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← Pullman defiant over US protests against Northern Lights

Pullman defiant over US protests against Northern Lights - Comments

Pertwee's Bouffant's Avatar Comment 1 by Pertwee's Bouffant

Good for Pullman. I've read the books and thought they were a bit waffly but told a good story. The film was pretty poor. I don't think they're quite the classics they're made out to be but its good to see an atheist writer using an atheistic point of view both selling well and kicking up a storm. Bravo, Pullman!

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 23:24:00 UTC | #243610

RussC's Avatar Comment 2 by RussC

"Religion grants its adherents malign, intoxicating and morally corrosive sensations. Destroying intellectual freedom is always evil, but only religion makes doing evil feel quite so good," he said.

Nicely put Mr. Pullman. A new quotation for me to use.

It never ceases to amaze me that objectors don't seem to see that their protests give publicity to the very thing they wish would go away.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 00:02:00 UTC | #243630

TalkyMeat's Avatar Comment 3 by TalkyMeat

RussC-

Aye - I remember the crowd of placard-waving Christians outside a Marilyn Manson gig i saw in Glasgow a few years ago - the simply didn't get that they were part of the show :-)

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 00:17:00 UTC | #243639

beanson's Avatar Comment 4 by beanson

Does anyone agree with me that the Amber Spyglass was a terrible morass of flabby, divergent story-line- a desparate effort to tie up the inconsolable threads- which completely destroyed the singular clarity and perfection of the first two books?

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 00:20:00 UTC | #243641

Luthien's Avatar Comment 5 by Luthien

Does anyone agree with me that the Amber Spyglass was a terrible morass of flabby, divergent story-line- a desparate effort to tie up the inconsolable threads- which completely destroyed the singular clarity and perfection of the first two books?


Nope :)

I find it intriguing that people seem to either love or hate these books. Perhaps people don't get the classical references? Or perhaps some people expect too much of what is essentially a kids book? The one thing I noticed though is that people who hated the books had a particular hatred of the character Lyra, calling her a spoilt brat etc. (though I'm assuming this is not the case with you since you enjoyed the first 2 books).

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 01:28:00 UTC | #243667

AllanW's Avatar Comment 6 by AllanW

Re; Comment #257042 by beanson on September 30, 2008 at 1:20 am

Does anyone agree with me that the Amber Spyglass was a terrible morass of flabby, divergent story-line- a desparate effort to tie up the inconsolable threads- which completely destroyed the singular clarity and perfection of the first two books?

Nope :)
All three were a terrible morass of flabby, divergent storylines, badly written, pretentious, wooly-minded sanctimonious twaddle. I hated most of the characterization as being one-dimensional, unsympathetic and deeply uninspiring.

Overall a triumph for the particular literary set of friends that Pullman has coralled into promoting his books at the expense of any exercise in taste or judgement.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 01:56:00 UTC | #243671

njwong's Avatar Comment 7 by njwong

Actually, I found the books to be "unputdownable". However, I agree that in terms of pacing, the first 2 books were better than the Amber Spyglass. The last book could have been shorter and tighter.

I love the plot device about killing god, that the god that had been worshipped was a false god, and that god can also get old and die. That will grate Christians for sure. The gall of Philip Pullman!

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 03:14:00 UTC | #243698

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 8 by Laurie Fraser

The central concept of the trilogy was excellent; the execution was sometimes lamentable.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 03:20:00 UTC | #243699

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 9 by Cartomancer

Not as good as Terry Pratchett's Small Gods, which just about covers everything you ever need to know about the religious mind. It's a wonder nobody has ever thought to ban that...

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 03:25:00 UTC | #243703

Vinelectric's Avatar Comment 10 by Vinelectric

Laurie

The central concept of the trilogy was excellent; the execution was sometimes lamentable.


I just felt that had to be said again.

Oh Laurie, don't get me started!

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 03:26:00 UTC | #243704

beanson's Avatar Comment 11 by beanson

All three were a terrible morass of flabby, divergent storylines, badly written, pretentious, wooly-minded sanctimonious twaddle. I hated most of the characterization as being one-dimensional, unsympathetic and deeply uninspiring.

6. Comment #257073 by AllanW


...and yet you read all three, one has to admire you steadfast resilience

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 03:44:00 UTC | #243715

shaunfletcher's Avatar Comment 12 by shaunfletcher

The stuff isnt bad, goddidit knows it makes rowlings mawkish dribble look like the dribble it is...

But as noted, Pratchett in his more serious moments (and formerly Adams for that matter) show how intelligent fantasy/humour/childrens fiction can address these issues with wit and style. Small Gods is one of the best books written in the last quarter century, and I am not given to hyperbole.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 04:01:00 UTC | #243725

Apeseed's Avatar Comment 13 by Apeseed

Not as good as Terry Pratchett's Small Gods, which just about covers everything you ever need to know about the religious mind.


I love Small Gods and have bought it as a present for people many times.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 04:10:00 UTC | #243729

AllanW's Avatar Comment 14 by AllanW

Comment #257119 by beanson on September 30, 2008 at 4:44 am

'...and yet you read all three, one has to admire you steadfast resilience '

Thank you (if that was not meant sarcastically). I just think that you are in no position to criticise a work without reading it yourself. Pratchett (as a number of people have mentioned) deals with these issues in a far more entertaining and erudite manner.

While Pullman may have a laudable anti-theist attitude and may wish to criticise religions it does not absolve him of any responsibility for the lamentable quality of his efforts.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 04:14:00 UTC | #243730

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 15 by Laurie Fraser

Comment #257129 by shaunfletcher

I think you might be a bit confused, Shaun. We're talking about small Gods, not small Dogs :)

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 04:16:00 UTC | #243731

Toledosteal's Avatar Comment 16 by Toledosteal

I also thought that the Amber spyglass took a huge, weird and ultimately unnecessary tangent into the world of the roller-deer but it still served as a useful literary/scientific device.

One thing that always pisses me off about creationists is that 'life had to be just right or people couldn't survive' and its important to show at least a few examples of how different selection pressures could lead to radically different ecosystems.

Just an opinion.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 04:44:00 UTC | #243743

severalspeciesof's Avatar Comment 17 by severalspeciesof

Comment #257107 by Cartomancer

Not as good as Terry Pratchett's Small Gods, which just about covers everything you ever need to know about the religious mind. It's a wonder nobody has ever thought to ban that...


Don't give anyone any ideas now...

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 05:05:00 UTC | #243747

severalspeciesof's Avatar Comment 18 by severalspeciesof

Just thought of this,

Why was the word 'defiant" used in the title of the article?
I wouldn't normally use that term in that sense.

Hmmmm...

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 05:09:00 UTC | #243748

V'Ger's Avatar Comment 19 by V'Ger

Good for Pullman. Great response.

Can't comment on his books though - since I've not read them. There kids books right?

Unfortunately I did see the film though... which was the longest 2 hours I've spent since the 3rd Matrix movie!

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 05:19:00 UTC | #243753

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 20 by scottishgeologist

Talkymeat

That would have been Pastor Jack Glass's crowd wasnt it? I remember a documentary about him on BBC a few years ago - all about how he had cancer, was miraculously "healed" and how the Devil was beaten.

Next week he was dead. Some healing that...

I remember that protest against Manson (at the SECC wasnt it?) Looked ridiculous so they did.

Mind you Glass was always going on about the Roman Catholics and the Pope being the Antichrist (Billy, you there?) as well... right nutter so he was...

:-))
SG

PS: Actually it is a great pity that Jack Glass has gone - his comments re "neo-atheists" would have been something else. Would have kept you lot giggling for hours.

Anyway, talking of giggles heres another mad statement from some equally fundy nutters who inhabit my homeland (the FP's, from their latest magazine online)

"Faith receives the bare word of God as truth, even when there is a complete absence of supporting evidence, and even in the face of evidence which seems to contradict it"

(An article on Noah and the flood...)

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 05:34:00 UTC | #243759

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 21 by Oromasdes1978

I was so upset when I went to see Marilyn Manson and did not get protested at once!

SG

"Faith receives the bare word of God as truth, even when there is a complete absence of supporting evidence, and even in the face of evidence which seems to contradict it"


Sorry, let me just clarify this one...True Ignorance, not just normal ignorance - the proper stuff you can get free whilst thinking under the influence of religion - is better than knowing what is actually going on?

Knowledge? Understanding? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Not in my church!

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 05:47:00 UTC | #243764

ggab7768's Avatar Comment 22 by ggab7768

V'Ger
The third Matrix was my favorite.
I went to the Matrix films looking for fun and flash.
Just couldn't get my brain around the goth kids gathered in discussion groups outside the theater.
My friends and I had several discussions after seeing Jacob's Ladder years ago, but I still feel that was a more deserving film.
Maybe I'm just getting old.
Even if I found the themes of the matrix deep (didn't) or the ideas original (didn't), I still feel it is best to never have a discussion about a movie that stars Keanu Reeves.
You're just begging for lobes to drop off your brain.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 10:52:00 UTC | #243997

Thor's Avatar Comment 23 by Thor

I enjoyed the books but haven't actually seen the movie.

However, for purely strategic reasons I was dissappointed when I heard that the trilogy would not be completed due to some boneheaded business decision the studio had made.

The movie did not do well in the US at all - but it was quite successful outside the US (take a look at the "Alltime Domestic" and "All Time Worldwide" categories here).
In fact, the discrepancy between the movie's performance worldwide vs. that in the US is uncharacteristically big ( Rank 116 vs. Rank 665 - more than I have found with any other film).
I think it is fair to assume that the religious climate in the US had a lot to do with this huge discrepancy.

Anyway, the problem was, according to a Film critic in the know that the movie "did fairly well overseas, but unfortunately for New Line Cinema, that didn't help because it pre-sold those rights"

Therefore, from a business perspective, "The movie tanked so badly that the second and third installments are not going to be made"

Too bad.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 10:53:00 UTC | #243998

Quine's Avatar Comment 24 by Quine

<!-- Be sure tags are closed -->The books are fun to read, especially for children. That was his goal, and he has done very well. I agree that extending expectation past the above goal, as in the case for Tolkien, does not work here. I am sure Pullman crys himself to sleep over this every night while looking at the sales data.

The movie presented difficulties because, not only was all this CGI fantasy required to be integrated into the live action, but the plot and nature of the worlds represented the need for far too much exposition. Somehow they expected the viewer to pick up the fragments and reconstruct this entire world without having read the book. I have seen it many times, and now have it on blu-ray where the visuals are truly spectacular. No doubt kids here in the USA who were not allowed to go see it, are passing the DVD around, and buying the books.

The protests may have tanked it for New Line, but Pullman is savoring that, proverbial, sweet last laugh.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 11:34:00 UTC | #244021

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 25 by Steve Zara

Comment #257107 by Cartomancer

Small Gods is superb. Makes me forgive the very slight touch of homophobia in "Pyramids".

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 11:45:00 UTC | #244027

lol mahmood's Avatar Comment 26 by lol mahmood

Small Gods is amazingly incisive for what is ostensibly a humorous light fantasy.
I'd read a few earlyish discworld books and thought Pratchett was just a passable Douglas Adams copyist until i found Small Gods. I now think he rivals Swift as a satiricist and is grossly underrated.
The Dark Materials novels are ok, definitely a case of diminishing returns.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 12:04:00 UTC | #244040

mmurray's Avatar Comment 27 by mmurray


The stuff isnt bad, goddidit knows it makes rowlings mawkish dribble look like the dribble it is...


Blasphemer! Seriously Rowling is a theist --- don't look to her for criticism of theism. Kind of ironic given the complaints she got from christian groups in the US. In previous years she has headed the list.

There are some good posters and badges on the ALA website for Banned Books Week

http://www.ala.org

Michael

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 15:07:00 UTC | #244133

Nogodscanuck's Avatar Comment 28 by Nogodscanuck

I am going to buy the book and rent the movie now.

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 13:07:00 UTC | #244742

asyouwere's Avatar Comment 29 by asyouwere

Comment #257414 by Thor on September 30, 2008 at 11:53 am

I don't think Pullman had too much say in the movie version. Having read the books, the first thing I noticed was the conspicuous absence of reference to the evil church.

For me that's what made the plot thread.

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 13:33:00 UTC | #244752

theantitheist's Avatar Comment 30 by theantitheist

I did enjoy the book but ....... definatly agree that Amber Spyglass got a bit waffly. It was a quick read because I had all three books together and tend to read a book quite quickly, andthought that the concept was good, the writting expressive and interesting but everything did not fit neatly.

Aarrhh read it yourselves and come up with your own opinion. It's worth that at least.

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 14:39:00 UTC | #244782