Phillip Pullman is one of those master-writers you can’t miss. He is one of those who did have a great impact on many’s childhood, and it did for a good reason.
There are not so many books that you can read as an adult while feeling your heart beating faster than it normally would, enjoying the suspense to the last page, crying and laughing just like an insane person. I know it myself. His most famous trilogy, “His Dark Materials”, is one of the best escapes you can get from your ordinary life. It gets you back in the childhood, making you feel fearless, unstoppable and innocent, all in the same time. This is so high-ranked in my own personal top that I’d put it next to Harry Potter with no hesitation. Why is this? If you read it, then you know yourself, if you didn’t, than let me tell you some things about it.
‘Without this child, we shall all die.’
Lyra Belacqua lives half-wild and carefree among the scholars of Jordan College, with her daemon, Pantalaimon, always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle – a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armoured bears.
As she hurtles towards danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, the biggest battle imaginable.
- It is placed in an imaginary universe. You can’t say you read stories placed in other worlds day by day. Even Harry Potter is placed in our own. This world is both complex and substantial, and I didn’t notice any gaps that would distract me from the story. There were no unanswered questions. (P.S.: There are actually much less imaginary worlds in books than you would imagine. You can check here.)
- There is a film based on the first book. Yup, that’s right! It was released in 2007, with an estimated budget of $180,000,000. You can watch great actors playing in the role of your favourite characters: Nicole Kidman as Miss. Coulter, Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel, etc.
- All the imaginary things connect so well to each other it almost feels as science-fiction more than fantasy. While reading, I totally forgot that what I read was imaginary. It actually made sense entirely. I got so lost in the book that, when I put it down, I needed a little cool-down in order to refresh and return back to the normal, boring world again.
- It is a children book most adults enjoy reading. That’s right! It might be because it was released about 23 years ago, but who cares? It feels right for every generation!
- The story is more complex than you can comprehend within a trilogy. This is why there are more associated books released. I am talking here about “Once Upon a Time in the North“, “Lyra’s Oxford“, and “The Book of Dust”. More than that, “The Book of Dust” is itself going to be a trilogy from which the first book, “La Belle Sauvage” was already released. I am fangirl-ing waiting for the next book release, “The Secret Commonwealth”, which will take place 10 years after the events in the main trilogy, unlike “La Belle Sauvage” which took place 10 years earlier.
- Pullman is one of the most appreciated and influential writers in the British Culture. He was named one of the “50 greatest British writers since 1945” by “The Times” and the 11th most influential person in the British Culture, according to a BBC poll. His titles also won numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal from the Library Association. It won the public vote from that shortlist and was thus named the all-time “Carnegie of Carnegies” in June 2007.
I do recommend it! It is such an easy reading, so wonderful written and so nicely imagined that I can’t say anything else than “it’s totally worth it!” The characters are really-well outlined, all of them having great background stories and specific language – kids making pronunciation and grammar mistakes, just as in real life. All these small elements really help on building the realistic feel. However, most of all, the first thing I fall in love with were the landscapes I imagined. They were breath-taking and they were only in my head. This lecture actually left me sad by not getting to see those things in real life but…. this is why you’re reading, right? I can say that this book actually inspired me, as an adult, to take my life in my own hands and go, live my dreams, see the world, live my life – and I’m not saying it because it sounds nice, but because I’m honest.
Approved or Disapproved?