Thursday, December 06, 2007
The Golden Compass
The Golden Compass, Book 1 of Philip Pullman's Dark Materials Trilogy, has been made into a movie and is being released this weekend so I thought this might be a good time to talk about it. These books were wildly popular in the late 90s and early 00s but I've only just recently gotten around to reading them and have yet to read The Amber Spyglass (Book 3). The Golden Compass is set in a world that is like ours, but also quite different, in which people are deeply connected to their Daemons, an external, animal manifestation of a soul. Lyra Belacqua is an eleven year old orphan being raised by the scholars and servants of Jordan College in the Oxford of her world. She spends her time playing war with her friend Roger and the other groups of children around Oxford, but all that changes when she overhears conversations about a mysterious substance called dust, and a group called the gobblers who are kidnapping children. After her friend Roger goes missing Lyra embarks on a journey to rescue him from the gobblers and learn more about dust. The alethiometer (golden compass) helps her on her quest. During her journey Lyra also learns about her parents and the existence of other worlds. I don't read a lot of fantasy but I really enjoyed the first two books and look forward to reading the third. Maybe I'll even see the movie during Christmas vacation. If you've read the book or see the movie, tell me what you think?