Books : Once Upon a Time in the North

27 07 2013
I have not been to the library in a while, much less read fiction. It was a surprise that I found this little book left lying around the marketing or finance books as I was lazing around. I am not entirely familiar with Pullman’s writing though I have watched the Golden Compass.

In general, it is hard for a movie to do justice to the ideas in a book. However, if my fuzzy memory serves me well, the flavour of the Golden Compass movie, seems consistent with the flavour of this little prequel. It is about Lee, a ballooning aeronaut, who finds himself on an Arctic Island and get’s acquainted, in a matter of hours, with it’s politics and out of nowhere, becomes a player.
I appreciate the themes of skepticism, questioning the status quo and the added layer of “magical realism” when it comes to people and their daemon’s. I like the fact that Pullman keeps the “magical” element subtle and minimal. Overall, the book is easy reading, as I read it exclusively over a few bus trips. It makes me rather curious to start reading the rest of the His Dark Materials series.
I am considering reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo next.
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2 responses

28 07 2013
Nick

The movie does absolutely no justice to the series, at all. This is mostly because, as you say, it’s difficult to do justice to the ideas in the book, but more importantly because the series have some heavy anti-organised religion themes, particularly in the later books, so the studio were under a lot of pressure from the religious right to sanitise it.
I’d definitely recommend the rest of the series, though the ‘magical’ element is perhaps more prominent than in the novella.

28 07 2013
medschneverends

I see what you mean. I looked it up an ran into some evangelical commentary, and unfortunately, some spoilers :/

Thanks for dropping by.

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