"His Dark Materials": #7 in sales on Amazon.com

*From www.miserere.org/m/archivedposts/256
His Dark Materials box set: #7 in sales on Amazon.com

Apparently, the Catholic Church’s warnings have fallen upon deaf ears.

Militant atheistic work His Dark Materials, in which the Church is the enemy and the protagonist children kill God, has reached #7 in sales on Amazon.com. Consider these rankings:[LIST]
]His Dark Materials paperback box set = #7
] His Dark Materials
hardcover box set = #148
] His Dark Materials* one-volume edition = #231
] The Golden Compass* [book 1] paperback = #313
] The Amber Spyglass* [book 2] paperback = #1,485
]The Subtle Knife [book 3] paperback = #1,083[/LIST](For comparison: Oprah’s Book Club’s latest selection, Pillars of the Earth, ranks #12. The final installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ranks #25. The one-volume edition of Lord of the Rings has fallen to #11,758. The best-selling edition of the King James version of the Bible ranks #35,792.)
What can be inferred from these numbers?
* As you can see, the demand for The Golden Compass (upon which the upcoming movie is based) is pretty high, at #313. There is less demand for individual copies of the second and third books in the trilogy (#1,485 and #1,083, respectively) — but demand for the entire trilogy has skyrocketed to #7 in sales for the paperback box set, and #148 and #231 for other editions. Most people have opted to read the entire His Dark Materials. And considering its 4.5-star (out of 5) rating by over 530 reviewers, I’d say that people like them…

Evidently, the Catholic League’s and dads.org/Steve Wood’s ‘five-alarm warning’ to parents that release of the movie would drive sales of the entire trilogy was correct. Consequently, most readers (unsuspecting adults and vulnerable children, alike) will get more than the action tale of the movie — they’ll get a full dose of anti-Christian filth that includes demons as allies, an enemy pope, an oppressive Magisterium of the Church, the murder of God by children, and more.
All Christians, unite!** Inform yourself, inform others and boycott the movie and books!

One piece of good news: Thankfully, the Dangerous Book for Boys ranks #3, and the Daring Book for Girls ranks #5. And surprisingly, C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia paperback boxed set still ranks #280, even though the next installment of the movie series (Prince Caspian) won’t be in theatres until May 2008.

Unfortunately, it has not been the official hierarchy of the Catholic Church that has condemned this movie (and book series). It has been the people in the pews notifying others.

The USCCB published this review of the movie: catholicnews.com/data/movies/07mv242.htm
I just read the review, and it seems to be quite a flattering review:
*]“there’s hardly a dull moment, and the effects are beautifully realized, including the anthropomorphized creatures like the polar bears whose climactic fight is superbly done.”
*]“taken purely on its own cinematic terms, can be viewed as an exciting adventure story with, at its core, a traditional struggle between good and evil, and a generalized rejection of authoritarianism.”
*]“To the extent, moreover, that Lyra and her allies are taking a stand on behalf of free will in opposition to the coercive force of the Magisterium, they are of course acting entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching. The heroism and self-sacrifice that they demonstrate provide appropriate moral lessons for viewers.”
*]“Leaving the books aside, and focusing on what has ended up on-screen, the script can reasonably be interpreted in the broadest sense as an appeal against the abuse of political power.”
*]“For now, this film – altered, as it is, from its source material – rates as intelligent and well-crafted entertainment.”
*]“The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II – adults and adolescents.”
Those comments sound pretty flattering to me.

Apparently, the USCCB (or at least the Catholic News Service) feels that this film is appropriate viewing for adolescents and teenagers (who we all know are not at all impressionable!). Unfortunately, the media has already started spinning the USCCB’s review against the Catholic League.

However, the sanitized version of Pullman’s book has failed to appease the Catholic League, which gathers some 350,000 members, and which has already been sending out leaflets denouncing the film.

“The Catholic League wants Christians to stay away from this movie precisely because it knows that the film is bait for the books,” said president William Donohue.

“Unsuspecting parents who take their children to see the movie may be impelled to buy the three books as a Christmas present. And no parent who wants to bring their children up in the faith will want any part of these books,” he added.

The League already took on the movie world in 2006 to denounce the blockbuster “The Da Vinci Code” and its central tenant that Jesus Christ had a child by Mary Magdalene whose descendants still survive today.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops however has been more nuanced in its approach warning in a review of “The Golden Compass” of its “anti-clerical subtext, standard genre occult elements, character born out of wedlock, a whiskey-guzzling bear.”

But it adds that “taken purely on its own cinematic terms, (it) can be viewed as an exciting adventure story with a traditional struggle between good and evil, and a generalized rejection of authoritarianism.”

This is why the USCCB should have gotten out in front of this issue. Honest Catholics will look at that review (just as this journalist has) and say, “well, the bishops are saying it’s a good enough movie - I guess that Catholic League is just a bunch of extremist crackpots. I’ll take the kids to see it over the Christmas weekend. In fact, we’ll probably get the books as Christmas presents as well.”

And, as predicted, book sales are through the roof. Nice job, bishops!:mad:

I don’t think it was the release of the movie that propelled the sales of the trilogy. I believe it was all the media attention created by the Catholic League calling for the boycott. The moment a religious organization uses the media to try to prevent something is the moment the rest of the nation pretty much runs to the nearest store/theater to take a look at what all the fuss is about.

Because our government is based on freedom our citizens rebel against any attempt on others’ part to limit their choices - for anything. If the movie would have been released without all the fuss created by the Catholic League I suspect it would have come and gone in the theaters without any record-breaking numbers either for the movie or the books.

The previews looked good in the theaters but would appeal only to those who are into fantasy-type books/films. The previews were not so great to pull others into the market based on the movie alone. But now that there is a call from a religious group to boycott the film, people who otherwise would have not taken notice of the film or books are now intrigued. Their protest against a religious group telling them what they should/should not view/think/see/feel is done with their wallets.

That the USCCB came out with positive review has just made matters worse. The Catholic League should have checked with Mother Church before calling for the boycott or at least have waited to see what the review from the USCCB was going to be before deciding whether or not to speak for/against the film.

tempest in a teapot.

These books didn’t become bestsellers because of the movie. The first book became a movie because the books are all bestsellers. Before the movie, it is interesting to note, that I don’t recall reading a word of complaint about these best-selling books.

Selective outrage isn’t terribly convincing or productive.

– Mark L. Chance.

I didn’t realize this! Well, if it’s okay with the bishops, I’ll have to go see it now! :nope:

Oh, true, true. As I wrote in my editorials, Pullman is a very gifted writer, and his books have won lots of literary praise.

Be that as it may, now that the movie is out, more children will want to read His Dark Materials. I for one, thought the movie preview looked fantabulous and was anxious for its release – I thought it was another Narnia, a hidden gem that I didn’t know about yet. That’s when I started investigating what the books were about and learned the awful truth.

This isn’t selective criticism. Had I known about the books’ existence earlier, I might’ve written some exposé about them. But that’s not the case. They weren’t really on the general public’s radar yet.

Now they are; and that’s why we need to spread the word, keeping parents informed.

I, for one, after having known personally how ridiculous the condemnation of Harry Potter was/is…

am now truly curious if the condemnation of this Golden Compass series is a similar situation or not. Have these books been read by all those condemning it? Can you refer to material directly in the books?

I might sign the book out on my Christmas holidays, just to see what the fuss is about.

after all, the last books that people tried to bann - Harry Potter - are actually quite enjoyable reads, and have after all a very good moral message.

you can’t bann every good and new piece of fiction that comes out, and expect people to take it seriously.

Pax Christi,
Esther Rose

Here’s an idea for you.

Figure out a way to NOT PAY to read a copy of the entire series, JUST IN CASE it is, in the last analysis to you, anti-Christian.

THEN, you can rightly say that you didn’t fall into the trap of supporting (monetarily) an anti-Christian by being “personally responsible in evaluation of a work of fiction”.

note I said “sign out”…

libraries are wonderful! :slight_smile:

Pax Christi
Esther Rose

Excellent! :slight_smile:

(( I’ve got a deep dark secret wish, now, to read this potentially awful “material” just to pick it to pieces as the drivel I’m being told it is! ))

Very well said, YinYangMom. I agree.
The more fuss is made, the bigger the draw.
Happens everytime, and then folks want to
get upset…

The same thing happened with the Da Vinci code.

People either saw it for what it was, a pack of fictitious lies, or they bought into it because they wanted to. Anyone who bought into it wasn’t very bright, and was weak in their faith to begin with.

Let’s face it; the only adults that buy into this **** are ones who are weak Christians anyway. The books aren’t thinly veiled later on, and even people who don’t *care per se *acknowledge Pullman’s anti-religion, anti-Christian message. Check out his fan message baord if you aren’t sure; almost everyone poster acknowledges what his message is; they just endorse it, or don’t care.


Kind of the like the occasional poster on here who asks a question, is given an answer from the Catechism, and replies " it is this kind of intolerance and hate that is making me leave the Church."

Practically speaking, those kind of people were going to leave anyway; it was only a matter of time.

My beef is that he aims this stuff at children, but again, realistically speaking, any parents who let their children read this garbage after all that has been made of it probably aren’t teaching deep theology at home anyway…


Read that and then click on ‘view of religion’. It was really strange.

oh, and here’s the non broken link to that thread on the “fan site”

Crazy people in there. :frowning:


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