Wednesday, September 23, 2009

His Dark Material

I recently listened to the "His Dark Materials" series by Philip Pullman. I never watched "The Golden Compass". It didn't get all that good of reviews, but enough people said "the book is better than the movie" that I figured I'd give the book a try. My guess is that the movie was pretty bad, because I did really like the book all that much. "The Golden Compass" was entertaining enough, but I never really saw the point of it, the characters were interesting but I couldn't tell where to story was going and I never really cared if it got there or not. Most childrens parinormal series are overwellmingly gripping, but after finishing book one I was only mildly curious about book two.

I did eventuall get around to listening to books two and three. Oddly, I enjoyed them a lot more than book one. All of book one takes place in the same universe (which isn't this one), but in the later books the characters move freely between universes and often visit this Earth. So the story made more sense. But the thing that I found most striking about it was its blatent religious comentary, something that was more suttle in book one and practacly crammed down the readers throat by book three. The crazy thing is that these books are very anti-establishment. Not to be a total spoiler, but a 12 year old girl actually kills God. Why didn't I know about this before. Not that I watch the 700 Club or anything, but one would think the religious right would be banning these books and burning them in the street. How did I not hear about this beautiful heathenism?

I don't want to go into detail about my own personal belief system. But in general I think asking questions is the best way to come to enlightnement, so I always appreciate stories that force people to think about their own beliefs. I don't like to be preched at, in person or in literature, but I like it when assumptions are reexamined and I am pushed to think more seriously about my own thoughts and beliefs. So in the end, I liked "His Dark Materials". While it is religious in theme, it is really more closely tied to Milton than Moses. It's very "Pardise Lost" esque, with God as the master villian, the snake as bearor of wisdom, and Eve as the great salvation. Praise the Lord for original sin.

Even if masses of people aren't swarming to book stores to buy "His Dark Materials", my guess is that most people do like to have their beliefs called into question. How else do we learn and grow? And why else would Dan Brown be such a literary super star? I haven't actually read "The Lost Symbol" yet, but I have read "The Davinci Code" and "Angles and Demons" so I'm fairly certain I know all of the major plot points. The only thing I don't know yet is all the hidden corruption inside the Free Maisens. And after learnign that Jesus had a kid and that God's hand created the Big Bang, well how could I not want to read "The Lost Symbol". I'm such a slacker to have not read it yet. It's been out for more than a week now. Why have I been wasting all my time reading books about devil children out to save the world?

Joke of the Day

What do you get when you cross an elephant with a mountain climber?

Nothing, you can't cross anything with a scaler.

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