Daily GUIDE-ance:

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Golden Compass

Good point VA I did read The Golden Compass, and here is what I thought:

I did not really like the book. I do not think it is likely to become any sort of classic. I also do not think that I would have liked it if I had read it when I was a child. In fact, I think I would have been sickened by them as a child. It portrays a very bleak outlook on life, espcially for a "children's" book. For instance, several important child characters die miserable and undeserved deaths. I remember the first time I encounted a book as a kid that included real injustice as a part of its plot. It was hard for me as a kid to digest. Also the main adult characters turn out to pretty much pure evil.

Also it's climactic fight scence is quite graphic. Like, blood and severed body parts graphic. In a book for adults, this scence would be considered intense, but as a bedtime story for a child? Not if you want the kid to sleep again that week.


Its hard to say who this book realistically might be written for. It's really just too bleak and cruel for a children's book. And it requires you to take talking polar bears seriously, which makes it not fit very well into an adult or young adult type genre.

As to the anti-God stuff, I only read book one and it was not overtly anti-god. You can tell that the author has an athetistic worldview, but he doesn't get really preachy about it (unlike some other authors I could mention like... MERCEDES THE DORK LACKEY!!!!), which is a point is his favor.

And he does have some genuinely imaginative ideas.

But overall, the the author has a very serious shortcoming in that he has a seriously messed up idea of what appeals to kids.

9 comments:

timpani76 said...

What's disturbing for me is that these books are required reading for some public school junior high kids.
I would like to keep the atheists as far away from my children as possible, thank you.

Wasn't there supposed to be some bit about female circumcision in the first book? Did you find that?

Anonymous said...

No, I didn't see that in book 1. There at the end though was some mention of ... what's the right word...Eunuchizing (sp)choir boys to keep their voices high though. It seemed a bit random and out of place. I would not be suprized if the FC comes up in books 2 or 3.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. deeply unhappy ending too.
J

timpani76 said...

Romney gave up! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

This quote from President Faust made me think about who I can possibly vote for now:

“Both locally and nationally, the interests of the church and its members are best served when we have two good men or women running on each ticket, and then no matter who is elected, we win."

Anonymous said...

Yeah- So, 3rd party votes this election, anyone?

MC

Anonymous said...

Didn't read the book, nice to know someone who did, though. Thanks for the review, John.

MC

Anonymous said...

hmmm. yeah ... Ive been thinking... I may vote for McCain, just because he is Pro-life at least. But I dont think I can get excited about him or join his campaign force.

I wonder who he will pick as vp? Romney as vp would maybe help with the conservative base... But I dunno if its a good move politcally to have a vp who is 2x the man you are.

J

Anonymous said...

I kinda think the Huckster might have been playing for vp all the time. I am liking him less and less. What was all the business about him asking his supporters to back Mccain in some areas where it looked like romney would beat McCain? I heard something about it but no details.

How big a role did religon play in all this?

J

Anonymous said...

I'm really glad to get your feedback on the book John, I've been dying to talk to someone who read it. It sounds pretty much like it's just stuck in the wrong category, as far as being a children's book. Apollo and I saw the movie, consequently we loved it, but it was PG-13. So clearly children weren't supposed to be there.

That's interesting in the book that children die, bummer. Anyway, thanks again for filling me in. . .

VIRGINIA