Has anyone read any of the series or is planning to see the movie?
Are they worth the read?
Has anyone read any of the series or is planning to see the movie?
Are they worth the read?
I read the series a while ago. The first book is pretty good actually, and because of it I thought it was just a fantasy novel. When you get into later books, however, it becomes much more agenda driven, with complex points that I think the author was trying to make about sex and theology that I totally didn’t get. It also says God is only an angel who happened to be the ‘first’ angel and made all the other angels think he created them. The ‘Satan’ angel is shown as a hero who wants to enlighten the world about the ‘truth’ but who’s been kept down. There is a point where we’re intorduced to a pair of angels that it is strongly hinted at being homosexual, as well as many corrupt religious leaders. It outright declares Heaven and Hell to be false (In all worlds, not only a fantasy world). There’s a really skewed version of indulgences as well, where you can recieve forgivness for a sin before you committ it, and thus kill yourself immediately afterwards to prevent getting caught (a ‘priest’ recieves this and goes off to kill two children, planning on killing himself just afterwards and expecting immediate entrance into Heaven).
It’s basically blasphemy in a book, wrapped in a cover of old worn out hereasies.
That’s pretty unfortunate. Maybe I’ll just stick to reading Golden Compass before the movie comes out. My friends said the series was good, but they’re weird for anything that insults Catholicism or traditional values.
The His Dark Materials trilogy which the Golden Compass comes from are excellent books from a literary perspective, they also have an interesting plot line which is most certainly blasphemous and heretical. If you read the Golden Compass, do so from purely a literary and enjoyment perspective, it is very easy to get angry and ticked when reading due to its many misconceptions about Church and God. But just like the DaVinci Code, its just a book.
Well written, but very anti-God. Mr. Pullman is a fierce atheist who has a particular dislike of C.S. Lewis. His reaction to The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe movie was peevish and childish I thought.
I’ll skip the movie. The price here is so high that one or two a year is about all the movies I go to.
I read all 3 books in 6th grade. During that time I really started questioning my faith. Although I did not realize it at the time, the books can be offensive. I still think they are great stories, but i probably will skip the movie.
Now we’ll have to deal with the movie and the controversy surrounding it…here we go again.
They are watering the movies down. Although that seems impossible for The Amber Spyglass. So it probably won’t be as bad as the book was.
I just finished reading the trilogy. I kept waiting for the anti Catholic stuff to stop and be resolved in some way. But it never happened. I’m really sorry I read them. Previous posters have got it right. It is bigotry in a dust jacket. I
was really shocked and disgusted, especially since it is directed at children.
The Church is made out to be evil and murderous. There is an ex nun in it who tells two 12 year old children, the main characters, that she stopped believing in God and stopped being a nun and then started living with a man for four years without being married to him. The whole point of the book is to kill God, who is called “The Authority” and then the two 12 year old children make out at the end of the book in order to save the world. I’m not joking. There is also the homosexual male angels and a lot of other sexually suggestive things in it as well.
I wrote a review on Amazon of it and I pointed all this stuff out…all the other reviews were like four and five stars…but at least mine is up there now. I can’t imagine kids reading these books. It’s very discouraging…not to mention the movie that is going to be made of it. Which also stars Nicole Kidman who is a Catholic, I had thought. Maybe they steer clear of some of that stuff…but I really don’t see how as it is the main plot of the book to kill God.
But, anyway, I’d recommend not reading this book…especially not letting your kids read it.
It’s a fantasy NOVEL - not an anti-Catholic diatribe.
Honestly, sometines it’s just a plot the author made up, and maybe some folks here should not read secular literature, since they approach everything looking for anti-Catholicism, not reading fiction for enjoyment. If you don’t like this genre, don’t read it.
The trilogy is well written, and has a very interesting plot. I can’t wait to see the movie.
Golden Compass/Northern Lights is WONDERFUL until the author starts trying to make his cosmic point in the last page or two. I loved it. I’m not going to see the movie, but it’d probably be good.
The second book I don’t remember much of b/c I read it once in 1998 and it didn’t make much of an impression.
The third book I felt was poorly put-together literarily and, after having reading Paradise Lost, feels like an attempt at homage to the Miltonic Satan which fails because Pullman’s God isn’t anything worth fighting against.
I am a reader of ‘secular’ literature, and I am into Fantasy. I love Harry Potter, and I even like some books that are negative in their views of God in general. What I don’t like is for an author to write a book aimed at CHILDREN which has an obvious agenda to teach an anticatholic message to them, not only in the way it portrays the Church and Priests but also in the overtly sexual and homosexual themes and scenes throughout the books. Please don’t try to tell people that they are paranoid or shouldn’t read secular books just because we can see the clear message in these horrible children’s books. I probably wouldn’t bother if it was a book meant for adults…but what makes me disgusted is that it is for children. WIse up.
In truth, novels have frequently been used to make a religious or political point. … though it does tend to detract from their value as literature.
I read the first two books and thought them brilliantly imaginative. I didn’t read the last because it insults God, who I love too much to want to read junk about. I wouldn’t read a book full of lies about my husband or best friend either.
It’s a shame, because the author has a lot of talent, but it’s misused.
I read all 3 books as a fundementalist Christian and again as someone who now has strong leanings towards the Catholic faith and is hoping to begin RCIA.
Somehow as a fundementalist Christian, I was able to dis-associate the anti-God stuff as only anti-Catholic. Now however, I am unable to do this and though I agree with the posters who have claimed that it is only fiction, there is no getting away from the fact that it is about firstly denouncing God as being who He is and secondly about killing Him.
The author himself admits it to be a response to C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series. Since Narnia was blatantly pro-christian I think we we can infer that The Golden Compass series is purposfully anti-christian. And considering that the main evil of the series is the Magesterium I believe it to be in particular anti-catholic. After all the teaching authority of the Catholic Church is the Magesterium (the Pope and all bishops united to him).
I saw Harry Potter at the theater last weekend. There was a preview for The Golden Compass. My wife and I were both steamed that they used Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings to sell it. I can’t imagine Tolkien would be happy his masterpiece was used to sell such an anti-catholic work. We aren’t going to see it, because we do not want our money to support this kind of project.
How did they use tolkein to sell it?
I agree with you and I often find it disconcerting when Christians–Catholic and nonCatholic-- are sometimes unaware or are purposefully looking for anti-Christian sentiment in books. People tried to do that with Harry Potter, of course it was with the Da Vinci Code, which I took to be a purely fiction and the warblings of sketchy myth-connections.
I read it as a child and did I find it a little disconcerting then? Yes I did but I realized it was not real. I found reading Deenie by Judy Blume a little disconcerting as well at that age because there was the issue of masturbation in the book. But the book was not real.
It’s time to start separating fact from reality. What we should be teaching children isn’t to stay away from “the bad books” and to teach them to dislike books, but to approach everything they read/come into contact with using a critical mind. After all, if everyone else can be critical to us regarding our faith, we can sure as well be critical to them about the other things.
Good as Gold,
The fact is that this isn’t something imaginary - these books are Anti-Catholic. They mention the Church by name, have bad theology, and portray a battle of heaven at the end where “God” dies. It even has homosexual angels as someone else pointed out.
It vilifies the Church.
You can go on and on about how it vilifies the church, but I never heard anyone complaining about Another Roadside Attraction or an atheist book called Just Pretend which is geared towards children if I may add. I think the last book is more questionable because it encourages children to place skepticism and atheism over believing in God.
I think books which are geared towards children that teaches in a real-life manner are more of concern than fantasy novels which happen to have undertones from the author’s agenda.
Like I said before, it’s about teaching children to think critically about what they read and are exposed to, especially when it comes to beliefs. There are people out there who don’t want religious-undertone books around in school libraries-- do we really want to be like them by preventing children from being exposed to books like His Dark Materials? Isn’t it our job to allow children to be exposed to these things in a way that is considered “safe”, where we will be there to talk to them about it and help them make up their own minds?
All I know is, the people who I have met who were atheists came from extremely religious and conservative homes where their parents prohibited them from coming into contact with anything that was “against their beliefs”.