Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials #1)
Amazon.co.uk Review:”Lyra's life is already sufficiently interesting for a novel before she eavesdrops on a presentation by her uncle Lord Asriel to his colleagues in the Jordan College faculty, Oxford. The college, famed for its leadership in experimental theology, is funding Lord Asriel's research into the heretical possibility of the existence of worlds unlike Lyra's own, where everyone is born with a familiar animal companion, magic of a kind works, the Tartars are threatening to overrun Muscovy, and the Pope is a puritanical Protestant. Set in an England familiar and strange, Philip Pullman's lively, taut story is a must-read and re-read for fantasy lovers of all ages.”Reading extract can be found here.
This is the adult version of Northern Light, which is published as Golden Compass in the US. No idea what makes it Adult, I haven't read the original version.
I bought the book after I had seen the movie “The Golden Compass”. I liked the movie a lot. My interest had been piqued after I had heard that people in the US had complained about the controversial religious undertones of the movie. I had also read somewhere that it was unlikely that the other two books of the trilogy would be made into movies because of that. Which is a shame, I’m sure it would have been entertaining. I am assuming that the people that had complained are not book readers, otherwise Philip Pullman would be on lots of banned books lists in the US. Although maybe he is. That’s not exactly a difficult achievement.
Anyway, book… The movie is a very close adaptation. Two events that happen at the end of the book, have been moved further forward in the movie and the actual ending of the book is missing completely – I guess too much would have been left dangling.
I did not like the book more or less than the movie. It was a close draw. Lord Asriel in the movie was a more likeable character and the voice of Ian McKellen is hard to replace in writing.
Would I recommend the book to others? Yes.
Will I buy the second book of the trilogy? Maybe. It is on my wishlist. Despite this being the adult version of the book, it felt a bit too much like Young Adults for me to enjoy it completely.
The book is up for grabs, let me know here or on BC, if you want it. If more than one person is interested, I will turn it into a bookray. The JE is here