John's Reviews > The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
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's review
Aug 06, 2011

really liked it
Read from September 18 to 26, 2011

I really liked this book. It's a good story of a nice adventure and I can't wait to start the second book. Glowing recommendation out of the way, let's get on to Pottermaina.

No, not that "Pottermania." I mean the Potter"mania" that all the idiots had that claimed J.K. Rowling was a witch and Harry Potter recruited children for Satan's army. Also the same people who thought Lord of the Rings was an allegory. And also the people who haven't read a single book they talk about. And those are apparently all the same people. I kept waiting for this to become a Christian book. I thought that would be neat. But it never happened. In the second to last chapter one of the characters (not the protagonist, that's important) reads from the book's [The Golden Compass's] version of the Bible. (It's important to note that it's not the regular Bible, it's not even the NIV Bible, and it mentions the little animal sidekicks that are unique to The Golden Compass's world and don't exist in our reality.) And then that character goes off to destroy the source of original sin and end death. As he sees it.

Now, here's where the problem with the aforementioned idiots comes into play. 1) They read the summary of that chapter from someone who misinterpreted the word "Death" and thought that meant "God." So, from that those folks mentioned above think this book advocates killing God. Now, there are indeed some cultures and religions that equate death and their god as one, and even worship death as a god. See the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Gozer the Travaller (Also Gozer the Destroyer). Anyway, he doesn't set out to kill anything, and only wants to end the necessity for death. (Even the little girl thinks that character is misinterpreting the whole theory about Dust at this point and is working off false assumptions. But that is neither here nor there.) 2) That character is the BAD GUY. Once a person told me that they had a problem with Harry Potter because it preached that "there is no right or wrong, only Power." Ok, I had to concede. That is a line from Harry Potter, and the character who says it sincerely believes that statement, and acts accordingly. That character is also Lord Voldemort and he spends his time killing people, corrupting things and generally trying to do bad at every turn. Harry is trying to stop him and thwart his every move. Making Harry and his thoughts and actions kind of the opposite of Voldemort's (i.e. "good"). Now, there is a line from TGC that goes a little like "Well, they believe [cutting people's souls away and 'killing' death] is right, and they're the bad guys, so that must make it wrong. Let's go stop them." That is Lyra, the protagonist, thinking that.

So, the lesson here so far is that idiots should not talk [or write], people do not know the difference between a protagonist and an antagonist (Protagonist=Good Guy, the one you root for and follow, maybe even identify with. Antagonist=Bad Guy, the one who says and does all the bad things, kills people, and someone you should NOT identify with), and also, less obvious perhaps, is that no one who has ever commented on or reviewed this book has read it.

Alright. I haven't read author interviews or anything. Maybe Pullman has said somewhere that he meant this to be a Christian allegory, or that he is an atheist and wants children to kill God. If he has, I'm sure someone will point that out. (Please don't. That would ruin it for me. Like watching the How Did They Do That special feature on the Matrix DVD.) I didn't see any of that. I saw a well-written, imaginative, enjoyable story that is NOT EFFING REAL. If you have a theological problem with it then you are a psychopath pure and simple and should stop identifying with villains. If you have a problem because you think TGC has theological implications, then you should shut up and stop pushing your hate down my throat. No one should be made to feel they have to apologize for their religion (even though I still don't think this book has religious resonance). Their mind, their choice.

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09/18/2011 page 85
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lesley You will not regret it!

John You were right!

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