I’ve mentioned these books before. This series by by Phillip Pullman is a true surprise. Hailed initially as a Harry Potter rip-off…you have only to read the first few pages to realize…this is sooo nothing like Harry’s little story. I am in the process of reading these again after seeing something truly remarkable.
I was reading a Newsweek article “What to Read Now. and Why.” and just after finishing the read (which by the way is an absolutely AWESOME recommendation…that entire list of books should be required reading in schools…probably should be read before even high school to be honest…anyhow, I digress.
Back on topic, I spotted another link that caught my eye on Newsweek, “Newsweek’s Top 100 Books: The Meta-List”. I scanned through it and sure enough…this is the current list of almost everything you’ll be required to read in school (again hopefully before high school)…except I notice two things:
1. There is virtually zero modern literature in here, which leads me to believe that the list maker is either an old English teacher or someone whose only regurgitating the same list of best-reads that I saw when I was 8 (with one exception, read #2)
2. The most recent literature on the list…is none other that the His Dark Materials trilogy. WOW?!
Not sure how THAT made it on the list, dont get me wrong, it’s definitely required reading in TonyTown…but it’s like whoever made that list of books stopped, dropped 50 years of literary prejudices, added that book to the list, then went back to being a literary bore.
My point is simple.
His Dark Materials has managed to make it into the prude’s list. Once you finish the trilogy, you will know why…it is nothing short of a dive into our own dark hearts and imagination. It is human nature, and nature, and hugely satire. The movie doesn’t count, since it completely eliminated the role of the Church which was a hugely important aspect of the plot, and probably the #1 reason the movie held virtually zero chance of getting booked for a sequel.
The title of the series, His Dark Materials, comes from seventeenth century poet John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book 2:
Into this wilde Abyss,
The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave,
Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixt
Confus’dly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless th’ Almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more Worlds,
Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and look’d a while,
Pondering his Voyage; for no narrow frith
He had to cross.
— Book 2, lines 910–920
Whosoever spends such time as to let all of us…those who’ve learned to love and live for the inspiration that good books give us…spend some time experiencing their imagination rather than our own, spends their time most graciously, and is much appreciated.
His Dark Materials just got put on a list of some of the greatest literature written.
Anyhow off to sleep. Happy reading!!!