The Golden Compass

I finished reading The Golden Compass yesterday. In keeping with my agreement with the English Nutter, here’s my brief review of the book.

I’m not sure what all the controversy was about regarding this book (or the series of books) and the movie. Perhaps it’s because I take my fiction for what it is: fiction. While the author’s point of view and opinions may skew things from time to time, it’s still fiction. It’ll be interesting to see where Philip Pullman goes with the story and the Church in the next book. It’s likely there’s more to come that’s worthy of the controversy.

(Note: I’ve been avoiding all spoilers and reviews with spoilers.)

I decided to read this series of books because I received a few of those forwarded emails about how evil the movie and books are, and how we should all boycott them. I wonder when the Catholic Church (or those associated with it) will learn that this sort of campaign makes people curious which in turn makes more money for the author, the movie makers, etc. Controversy sells.


I enjoyed the book. I like the fantasy/adventure genre so I had no trouble putting aside reality and escaping into the story. It’s fast-paced, with plenty of suspense. This book has daemons, witches, “gyptians” (gypsies), stolen children, and a really cool armored bear (Iorek Byrnison). The main character, Lyra Belacqua, is a little girl with a unique gift who has a big destiny that must be fulfilled, but it must be done without her knowledge that she is destined to do the things she does.

The Golden Compass is classified as “young adult” material (reading level). It’s not light reading, and I don’t think I see it as a children’s book (although the alternate cover of this book tends to make it look like both).

I’m looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy.

In other news…

Might as well tuck today’s weather report into this entry: Sunny this morning, but now it’s mostly cloudy with rain expected later. Temperatures are cooler than they have been, but the winds have finally calmed.