Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Turmoil In The Kingdom Of The Golden Compass

With shades of the recent attacks on J.K. Rowling with her outing of Dumbledore as gay, here is another controversy generated by the movie The Golden Compass.

Book 1
Based on the award-winning trilogy His Dark Materials by British author Philip Pullman, the US$180 million film has been attacked by the Catholic League in the United States for promoting atheism - the belief that there is no god - among children. An e-mail campaign promoting a boycott of the film has been circulated among the Christian community.
Book 2
Author Philip Pullman's, whom the New Yorker once called England's most outspoken atheist, trilogy comprises of Northern Lights which was retitled The Golden Compass for the American release, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. The award-winning series, once hailed as the next Harry Potter, tell the tale of an orphan girl, Lyra Belacqua, who rescues children kidnapped by a mysterious and evil organisation.

Ironically, the uproar over The Golden Compass has been fueling book sales worldwide with major book retailers reporting a surge in sales of the trilogy. Even yours truly here has sold 3 copies of Northern Lights, 2 of The Subtle Knife and 1 copy of The Amber Spyglass through Amazon.
Book 3
Putting the controversy aside, Philip Pullman's trilogy is actually a good read, with breadth and depth matching the Harry Potter series. An adventurous fantasy tale of magic and wizardry, the series gallop along at an adventurous speed and celebrate universal values such as friendship, bravery, sacrifice and loyalty. The richly textured series come with an intelligent subtext which advocates free will and thought over slavish devotion to doctrinal authorities. And if one read between the lines, you will find that Pullman's tale is not about killing off God but removing an understanding of a God who is antiquated and resurrects a far more sophisticated divinity.

For fans of Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials is a trilogy i highly recommend and its popularity has been acknowledged with more than 12 million copies sold worldwide.
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*Related posts :
- J.K.Rowling Under Attack
- The Next Harry Potter
- Great Books For The Holidays


Keli said...

I couldn't help but think that when Dumbledore emerged from the closet, it was to boost book sales, as controversy is apt to do.
I haven't read the Pullman books, but your description of the subtext is intriguing and appealing.

My Den said...

Hi Keli,
That was the first thought I had about Dumbledore's "outing" but with more than 330 million copies sold worldwide plus the success of the movie series, I then realised Rowling does not need more hype.

On a related note, there are some very interesting comments to my post: "J.K.Rowling Under Attack" that you might want to read, and on of the commenter, Ender, did a great opinion piece about Dumbledore's "outing."

Thanks for popping by and happy holidays.