The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman | Fantasy Book Discussion

We are all subject to the fates. But we must act as if we are not, or die of despair.

Excerpt from The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

My journey with the His Dark Materials series is one of, perhaps, missing the boat. Do you think you can miss your chance to read certain books? That if you didn’t read the perfect book at the perfect age, you’ll not interact with it the same way? That’s what I think went wrong with Pullman’s beloved series and me.

I didn’t read The Golden Compass as a kid. I nearly did, around the time the hysteria at the series was at a high. My conservative religious grandmother would go on a diatribe about it any time it was brought up. But alas, I didn’t know much about what the book was actually about besides something about “demons,” and I soon fell head over heels with Harry Potter and my fate was set.

Flash forward a couple decades, a bad adaptation and an upcoming HBO series later, and I suddenly feel the urge to read this book. What ~is~ all the fuss about. So I read it. And I’m underwhelmed. I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t “get it.”

I know it’s just me. It’s not that I’ve “grown” out of this book for young readers (I read middle grade books fairly often). But I am missing a spark. With such high expectations, I’m missing the nostalgia factor of getting to know this world through naive eyes.

But now my curiosity is quenched and I can commit the cardinal bookish sin of watching the new show *without* reading all of the books first.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman
Read on audio, narrated by a full cast and the author

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