Emily's Reviews > His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
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's review
Jun 05, 2007

really liked it
Read in January, 1998

When I was thirteen, I read the Chronicles of Narnia, and I loved them dearly. I remember, though, feeling a little bit of unease every time one of the children was described as being "too old" for Narnia, or every time grown-ups were dismissed offhand. At that point, I was already ambivalent and confused enough about growing up without the added pressure of knowing that I was banishing myself from paradise in a wardrobe.
The His Dark Materials books have the exact opposite attitude towards growing up than the Narnia books do, and I think that might be why I love them so very much. My boyfriend says he enjoyed them, but found them a bit overly indoctrinated. Or maybe that wasn't what he said, exactly. We'll see if he reads this review and decides to correct me :)
His Dark Materials do have a definite sort of theory behind them (Pullman apparently references Paradise Lost heavily, though I'm not much of a Milton reader), but it's a theory I like; they are books that encourge kids to grow up, instead of telling them to stay little forever. Plus, the daemon idea is a brilliant, brilliant touch. And the end of the third book made me cry an awful lot.

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message 1: by Joe (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:14AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joe Overly indoctrinated is a good way to put it I suppose. Basically, that the symbols and ideology of the story didn't always fit into the story, and sometimes the story was shoehorned to fit the symbols and the ideology. It made me feel--ironically, given the role of religion as the villain in the story--that I was being preached at.

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