Saturday, July 21, 2007

Northern Lights

I'm in the middle of writing a post on our visit to Lancashire, but I must write about Northern Lights as I've just finished reading it.

I know many people are in the middle of Harry Potter fever and reading the lastest book and I will get to that next week, but in my opinion Philip Pullman puts J K Rowling into the shade. Northern Lights is the first book in his trilogy His Dark Materials and it is brilliant. I can't think why I've not read it before now. It is set in a universe similar to ours, but different. It begins in Oxford, ever so like our Oxford to tempt you into thinking it is our Oxford and moves from there into a different London and along the canals, with the "gyptians", eventually travelling to the far north, all so beautifully described that you are convinced of the reality of this universe. Lyra, the main character, is a real child drawn into terrible dangers, helped by Pantalaiman, her daemon, amongst armoured bears and witches. The book deals with many themes such as the relationship between the body and soul; the nature of friendship; loneliness; and the corruption of knowledge.


I can't wait to start the second book The Subtle Knife.

5 comments:

Kay said...

I think that book is called "The Golden Compass" here in the US. Have you seen the trailer for the movie that is being released in December? I have not read this series yet (plan to soon) but apparently the teaser about the movie is pleasing to a friend of mine who raves about these books. Enjoy your reading!

Dorothy W. said...

I love those books! Enjoy.

BooksPlease said...

I didn't know about the film, so thanks,Kay - I must see that.
Dorothy - I've started the next one and it promises to be as good as the first.

Ann said...

I love Pullman's work and when you've finished these you should read his earlier books, Victorian feminist detective novels for teenagers. This is how I first came to know his work and so 'Northern Lights' came as a bit of a shock, although I loved it from the moment I read the first page.

Karen said...

I've read all three His Dark Materials books - couldn't put them down, was utterly gripped, can't praise them enough. What treats you have in store!