pm

I remember on the other forum that the book club read The Golden Compass/The Northern Lights and through that, this website came up:

http://www.hisdarkmaterials.org/

I read the book sometime after the discussion was over, but I was curious if any of the participants: A) went on to read any of the other books, B) if any of the participants (or the one who posted that link) are active members on the forum, or C) anyone here even still remembers the books.

I have been stuck on that forum (Cittagazze) for a while and I came to realize that I'm not a fan of the trilogy. I just like it. I'm a bigger fan of the Ender's Game series and I'm not here as much as I'd like to be. Also, I'd like to know what the ones that read it thought of it since we no longer have those posts.
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Postby Young Val » Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:21 pm

i've read all three books in the trilogy, as i think several people here have. i thought they were entertaining enough, although i remember being disappointed in the last book, particularly the ending.
you snooze, you lose
well I have snozzed and lost
I'm pushing through
I'll disregard the cost
I hear the bells
so fascinating and
I'll slug it out
I'm sick of waiting
and I can
hear the bells are
ringing joyful and triumphant

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Postby Seiryu » Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:30 pm

Yeah, I did, too, but apparently the fans all cried at the end. I was disappointed by most of the last book. The wheel creatures were cool, but the last book was kind of lame.
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Postby Rei » Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:41 pm

I read the trilogy. I actually got to do a pre-read on Amber Spyglass for my high school library. I enjoyed the books as a whole and the concept of daemons really intrigued me. The one thing that particularly gets me is that apparently he wrote them as a response against the Narnian Chronicles. Fortunately I see no connexion between the two and may enjoy each of them as their own works. I definitely have to re-read Subtle Knife, though, as I have almost no recollection of what happened in the book.
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Postby Virlomi » Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:43 pm

I continued reading the rest of the Trilogy. I remember them as a good dose of escapism, and I remember enjoying them quite a bit, but not particularly any more than other books I've read that fit the same description. Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time series, for example, I would put on the same shelf, and somehow those I fall in love with a little more with each reading. I'm not sure I could say the same of this series. I also was not very happy with the last book, and the ending kind of ruined it for me. I remember really liking the way he used daemons though. I thought that was really nicely done, and an original plot element.

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Postby Seiryu » Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:45 pm

The Subtle Knife was just a bridge between the first and the last book. And yeah, I agree...the whole thing would've been better had he not tried to go against C.S. Lewis. Even if you're atheist, you can still appreciate C.S. Lewis as a writer. He wasn't trying to go against anyone or their work, he was just trying to write an allegorical tale. It's not that subtle to adults, but would be more so to children. Plus, not all of the series is an allegory to Jesus. I thought Prince Caspian was more of an allegory to Hamlet. (Without the father as a ghost coming back and so forth.)

At any rate, yeah, the daemon system was pretty cool and somewhat original.
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Postby eriador » Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:34 pm

I have to say that I loved His Dark Materials. I loved the ending, which was perfectly tragic and lovely, and I loved the way that Pullman makes his point about knowledge, youth and the church. I don't really see it as contradicting Lewis, except in the realm of "religious fantasy". And what are you talking about atheist? God is a character in the book. Pullman's message is much more about the church than about God. But yeah, let's stay away from religious discussion. I have to say that I really love the books, and I re-read them periodically.

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Postby Seiryu » Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:03 pm

Actually, I think I remember reading that Pullman set out to write the opposite of Narnia. Even if he didn't, Pullman criticizes Lewis heavily.

Anyway, I didn't mean anything about the atheist comment. All that statment meant was that despite Narnia being heavy with Christian undertones and so forth, it's still enjoyable for all and not just those who see the underlying message as truth. That's all I meant. Actually, the same can be said about HDM. I do agree that some churches take certain things too far, but I do not believe in the same beliefs as he does. It was still an enjoyable series, though.
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Postby eriador » Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:34 pm

True enough

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Postby anonshadow » Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:44 pm

I've read all three. I think I'm the only person I know who appreciated the ending.



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Postby Young Val » Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:52 pm

i mean, i understand the reasons behind it. i take no issue with tragic endings (big fan of The Time Traveler's Wife, Arcadia, hell, i love Salinger, so i'm all about the tragedy). it's been years since i read the books, but i know that there was something about the execution that gnawed at me and took away from my enjoyment.
you snooze, you lose
well I have snozzed and lost
I'm pushing through
I'll disregard the cost
I hear the bells
so fascinating and
I'll slug it out
I'm sick of waiting
and I can
hear the bells are
ringing joyful and triumphant

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Postby Seiryu » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:20 pm

I've read all three. I think I'm the only person I know who appreciated the ending.
You haven't been to the Cittagazze forum if you think that you are the only one who appreciated the ending to the trilogy. Most of them admit to crying at the end. :D
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Postby Rei » Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:01 pm

I think I'm the only person I know who appreciated the ending.
I remember appreciating the ending. But it did make me sad. I was torn between disappointment and acceptance that this made sense and fit.
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Postby Jayelle » Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:03 pm

I liked the first one, tolerated the second one and couldn't finish the third one.

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Postby Seiryu » Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:24 pm

I can't really make anything of it. The second book was only a bridge to the third, so I can see how you can could say that. (No real plot to it.)
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Postby eriador » Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:52 am

I loved the ending. I definitely cried. It was so beautiful and so sad, it was great, and haunting and powerful.

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Postby Ithilien » Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:35 pm

I loved the first one (now, I really, really want to go to Oxford) and the last hundred or so pages of Amber Spyglass but the rest was just a jumble in between which I barely have any recollection of. I enjoyed all three but the first is the one that I love.

And its interesting to hear that Pullman wrote it in a response to CoN. At some moments I wasn't too sure if he were really against the church or just against the extremes the church can often take.

And there making a movie of it now: with Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and a bunch of others. http://www.goldencompassmovie.com/
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Postby Seiryu » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:35 pm

I was quite surprised by the casting of Nicole Kidman. Not that she wouldn't make a good Ms. Coutler, but because that was who Pullman wanted and it seems kind of rare for an author to be able to pick his the casting for his own movie.
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Postby Ela » Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:47 pm

I loved the books and am looking forward to the movie. The cast looks really good. I just hope they don't mess it up.

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Postby starlooker » Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:25 pm

*bump*

I just started and finished the trilogy this last week.

I'm pretty much with the common opinion on this thread. I really liked the first book. The second book seemed to be a bridge, without much of a plot, but still okay. The third book was full of disappointments. Completely (but COMPLETELY) failed to live up to the promises of the first and second book. Totally anticlimactic. (I did, however, like Mary Malone and the wheeled creatures.)

I do love the handling of the daemon's, though, particularly in the first book. It was done so that when in the first book they saw the child without one and later when she was about to get hers cut, I realized exactly how horrifying it was. That brought a few tears.
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Postby KennEnder » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:13 am

I read all three, and don't remember being overly disappointed, but also don't remember saying "I've got to read these again!" I did recommend them to others, though... so I must have been somewhat satisfied with it.

Not exactly a shining recommendation, in retrospect... that I don't remember it at all now... and I haven't seen the movie, yet, but I've heard mixed reviews about that as well!
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Postby Darth Petra » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:24 pm

I could never get into it, and now Mom would freak if I read it because she's pretty conservetive...
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Postby Gravity Defier » Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:45 pm

The movie started out slow (also didn't use the book's ending) and was somewhat confusing in the way daemons and dust were explained and I've read the books, so there should have been no confusion there.

I was disappointed.
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Postby Wind Swept » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:32 pm

I loved all three books. I can't wait for the fourth.
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Postby Warmaker » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:40 am

His Dark Materials is my favorite book series. Ender etc. is a close second to those masterpieces. The deep theology is something that hasn't been matched in literature, to my knowledge, since. I did sit through the whole movie, sadly, and cried, thoroughly. Probably the most awful rendering of a book ever. Or at least the most you-missed-the-whole-point adaptation.

Here we go, I found my review of the movie

The Golden Compass


I admit, I was excited to see my favorite books made into movies, but now I don't care if the rest of the trilogy is moviefilmized. Whenever one of my friends bashed the movie adaptations of LOTR, Harry Potter, Fight Club, American Psycho or anything else, I always told them to shut the hell up. Now I sympathize to all of them, and you, who complain about getting shafted and seeing your favorite books turned into s***** movies. This was the most vile butchering in the history of moving pictures. Here are the reasons:

1. Every scene in the book that made any character memorable by giving them exceptional traits was removed.
A. Iorek did not lose to a bear to cause himself to be exiled, he killed another bear and was sent away. Iorek is super badass, and the movie did not portray him as so.
B. Bears cannot be tricked. This was proven in an important scene where Lyra tried to hit Iorek with a stick, but could not. Bears see plainly through any manner of trickery.This scene made Lyras deception of Ioufur Raknison all the more impressive. Several of Lyras deceptions were removed in the movie, making her less of a terrific liar and fast thinker.
C. Marissa Coulter played a much larger role in kidnaping children and cutting away their daemons. The books make you hate her, the movie fails at that.
D. Lord Azrael tricks the scholarsinto funding his trip north, and tricks Iofur into giving him a house and scientific equipment. He is a great manipulator, which the movie fails to convey.
2. The scenes at Bolvanger and Svalbard were transposed. This was done so that unimportant battle cold be closer to the end. The scene at Bolvanger is the most important scene in the book, as far as just The Golden Compass is concerned. Lyra discoveres cages where daemon are kept that have been cut away. She also dicovers the....
3. Intercission process. The movie skips all 3 scenes where the connection between a person and their daemon is emphasized. I won't explain them, but the gist is that a person daemon is their soul projected outside of their body in animal form. A daemon prevents you from ever being alone, they are your lifetime companion; and seperating too far from your daemon is excruciatingly painful physically and emotionally. Without those scenes, the intercission is pretty "meh" and Mrs. Coulter is far less evil.
4. The movie ends before the book does. The ending of the book is incerdible and grand in scale. In the book, Lyra and Roger reach Lord Azraels house after leaving SVALBARD, not BOLVANGER where he cuts away Rogers daemon and opens a window to another world. Another Universe. Lyra wasn't supposed to bring the Alethiometer to him, it was a child she was supposed to bring. Her best friend, who dies in the process, by the way.
5. The most important scene in the book is skipped. THE most important event in the story does not happen in the movie. At Trollesund, where they hire Scoresby and Iorek, the Gyptians visit the witch consul. From a witch representative type, they find out that the witches have a prophecy about Lyra. She will one day make a decision that will affect everyone who has ever existed and who ever will exist. They call her by a specific name that outlines the purpose of the trilogy. Eve. The books are about Original Sin. A second Fall is about to occur, and the Church (the Catholic Church) wants to prevent it from happening. That is the what the books are about. The movie doesn't even tell you what the books are about. f*** that.

Those and a few factual errors in the movie, including changing Iofurs name, the character Fra Pavel doesn't even appear till the third book, it was Tony Markarios that Lyra found in the North, are why this movie is the most abonimable adaptation ever. I don't expect anyone to read my whole comparison, but it felt good to vent all that rage.
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