Review: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

A while a go I went to see the movie The Golden Compass. I loved it! The special effects were fabulous. The story was thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I was raving about the movie to a friend who was surprised that the movie was any good. When I was puzzled by her reaction, she said I should just read the book.

Well, The Golden Compass is one of the few books which have been made into a movie that I’ve actually seen the movie of first. I’m an avid reader and don’t really have the patience for crowded theaters so I’m much more likely to read the book and later rent the movie when it comes out on video.

Once I picked up the book I wasn’t surprised to find it much more complex than the movie. Lyra is amusingly precocious. She does things that are very inappropriate for a little girl of eleven years of age. I would often find myself smirking at her eagerness to get into trouble, and cringing a bit at the ability to find that trouble. It’s not always easy to figure out who Lyra should trust as she progresses on her voyage. The alliances are not at all obvious. She does manage to obtain an unlikely crew of companions on her voyage, not all of whom are openly willing companions, or entirely trust worthy.

Even if the plot and character alliances were not so complicated, I’m very surprised that this is marketed as a children’s book. There are ideas that touched on that are really of an adult nature.

I really don’t want to get into the plot too much, as I don’t want to spoil any of the twists. Just trust me when I say that the book is so much better than the movie, and the movie was pretty darn good! Highly recommended! I can’t wait to start The Subtle Knife!

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Published in: on March 2, 2008 at 11:36 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I came upon your blog by browsing the subject of gardening. I read your post about planting your herbs. I too wish the spring would come sooner.

    I then saw your earlier post about this movie. I just want to let you know just in case you don’t know (maybe you do & are fine with it; if so, sorry about that) but, the author of this book is an atheist, anti Christian and the movie is evil. Pullman is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. New Yorker journalist Laura Miller has described Pullman as one of England’s most outspoken atheists.

    As I said you might already know this and maybe you’re an atheist too(sorry about that). I just wanted to let you know.

  2. Hi Sandra,

    Thanks for leaving a comment. I’m always happy to see that someone has read my blog.

    I am aware that there is some controversy surrounding the movie as well as the books. The controversy is actually one of the reasons I picked up the series. I always enjoy books and movies that encourage thought and discussion.

    I am curious though, is your opinion based on having read the book or seen the movie? Or is it based on what you have heard?

  3. […] I’ve finished the rest of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Each book was better than the previous! I’m not sure if I’ll get around to posting reviews of the other two, but my review of the first book can be found here. […]


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