The Golden Compass could be a masterpiece or a dangerous book that shouldn't be in the hands of children


#1

[Read the post]


#2

20 years!!!

Man, that makes me feel old.

Anyway. I loved, loved, loved Northern Lights. Didn’t like The Subtle Knife anything like as much because I don’t like the ‘real world’ getting in my fantasy novels.

I never watched the film, but this adaptation sounds interesting.

Anyone who thinks those books are dangerous is someone you don’t need anywhere near you or your kids, so it’s useful to keep a copy handy :slight_smile:


#3

I read the first book and probably half of the second, before I couldn’t take the heavy-handed exposition anymore.

I liked the idea of it alright, but I just got sick of every single plot advance happening by means of the children floundering around for a while, then happening to overhear a conversation where two antagonists go over a bunch of things they wouldn’t actually talk about because they both clearly already know them, just for the sake of the eavesdroppers, or else some deus ex machina type character showing up and explaining a bunch of stuff.

And if you thought the exposition in the books was annoying, stay right away from the movie.


#4

Me too- I was reading them at the end of primary school, which was

(quick counting)

2002!


#5

My mother once sent me an email about the Golden Compass: Atheist Liberal Author Writes Children’s Book about Killing GOD!!!1!1! wha? Something about the Catholic League of the USofA declaring that this was a book fit for burning. Sounds like something I’d like! Sounds… familiar. Sure enough, there is was on my son’s book shelf. So I read it.

It’s a fantasy book about a make-believe world in which the fictional good guys struggle against the also fictional bad guys and their cartoonishly corrupt and evil (fictional mind you) church. It’s got magic and talking soul-spirit animals and kid protagonists and lots of adventure and do-goodnick moralizing. It was OK, no LotR or Elric series. My kid read it too. I never got the second or third book from the library to complete the story, but it was fairly good/decent. Alcoholic ‘PanzerBear’ polar bear warrior was a nice twist.

If you can’t tell reality from fantasy you need a medical doctor (not the Rand Paul self-certifying kind neither) or perhaps an AM radio so you can soak up Rush Limbaugh’s vitriol.


#6

The young 'uns around here are so cute.


#7

Loved these books. Read them about 10 years ago. I have been imploring my boys to read them, but they’re not interested (yet).


#8

Corrupt fantasy churches are a dime a dozen. Books where it’s clearly the Christian church, still pretty common. Books where God actually shows up, is a long shot from all-powerful, and is evil or at best a figurehead for an evil figure…not quite so common. So I get why some people found this more upsetting than other fictional works.

I was personally post-faith when I read them, but even if I had still been faithful, I don’t think I’d have had a problem with it that way; I can’t be certain, of course.


#9

I never read the books but I loved the movie (as an adult!). I was heartbroken when I found the sequels were cancelled due to the Econolapse.


#10

I read them and really enjoyed the first one. I thought they got worse as the trilogy progressed. This culminated in a final set of scenes that totally betrayed the message I had taken from the books, and required all of the major characters to break their established personas. It left a very bad taste in my mouth.


#11

I honestly don’t recall anything about a Christ figure in the first book (which as stated, is the only one of the series I’ve read). Religion in fantasy books seem not quite universal / not always the focus or clearly stated. LotR doesn’t seem to have churches, synagogs or mosques, but they do have The Undying Lands, Lothlorien, fantasy gods and angels and spirits and stuff, so some religion/spiritualism. Reading reviews to get just the right amount of churchiness or it’s opposite seems like a good idea. In the Elric series the gods are very much physically present and they are slaying and being slain as part of the story arc. If we now have to have hands off on gods fighting, we just lost the Greek and Roman mythos entirely.

Perhaps it’s like abortion: if you don’t want to have one, be prepared with birth control. Oh, ooops.


#12

Satisfy my curiosity, I’m 30, do I count as one of the young 'uns?


#13

Well sure, if you feel that’s right for you.

/s


#14

I was hoping to scrape into the cool adults club.


#15

You have to be 37.

We’re all 37.


#16

That’s fine, too.


#17

Fine then, I’m 37.

Oh, yeah, the books, couldn’t read them – something about the way they were written just annoyed me.

(See, not off topic)


#18


#19

You mixed up Python scenes. The visual is the approach to the French castle, whereas the quote is from the king addressing the commoners covered in shit.


#20

You’re right, I just took the first animated one with the quote I wanted. :smile: