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Forums > Social Chat > "His Dark Materials" Trilogy

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Whist a search revealed a few mentions, there's been no explicit topic for these amazing books yet, so I thought I'd make one.



Basically, they're described as childrens books. I think perhaps this is because there isn't any sex, strong language or intense scenes of violence in them, and that the protagonists are children. But children's books they aint.



I recently read them all in a week, a feat only topped by my reading Lord of the Rings in 2 days. I can honestly say they stand comparison. My only criticism of them is that the first book, "Norther Lights" may be a little slow-starting for some.



I can't reccomend them highly enough. It's an amazing world, utterly incredible, with such powerful philosophical undercurrents that I nearly fell over in them wink



Please, please someone tell me you've read these and your opinion on them*. I'm sure there are some people who have, especially considering a forum member is called Lyra smile My Mum's currently reading them and she's as spellbound as I was!



Do yourself a favour and read them before the godawful film version they're currently cobbling together is inflicted upon us.. it may be produced by New Line (as LoTR was) but they're removing all references to God to please the American market. Which is censored disgraceful, and will ruin the incredible point of these desperatley underrated and underread books (and that's considering how popular they already are - they deserve more! More! MORE!!!).





*optional extra question... what would your daemon be? I think mine would be an osprey or perhaps a wolf.

[/geek]


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted:yeah1 They rock!!!!

i went to see the play of them in the national and it was sooooo amazing (apart from the technical stuff). they're great in that they are kids books - good story, plenty of running about and magic, but from the other side they're a really interesting delve in to the power of religion and politics. Fukin amazing!!!


my demon would be......


i dunno, i like chickens best, but that's a bit of a wimply demon, maybe a black panther? that'd be fun. don't know if it really represents me though...


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:I know what you mean about the kids books/adult books thing. I just think they're so dark in places (particularly land of the dead (!!!), how Will gets to be knife-bearer and the whole God business) they wouldn't be suitable for children under.. I dunno, 14 or something. I got mine from the "5-12" section of a bookshop! That's simply ridiculous!

What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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Wonder Monkey
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Wonder Monkey

Certainly confused
Location: Chelmsford, Essex

Total posts: 121
Posted:Ive just brought all three to read while out in chamonix for a couple of months, I heard about them, and when asked at smiths where I could find them was told 'in the teenage section' - instantly I felt embarrased, but then I rationalised that Id heard a lot of talk in the Independant...and I cant imagine that being a kids newspaper so...

Apparently, or so I learned in Hollyoaks the otehr day, its actually a retake on Paradise Lost.

I like the idea of the story tho...and its philosophical content should sit well with Platos Republic, John Grays 'Straw Dogs', and the Tao ce Ching (just to get a bit of the east in my contemplations too) which are also on the list.

smile

Thanks for the enthusiastic recommendation - loking forawrd to reading them all the more now smile


My Mummy Says Im Special

bounce ubbloco bounce

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mo-seph


mo-seph

enthusiast
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Total posts: 524
Posted:Yeah, they rock. Read them.

I used to describe the as "like harry potter but good", but it's not really a fair comparison.

They're going to have an interesting job with the film if they cut out references to God. ubblol

I heard Peter Jackson was doing the film, though, so it might be good...


monkeys ate my brain

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: Wonder Monkey

Tao ce Ching


As a consequence of reading the books, I went and learnt to read the I Ching redface does that make me even more of a geek? Oh well, I believe it anyway smile


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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Wonder Monkey
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Wonder Monkey

Certainly confused
Location: Chelmsford, Essex

Total posts: 121
Posted:This is where I show my ignorance redface - I think it was the tao ce ching that I saw and planned to get - what is the difference between that and th 'I ching' or are they one and the same? confused

Having a passion/keen interest isnt being geeky smile

I think the term 'geek' is often hurled about by peple who are jealous due to their own ignorance smile


My Mummy Says Im Special

bounce ubbloco bounce

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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted:i call myself a geek & i'm proud of it.

to me it means being obsessive enough about something genuinely interesting that you become pretty knowledgeable on it - yay geek!!!


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish

Total posts: 525
Posted:first off..its tao te ching not ce...and its supposed to be a guideline to ruling a people/how to live
for those who dont know its a wonderful riddles in the mist type thing...nothingness is oneness etc...
and phillip pullman is wonderful! i LOVED that trilogy!!


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Yep, I'm not too clued up on the tao te ching/I ching difference, perhaps they're the same thing... I guess the tao te ching means "The way of changes" and is probably either the same thing or something similar!



But the I ching is a system of divination, where you draw stalks or throw coins in order to construct a hexagram (basically 6 broken or unbroken lines), which corresponds to a hexagram in The Book of Changes. Then you read what the book says.



It's more complex than that with induvidual line readings for changing lines, reconstructing hexagrams and stuff, but that'll do for now smile



EDIT - Actually, isn't the tao te ching actually the text of Taoism? Because if it is it's different, but amazing. And highly recommended. As everything seems to be today! biggrin



EDIT 2 - Yup, looks like it. And you can read it here.

EDITED_BY: nearly_all_gone (1106668387)


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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jemima (jem)
SILVER Member since Dec 2002

jemima (jem)

Pooh-Bah
Location: london

Total posts: 1750
Posted:I have nicked a copy of northern lights from my bro, pages are nice and bent lol

I have only read the first chapter so far, but i saw a documentry on it.

It does seem like a tough read for kids !


*wanders off and gets reading............*


Never assume
Always Acknowledge

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ASTRO FAERIE
BRONZE Member since Mar 2003

ASTRO FAERIE

ummmmmmm.............
Location: Rotherham, UK

Total posts: 724
Posted:I struggled a bit quite honestly, and im an avid reader, great books, but you have to concentrate.

Ive been reading the Darren Shan books, they're good too:)


Only when the last tree has died
and the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught
will we realise that we
cannot eat money.

Cree Indian, 1909

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Flapjacks
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

part of the lonely trio
Location: Hastings, England

Total posts: 137
Posted:His Dark Materials are fantastic. Read the books in the summer.

smells like burning teenagers..

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KatP
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

KatP

Muddy fingernails
Location: Way oop norf

Total posts: 505
Posted:They are fantastic books! I got the first one before the others had been published and had to wait in an agony of suspense until they came out....then read them all again just to get it all in properly! (My excuse!) Definately a bit dark for most kids I reckon.

Got hardback three-in-one thing for Christmas last year - good but too heavy to read in the bath.

Not sure what my daemon would be. Will have to go read them again and think about it - thanks for the excuse!! biggrin rolleyes


Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

KITTENS!!!!

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Fade


Fade

newbie
Location: Victoria Park, Manchester, UK

Total posts: 19
Posted:I absolutely love the trilogy!!! I got the first book as an xmas present when it first came out and i was hooked!! All three books now have pride of place on my book shelf!!

Don't know how they're gonna manage a film version and do it justice! especially if they're cuttin out all references to god! I hate it when they totally destroy a book just to satisfy cinema audiences!!!


.....................just keep spinnin......................

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Wonder Monkey
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Wonder Monkey

Certainly confused
Location: Chelmsford, Essex

Total posts: 121
Posted:Apologies Darkpoet - I stand corrected smile

Thanks Nearly_all_gone smile

I should learn to search for myself redface

But then I woudlnt get the extra 'angle' that comes from hearing the responses of others smile


My Mummy Says Im Special

bounce ubbloco bounce

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Pink...?
BRONZE Member since Apr 2002

Pink...?

Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
Location: Over There

Total posts: 6140
Posted:2bags got me into these books, they are absolutely amazing.

I have already persuaded Cantus to get Northern Light...

I absolutely love them! ubbangel


Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...

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JauntyJames
SILVER Member since Dec 2004

JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA

Total posts: 3533
Posted:.:is sincerily confused:. isn't the first book in the his dark materials trilogy called the golden compass? oh, it doesnt matter, they're rocking books \m/(>_<)\m/. i'd want a kewi daemon

-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: Wonder Monkey

I should learn to search for myself redface

But then I woudlnt get the extra 'angle' that comes from hearing the responses of others smile


He he, that's what this place is here for wink biggrin


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish

Total posts: 525
Posted:haha i remember when i first read them..(around the 6th grade or so) was so excited for the next one to come out
haha could never say the word subtle (pronounced suttle)..id always say it exactly how its spelled "sub-tle"
haha...go me...
and its fine wonder...i LOVE studying religions and theological discussion..so yeah...


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: sparkey

.:is sincerily confused:. isn't the first book in the his dark materials trilogy called the golden compass? oh, it doesnt matter, they're rocking books \m/(>_<)\m/. i'd want a kewi daemon


Ah, yes, in the US and maybe elsewhere. In the UK it's called Northern Lights smile Sorry bout that!


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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mo-seph


mo-seph

enthusiast
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Total posts: 524
Posted:offtopic

Tao te ching means roughly "Way Virtue Book", and there's two halves - the "Tao Ching" or book of the way, and the "Te Ching", or book of virtue.

Also, translations of the book vary a lot, from the poetical to the analytical. It's well worth finding a translation you get on with if you want to read it.


monkeys ate my brain

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Ifrit
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

Ifrit

The GF of HoP
Location: Somerset, England

Total posts: 492
Posted:I read them ages ago when my grlfriend got them, i acturaly still have her copy of nothern lights, oops. Yeah anyway loved them but havnt read them for a while maybe i should after the exams (life starts again after next monday).

My daemon would be either a pheonix or a black monkey of some sort. Imagine doing a doubles routine with yours self!


fire leads to creation

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Mand
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada

Total posts: 2317
Posted:Ok, please excuse my ignorance in all of this. rolleyes
But this is the first I've heard of them.

So I went to check them out on Amazon, and I'm presuming that this is them?

So... if the names of the 3 books are 'the golden compass' 'the subtle knife' and 'the amber spyglass', can someone please explain to me where 'northern lights' comes into it?
confused


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish

Total posts: 525
Posted:Written by: nearly_all_gone

In the UK it's called Northern Lights smile Sorry bout that!



in the US its the golden compass


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Ifrit
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

Ifrit

The GF of HoP
Location: Somerset, England

Total posts: 492
Posted:Well northen lights is the first book, youve gone on the american amazon and there being a bit silly, dumbing it down.

fire leads to creation

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Ifrit
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

Ifrit

The GF of HoP
Location: Somerset, England

Total posts: 492
Posted:darn you beat me to it smile

fire leads to creation

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Mand
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada

Total posts: 2317
Posted:Oh, ok, I get it now.
Thanks guys.
hug


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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=Flashpoint=
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

=Flashpoint=

Pasta of Muppets
Location: in the interwebs...

Total posts: 2719
Posted:I was left kinda disappointed by them, as they do not flesh out the action as much as i'd hoped, and the dialogue is a bit trite, but still, damn good concept, damn good story...

DUST IS COMING!

My daemon would be a cat of some sort... Or something fluffy and birdlike...


ohmygodlaserbeamspewpewpew!
ubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmile

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Trillian
BRONZE Member since Feb 2004

Trillian

Llamas are larger than frogs.
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Total posts: 319
Posted:Absolutely some of my favorite books! I read the first in about 4th or 5th grade; my best friend read them before I did, and we used to pretend we had daemons that lived in those little tubes of mechanical pencil lead-i think mine was a wolf...we also would fight over how to pronounce "Pantalaimon" (Lyra's daemon)
God, I love those books so much! I think those, and Garth Nix's "Abhorsen" trilogy, are definitely some of the best fantasy I've ever read; the whole "Dust" concept is just so perfect and beautiful!
Sucks about the movie-there was some hope for it because Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) was going to writhe the screenplay, but they fired him or something. I can't bring myself to go see them-movies almost always ruin the book, especially since I have such vivid pictures from His Dark Materials in my head...I might get to see the play when I go to London this spring with school, our drama teacher/director said he'd try to take us. I heard it's 6 hours long, though!
alright, ill stop rambling now, I always tend to when somebody mentions those books. I feel like rereading them now!


"I know a good deal more than a boiled carrot."
"Fire!" "Where?" "Nowhere, I was just illustrating the misuse of free speech."

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Lyra
SILVER Member since Feb 2004

spiny norman
Location: Cincinnati,damn it

Total posts: 314
Posted:Those books are brilliant. I love them. To clear a few things up, i dont believe Peter Jackson is directing the movie, for infd about the movie check www.imdb.com, im trying to be optimistic about the movies, but i know they could never do the books justice.

Didnt they make the first one Golden compass in the U.S. to make it more congruous with the important - object - as - the - title - theme of the other two?


I love the take on religion and spirituality in those books. I mean, they kill off god, or rather The Authority. The idea that organized churches and religions constricts rather than encourages spirituality is so true. The stress on the importance of intelligence and understanding over obeniance and absense on "sin" is also very phiolosophical, that dust is everywhere and everyong must find their own way to it, to enlightenment.

i find the fact that they are considered a childrens book is strangely fitting, after all the books are focused on two amazing children who are wiser then many of the adults around them, i read them when i was fairly young, and i think children and young people, who are less conditioned by the pressures of fear, society and government are more receptive to and understanding of the concepts and philosophies in the book.

ive thought about what my daemon would be(and what others would be), but i find it difficult to simplyfy people's personalites enough to match them to a single animal, i also dont think its something you can see in yourself, after all Lyra and will didnt really know what their daemons would fix as.

one concept in the books ive struggled with is the whole seperating from their daemons, and becoming witches thing and how that fits in the the themes in the books, any thoughts?

peace/fire
Lyra


if you think that our kiss was all in the lips, come on you got it all wrong man, and if you think that our dance was all in the hips then, oh well, do the twist -The White Stripes

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