Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Subtle Knife

So, I just finished Book 2 of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, The Subtle Knife, and I have to say this is one subversive series. Picking up where Book 1, The Golden Compass, left off, our heroine Lyra finds herself in a new world and on a collision course with her father...who just happens to be planning a rematch of the biggest war ever--the angel rebellion in heaven. But, and here's where it starts to get fun, we're left wondering if that might not be exactly just what the universe needs.

Now, I have no intention of opening up a religious debate, but I'd like to use this example of how important books can be to our development as critical thinkers. Asking questions that we think we already have the answer to will not only help us intellectually, but socially as we see the infinite threads of diversity wrapped around our world. Or something like that.

Of course, the books are a lot of fun to read (otherwise, who would care). And people do care, a lot, as evidenced by Pullman's inclusion on banned book lists throughout the world. In my mind that means he's doing something right.

You can read more about the author's thoughts here and here (Warning: May Contain Spoilers). I'm especially interested in your thoughts about Pullman's view on the Narnia series.


Heidi said...

I have been listening to The Golden Compass recently. Today I got to the part where Lyra listens to the retelling of the Genesis story. WOW! Talk about making you think! Now I do want to listen to the other two books to find out the conclusion!

Anonymous said...

I will get back to you after I have read the books and then read his thoughts.

Question: Are the spoilers for whole series or one book in the series.