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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Piece of a Book

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Paperback: 944 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books (April 10, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0375847227

Notice how many pages?? Heh.. well actually this book is a combination of all 3 books that make up the trilogy.. and I just finished the first part: The Golden Compass.

(You will see this photo two more times as I read The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.)
Anyway.. since The Golden Compass is due out any day now as a movie, I thought I'd read it first to see what all the fuss was over.
I was anticipating that it would grab me right up as many YA books have done. But that didn't happen and that really surprised me. It wasn't until around 100 pages into it that it finally grabbed me.. and then it took off like shot! From there until the end of book one I read fairly quickly because I always wanted to know "what next?!".. it was very good, and I can see that if the movie studios did good by it where it would make a great movie.
The main character of Lyra is well defined and you are given information so that you feel as if you know her... but do you really? (since she doesn't know herself...) The story begins with Lyra and her kitchen friend Roger always sneaking around on roof tops and underground at Oxford where she spends most of her time ignoring lessons and having fun. What she doesn't know is her life, as she knows it, is about to change and the choices she makes could affect more than just herself and her daemon Pan.
Once I got past a certain point I really enjoyed this story... but I have to say, that the fact it didn't make me love it instantly was a disappointment, and to be honest.. so was the ending! It was wrapped up rather quickly and I found myself thinking that something felt missing .
Now I know it continues in two more books, and I've even begun book 2.. and similar to book one, as I read the first few pages I found myself wondering if this was really the second book...., where did this come from? What happened to the other characters?
I know it will tie in sooner or later, but this is not what I am used to. When I read trilogies, generally book two picks up where one left off and lets you know a little something more before surging ahead and putting in new characters and new places.
I know these books have won awards and now even a movie contract, so I know I'm in the minority here when I say that I have a feeling I will enjoy the movies more than the books... but I will continue to read... at least I hope so. Book one was only 296 pages so I have a long way to go yet... I am generally pulled into a book before 100 pages, or before I start thinking, maybe this isn't for me... I've got my fingers crossed here!
...of course I'll let you know how it goes.. or IF it goes.. :o)


Blogger Chris said...

I haven't read these either. It seems like I'm one of the only people left in the world that hasn't and now even you're leaving the "I haven't read His Dark Materials Club"! 944 pages!! That's a whopper of a book! I hope it picks up soon for you or else that's going to be a mighty boring few days of reading. I suspect that I'll read these eventually, but I've never had the urge to pick them up. They've never caught my attention for some reason. I'll see what you think about them when you're done! We seem to have similar tastes in books.

9:57 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Hey Chris: yeah well it begins slow.. and this is ok, laying down information for what is to come.. but 100 pages was a bit much before it picked up.. and to be honest I would have expected to learn more from those hundred pages than I felt I did... once it got going I loved it... til the end. Then I felt let down know .. "that's it?" All of this just to get to this point?.. then drop you and not get "right back into it" with book two?! I guess I'm just not as satisfied as I thought I'd be by the end of book one. I even went and reread amazons review for book 2 to be sure the original story line was going to continue! I've never done that before! But it could be just the way the author writes and that makes me think the next two books I will feel the same. I hope I can make myself to continue reading to get to the good stuff again lol..

10:27 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

You're not completely in the minority, I don't think. A few years back I made it my personal quest to have everyone I knew read these books :P I did succeed with quite a few people, and the reactions were mixed. Some absolutely loved them, while others weren't too crazy about them. I've since learned that, even though these are my favourite fantasy books, they are not for everyone.

Book 2 starts with Will, right? It's been a while since I last read them. Will is a wonderful character , I think you'll warm up to him eventually. I'm used to series that jump around between characters (Discworld, Earthsea, etc.) so I didn't mind it too much when it happened with this one. But I promise it all ties in very nicely eventually, and that the whole thing does make sense.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the series!

10:28 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Nymeth: thanks! I need to hear that it ties in lol.. Yes, it begins with Will. I just hope it doesn't take 100 pages before I get back to Lyra again! sheesh! lol

10:31 AM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Well, you hung in a lot longer than I could have or would have....If a book hasn't gotten me by page 10...Well, that might be it for me, unless I had another reason for trying to get through it. And it is strange that Book 2 has a similar problem...!Good Luck with getting to and through Book 3!

12:40 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I haven't read the books either. I did hear on the radio though, about all the Christian organizations boycotting it and the film. One of my friends was really upset when I said I was going to take my kids to see it, because the author wants to "kill God". Sheesh. I realize that a lot of authors have underlying beliefs that come out in their writing. But I think it would be sublte enough that my kids wouldn't think like that. Drives me nuts when people question me like that.

What is your take on the book, in that regard?

2:48 PM  
Blogger cj said...

You can count me in as one of those people who won't be reading this book and who objects strongly to the whitewash the media is giving the movie.

Stephanie, there's nothing subtle about an author who declares his book is about killing god. Pullman is a rabid atheist fanatic who doesn't want anyone to believe in anything he doesn't. If I had kids, they wouldn't get anywhere near this book or the movie.


5:27 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Hi Naomi: yep hung in and still reading so I think I made it past the worst lol.

Steph & cj: whelp I don't blog about religion so not gunna take sides in this blog lol.. I am still reading though..

5:44 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

Good luck with finishing all three, deslily. I read them a couple of years ago and count myself among the 'not that struck' minority. I thought there were many better fantasy books by better authors. I do plan to see the movie though as it looks very beautiful.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

That is one big book!

I don't have a lot of interest in reading them. Besides the fact that I am not a big fan of anyone who is so wildly dismissive of Lewis and Tolkien, these big multiple book series just don't usually appeal to me. And a good friend of mine has read them and was really unimpressed and he gave me the play by play so I feel I know alot of the story already.

I certainly look forward to seeing what you think about book two and then book three.

6:20 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Cath: well so far i've enjoyed it.. it's good.. not great, but ok so far, but don't think this is one I will say I'd reread..? we'll see.

Carl: it's not my first choice to get three books in one! I have a heck of a time holding it to read, especially since it's softback and not hardback! But I'm glad I went this route.. it wasn't expensive.. the 3 hardbacks would have been! and the massmarket ones I have too much difficulty there's that. I only knew what the reviews were and that a movie had already been made so figured, how bad can it be?.. I don't think it's a bad read.. just won't be a favorite I don't think.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

I want to read this before the movie comes out but I just can't seem to find the time!

1:21 PM  

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