Robert's Reviews > His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
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's review
Jan 07, 08

Read in January, 2008

You know, I really wanted to love these books. They are very well-written and have a "Fight the Man!" thing going that I really like. It is definitely my favorite among this genre that I've read, and that includes Tolkien. (Very much so, actually; I am one of those heathens who believes that Tolkien, like Melville, is a writer whose work benefits greatly from being reinterpreted in other media like film. Yes, I'm the devil, boogedy boogedy!) So these are three very sincere stars.

I guess I'm just never going to enjoy the fantasy genre very much. I have a hard time getting excited when I read it, largely because I feel like the genre itself may be inherently flawed to my kind of reading. When you've created a world where magical beings and artifacts are everywhere, I think the inevitable result is the appearance of a deus ex machina every two or three chapters, and that frankly bores me. I don't find myself thinking, "Oh, thank GOD that elf showed up and waved the Ancient Twig of Power over the hero's wounds!" I feel a little bit cheated, and I move on to something else.

So I guess it's my problem, not the writing's. Thus the three stars, for a series of books that I can recognize as very well-written but which did pretty much nothing for me, unimaginative ass that I may be.

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