His Dark Materials mini-review

His Dark Materials mini-review

Postby Craig on Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:12 am

I finished reading His Dark Materials by Phil Pullman http://www.philip-pullman.com couple weeks ago. I can't sweep the floor without thinking about Dust, I mean dust, in quite the same way. The author uses Dust as an interesting metaphor for the particles that might permeate the universe and everything in it. With a particular conceit that quantum particles are attracted to more sentient beings in this or any universe. It comes full circle, in terms of religious belief, that animism holdsthe belief that everything is alive including rocks, and contains a 'spirit. Animism, so the theory goes, gives way to earth goddess (Great Cosmic Mother) and then to a pantheism of gods (greek, early roman) to the monotheistic God, Allah etc, and forward/back to the Quantum wonder of particles/waves permeating existence.

Interesting that the I Ching (Chinese Book of Changes) is featured briefly in the series, because Taosim is a belief that goes full circle. From the one comes two, which then becomes ten million 'things', but always returning to the one 'source'. Ken Wilber http://www.kenwilber.com reckons that Taosim is one of the more spiritually advanced 'religions' of our time. Right up there with Tibetan Buddhism.

Recently, in Canberra, I picked up Lyra's Oxford on special at WH Smith (the huge newsagent/bookshop in Civic) reduced from $30 to $11!! A bargain for a short, self-contained story taking place two years after His Dark Materials. The book features a fold-out map of Lyra Silvertongue's Oxford.

His Dark Materials is a trilogy, containing the novels Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, which are currently under development as a series of films from New Line Cinema (see the link to Philip Pullman's website). A sequel, The Book of Dust, is currently being written.

I don't think I can review this series without another reading. For which I plan to buy the boxed set.

Now, I'm reading Michael Bishop's Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas. Another alternate universe story (I'm a sucker for 'em), set in a world where America won the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon was re-elected four times, so that he is still President as PKDick dies (1982). Dick returns in a "resurection body" to inpsire a struggling couple to fight this regime any way they can (by " taking risks", which makes for some interesting plot twists).

A book, I think, very relevant to our times. Review pending.

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Postby evilbindi on Thu May 01, 2008 2:41 pm

His dark materials, is a fantastic read. It is very powerful.
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Re: His Dark Materials mini-review

Postby Kamu on Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:26 pm

A great, and hugley thought provoking series indeed.
And like you Craig, I can't sweep or anything without thinking about Dust (and considering I live in the desert, there's a heck of a lot of dust about!)

I'm looking forward to reading Pulman's most recent novel The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ. Here's a link to an interview with Pulman about it http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bookshow/stori ... 892196.htm
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