Monday, October 8, 2007

The Golden Compass / Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass is the first book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Although it has been around for a few years, I decided to read it now because there's been a lot of hype about the movie version that's going to be released in December, starring Nicole Kidman as the uber-glamorous but evil villian, Mrs. Coulter.

This book is a thought-provoking fantasy, set in a parallel universe populated by distracted scholars, an ultra-powerful church, gypsy-like boat-dwellers and armored polar bears. Most of the action takes place in England and the North Pole. The main character is a young girl called Lyra. This book traces her journey from England to the North Pole to rescue her friend Roger, who has been kidnapped by a mysterious, government-backed group of scientists who perform gruesome experiments on the children they steal. With the help of the strange "golden compass" of the book's title as well as the assistance of a variety of unusual and mystical folk she encounters on her journey, Lyra uncovers her destiny, which influences the course of mankind.

The trilogy continues with The Subtle Knife and concludes with The Amber Spyglass. The author also wrote a companion volume to the trilogy called Lyra's Oxford. We have all four books at the library, and the trilogy is available on audiobook as well.

No comments: