First the Good. The narration was great, the cast of narrators really made it easy to follow. The style of writing was just my speed too.
Now the Bad. The storyline is Demonic, and so are some of the sub-plots.
Overall: For an adult, that is secure in what you believe, it's an interesting read. I would definitely Not read it to the kids.
This story is ok, it's certainly exciting, but one must overlook quite a few jumps in the story to make it work. That's often the case in fantasy, this book simply stretches the practice a little too far. If you do some research (as I did unfortunately AFTER listening) Pullman has a vendetta against the church and more specifically against God--he has an agenda to fulfill and it's obvious from the storyline. The story has too much in it that makes me uncomfortable to recommend it to anyone.
I saw the movie and decided to get the book, and I wasn't disappointed! I went on to read the second book as well and just ordered the third. There is a lot going on and I was glad I saw the movie first because I had a better picture of what was happening as I listened to the book.
This exicting master piece is a perfect begging to his dark materails series it introduses the magical world of phillip pullman and dazzels you with its vivid languege and transports you to a magical world.listen to it to find what i mean
While the work is well written and well read it is explicitly a polemic/diatribe against Christianity and is full of inconsistencies and utterly lacks integrity. (Yes, I am writing about ?His Dark Materials?) Pullman sums up his view of Christianity in saying that there have been two pursuits from the beginning of time. Those who pursue ?wisdom? [i.e. his views] and those that pursue ?stupidity? [i.e. Christianity.] His definition of ?wisdom? appears to be some type of radical freedom where God must be ?killed? in such a pursuit.
He appears to draw from a number of 18th/19th century philosophers and social theorists to support his twisted view of Christianity and his utopian view. But considering that Existentialist teachings provided Cambodia with approx. 1.7 million dead, Nietzsche provided Germany with Hitler, Communism is credited with approx. 160 million dead and Darwin would make us animals. It is interesting Pullman appeals to such as these as the only means to accomplish his ideal, especially since none of these views have any binding rationale for moral behavior, quite the opposite actually. In contrast, Christianity demands that Love, in word and deed, be the defining characteristic of those who claim that title.
While people are, obviously, free to disagree with the tenets of Christianity and yes, there are those who claim the name but live in opposition to the teachings of Christ, one should always present an honest view of what/who one opposes. Pullman?s categorical claim that the Church/Christians are ?Stupid? [his word] and that It/They are the only obstacle to a wise, kind, compassionate and happy world should disturb any thinking individual.
In summary, if you want a well-written and well-read tale and do not care about the claims/implications of the author then this book may be for you. If you care about what the author is really saying then I would look elsewhere.
This is my first review ever. I have neither seen the movie or read the book. Howver, after to listening to the first part I can bear no more. Quite frankly the book is boring. There are no other words to describe it but boring. The only reason I downloaded it was to see why my Pope is troubled by this book. I am troubled that children and teens are gonna think that all books of this type are boring. Those of you who are comparing this to Lord of the Rings or Narnia, get a clue. You couldn't be more wrong.
This was a most unique book which borders on fanatasy and science fiction, my personal favorite genres. I am most anxious to indulge myself into book two. The concept of having an intuitive "daemon" is most appealing to the pet lover in me also. The only negative I found was the use of scripture and Bible stories which had been altered to "fit" the book's content. This could be misleading to a vulnerable person not aware of the accurate version of the scriptures and Biblical story. I feel this should and could have been excluded from the story. The story would still maintain its mystique.
While this series is well-written and engaging, as a parent and educator I wish to caution parents and teachers alike that Pullman's expressed aim in writing this series is "to undermine the basis of Christian belief." This is not clearly realized until the second or third book when the reader is already engaged in the story line. It is not merely an anti-Christian book, it is an anti-GOD book and buyers should be aware of this. I read the series and enjoyed it immensely, but when I understood the basis of the story, I felt like I had been manipulated by this author and the publishers' agenda. To have this available to kids in some school districts could cause trouble from parents. As a teacher, I would definitely get parents' informed consent before allowing students to read this in class.
Philip Pullman quote: "We're used to the kingdom of heaven; but you can tell from the general thrust of the book that I'm of the devil's party, like Milton...The king is dead. That's to say I believe that the king is dead. I'm an atheist." <http://observer.guardian.co.uk>
because it was listed as a young adult selection I let my kids listen to it without checking it 1st. To be fair it is well written and entertaining, if you dont mind religion bashing you'll like it. I have never asked my kids not to read a book but this one I did. I think that it is fine to challenge an adults beliefs and expect them to stretch, but children need time to mature and its a low blow to challenge thier beliefs with a well written and entertaining story.