LorCon's Reviews > The Ruby in the Smoke

The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
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Dec 18, 08

bookshelves: fiction
Read in December, 2008

I'm a big fan of Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, so I thought I would give this a try. Heck, I even liked the Golden Compass movie (two words--Daniel Craig). This is what librarians call "young adult" literature i.e. "for teenagers." As such, I find it a bit disturbing. I'm a far cry from a book-burning censor but this heroine is not my idea of a role model. Set in Victorian London, Sally Lockhart is an orphan (of course)who falls in with a Dickensian cast of characters to solve her father's murder. She packs a pistol and dabbles with opium, but has to get a man to purchase them for her. It doesn't even occur to her to try to solve the riddle...she's too busy embarking on a career as an accountant! She's also rather too quick to tell all her secrets to everyone she meets. And pretty much everyone ends up conveniently dead. Oh, dear. Where is Nancy Drew when we need her? Pullman should stick to insulting religion.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Samantha You obviously missed the point of this novel.


Donna Womer He does get a religious jab in early on. The wretched woman who Sally is staying with is introduced by Pullman by saying she was reading over her deceased husband's sermons.


Katy She has to get a man to purchase opium and a pistol for her because she's afraid that Mrs Holland might realise where she is and put the others in danger as well. And the reason why she didn't solve the riddle was because she didn't want the Ruby in the first place! She only wanted to know the truth. Everyone ends up "conveniently dead" because of their own actions and greed. As Pullman did write early on in the book "Her upbringing had given her an independence of mind that made her more like a girl of today than one of her own time." I agree with Samantha. You obviously missed the point of this novel. You were too busy focusing on the faults of the novel to actually read it.


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