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Northern Lights-Phillip Pullman (1 Viewer)

Sparx

Senior Member
It’s very rare for a book to be called a masterpiece. Very few books are but when I do find a book that does have classic status written all over it, it truly is something special. Northern lights is definitely one of those books.

Written by Phillip Pullman (the man behind the brilliant Sally Lockheart novels), Northern lights is the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. It follows the adventures of Lyra and her deamon (Pantalaimon) as they journey through perilous lands filled with gyptians, armored bears, witches and strange particles known as dust in order to save their friend (Roger) and exploit a terrible experiment being done on children.

What makes Northern lights such a classic isn't its well-written, easy to follow prose, or its vivid descriptions and spot-on characterization. What makes northern lights such a masterpiece is the originality and depth of the book. Although it’s clearly aimed at children, the book deals witch such momentous subjects like the soul, religion and even life. In addition to that, Pullman effortlessly weaves in a bit of metaphysics and biblical symbolism. It really is a book that will stimulate the minds of young readers without confusing them.

But the most original idea though is probably the idea of souls being creatures that follows us around like are pets which are known as deamons. Pullman skillfully handles this and uses this concept to create some interesting relationships. It truly is the work of master storyteller.

Northern Lights is a brilliant children's novel that will surly become a classic over time if it already hasn’t. Im so glad that I got to read it as a teenager because it really will make you keep turning the page but more importantly, it will keep you thinking. Once you’ve finished don't forget to read the other two books in the trilogy, the subtle knife and the amber spyclass. Although, by time you’re done with northern lights you'll probably be racing of to your nearest library to read the second book; eagerly wanting to know what new adventures await Lyra and her deamon.

SCORE: 10/10 A Must Read
 

Spherical Time

Senior Member
Just so that American audiences can connect, the American version of this book is called "The Golden Compass."

The "His Dark Materials" series is masterfully written. Probably one of my favorite works of all time. I especially liked the last book in the series, "The Amber Spyglass."
 
W

Warlocklord

Great book, I thoroughly enjoyed it and also believed that like you said:

"But the most original idea though is probably the idea of souls being creatures that follows us around like are pets which are known as deamons. Pullman skillfully handles this and uses this concept to create some interesting relationships. It truly is the work of master storyteller."


The previous was a great idea. If you are interested the following is a link to an interview with Philip Pullman, Tamora Pierce, and Christopher Paolini: http://www.powells.com/authors/paolini.html

Enjoy,

War.
 

Walkio

Senior Member
I totally agree - the whole series is simply wonderful. Though I did think it started a bit slowly.
 

G. Palmer

Senior Member
Anyone else here about these being made into movies?

The first one is using the American title of 'The Golden Compass' and is starring Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel (the new James Bond actor, ironically ex-Bond Timothy Dalton played Asriel on a stage production) Eva Green as Serafina Pekkala (more trivia, she plays the main Bond girl in the new Bond film alongside Craig) and Nicole Kidman as Marisa Coulter (further trivia, Kidman and Craig star together in The Visiting, which was filmed last year but won't be released until next year)
 

Sparx

Senior Member
Yeah i have heard that a film is being made and im so excited but i do have my doubts. I believe the director can do a great job and it is being made by NewLine who brought the Lord of the Rings trilogy to life on the silver screen. My only fear is that they may remove the christian references and change the nature of the authority in order for it to appeal to the masses.
 
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G. Palmer

Senior Member
Hate to disappoint you but I've heard a lot of the religious themes are being cut down, which will butcher the stories to some degree I've heard. (Admittedly, I haven't read these books I intend to though)
 

Mishka

Member
I was really disappointed by these books. The plot is amazing in places, but overly simplified sometimes, and the writing is just not up to what I expected, having heard so many rave reviews.

And the whole "daemon pronounced demon" thing - I didn't get why he needed to change the spelling and THEN tell us it's pronounced just like "demon" at the beginning of the first book. That seemed... redundant.

Not one of my favourite trilogies.

xx
 
Eek, I have to admit I haven't got past the second or third chapter. I don't know why, but the begining really doesn't catch me.
I hate putting books down before I finish it- I have to read the whole thing (even if I do skip out half of the pages) so It'll give it a second chance one day...
 

woodcut.evolution

Senior Member
Mishka said:
And the whole "daemon pronounced demon" thing - I didn't get why he needed to change the spelling and THEN tell us it's pronounced just like "demon" at the beginning of the first book. That seemed... redundant.

But he didn't change the spelling. Daemon is the archaic form of demon. And like many things in this series, which were renamed using greek roots, daemon is also an alternate spelling of daimon. Daimon is from Greek mythology, meaning a lesser god or genius (a guardian spirit).
 

Mishka

Member
But why not use the archaic form and leave it like that? Lots of fantasy writers change spellings in one way or another, or return to either Greek or Latinate roots. What I don't get is why he drew attention to it. It just looks pretentious to me.
 

woodcut.evolution

Senior Member
I suppose, but how many modern readers, especialy young readers, know how to correctly pronounce the letter 'æ' which is now often repaced with 'ae'?
 
S

Scrumple

I rather enjoyed the series myself, but I found the ending of last book lackluster. Twelve year olds falling in love? I guess it can happen but they acted too adult for my liking in the end. As for the movies, I felt both excited and dissapointed at the same time, because we all know the storyline will be butchered for the sake of contraversy.
 

Faldwin

Member
I feel really tempted to scold you for spoilers, Scrumple, but I won't. Anyway, I think that series can be summed up in two words:

Simply Amazing.
 
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