Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Golden Compass

The first in a trilogy by Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass was one of the biggest surprise books I've read this year. In my library, it is shelved in the adult science fiction section, an area I usually keep away from, therefore leading me to believe I probably wouldn't enjoy the book. Then when I saw the preview for the upcoming movie, I knew I had to read it and I was not disappointed!

The Golden Compass introduces the reader to Lyra, an orphan growing up at Oxford under the care of her uncle. She is rather like a tomboy, spending her time playing with her best friend Roger and getting herself into all sorts of mischief with her daemon (oh yeah, every person has their own daemon...and if you don't know what that is until you read the book, don't feel bad, neither did I). When a lovely, intelligent woman, Mrs. Coulter, arrives at Oxford and offers to take Lyra away with her for hands-on schooling, Lyra is incredibly excited and rather enjoys herself at first. When she realizes that the schooling Mrs. Coulter plans for her is of the sinister and evil nature, she knows that she has to take matters into her own hands to save the children of the world.

Filled with armored bears, witches, and a special golden compass that will explain everything, Pullman's book was a pleasure to read. I truly enjoyed this book and definitely feel it will appeal to adults AND children. It should not have been shelved in the adult science fiction section in my own opinion, possibly young adult would have been better, though I really don't see why it's not in the juvenile section! Before watching the movie, which happens to star Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter, please read this is definitely worth your time!


Katya said...

I just can't picture Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter though -- I don't know why. I like her as an actress, but she isn't the picture I had in my head.

Nicola said...

I have this in my tbr pile, I can't wait to read it. Sounds so good!

Becky said...


I wanted to let you know that I am having my first book giveaway at Becky's Christian Reviews.

3M said...

I plan on reading this and the other two books in the series.

However, and I wouldn't mention this if I didn't know you were a Christian, I have learned that the author is decidedly anti-Christian. I guess that message comes through quite clearly in the last book especially.

Like I said, I am still reading them. I probably will even have my teenage sons read them so we can discuss his ideas.

One other thing I learned about Pullman is his extreme disdain for C. S. Lewis, my favorite author.

Just some food for thought as you read the other two.

Susan said...

I have this one on my bookshelf. Now, I'm even more excited to read it!

Debi said...

My daughter (age 10) and my husband both LOVE this trilogy! I'm anxious to read them...but am waiting until the First in a Series starts.

Becky said...

I'll probably wait to read this for the first in a series challenge too! though I am very glad to hear you liked it so much. :)

zee said...

I definitely think it should not be in juvenile fiction. Young adult is acceptable or up. There are some pretty scary images in this book and it just gets more intense in books 2 and 3. Lyra embarks on her first sexual adventure with Will, a friend she meets later on, and it is very frightening when they try to divide Lyra and her demon. This is way too intense for young kids, in my opinion.

And 3M, I wouldn't say it's anti-Christian. It's definitely anti-establishmentarianism or whatever but this author obviously equates Christian to a superpower that is trying to take over the world in cruel ways.