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The Thirteenth Councilor
Because I am extremely disappointed. I had opted not to read the books because I had heard that the conclusion was terrible, but my mom started reading The Golden Compass, and I made the mistake of picking it up and reading the first few pages. I was hooked. The style is amazing - suspenseful and sophisticated. There are so many unanswered questions that keep you reading, and new questions are presented throughout the books to keep your interest peaked. The first two books were brilliant, as was most of The Amber Spyglass. After the actual climax ended, however, the most intriguing questions had been answered. I think that Pullman would have been better off leaving out Mary Malone, the mulefa, Father Gomez, the romance in general, and some other aspects, and ending the book after Metatron was killed. The ending seemed horribly anti-climatic to me. Having passed my mom in my eagerness to finish the sereis that I, at one time, thought was wonderful, I begged her to stop reading. She would have been pulled further and further into a brilliant tale, only to be forced to watch the entire glorious thing fall apart at the end. It happened to me, and I didn't want it to happen to her.
1/9/2006 #1
I read your reviews to "Why are they so special?" as well, and I am pretty sure I understand your attitude. [q]I think that Pullman would have been petter off leaving out Mary Malone, the mulefa, Father Gomez, the romance in general, and some other aspects, and ending the book after Metatron was killed.[/q] The problem with this statement is that you are basically saying about half of the series should be cut out. I hope that you understand that Lyra and Will's romance is an Adam and Eve allegory, correct? You claim that most of the series up to Metatron's death is great, but the entire point of Metatron's death, and TGC and TSK, was to set up the romance between Will and Lyra. If you don't understand, here's a brief explanation. Forgive me if I'm telling you stuff you already know; hopefully I can tie all this in later. If you already knew, I don't mean to insult your intelligence. In The Golden Compass, Lyra is presented with the alethiometer, an instrument that tells the truth, although nobody knows why. She discovers something called Dust, which she is incredibly curious about but has no ideas as to what it is, and she realizes that the cutting/intercision at Bolvangar has some relation to Dust. Everyone is Lyra's world is born knowing that daemons settle on a certain shape around the time of puberty, but again, nobody knows why. Near the end of the book Lord Asriel explains to her that Dust is thought to be original sin. In TSK, Will discovers the Subtle Knife of Cittagazze and we are introduced to the Specters, both of which are tied in with the Dust idea, although we don't know it yet. Then in TAS we realize the deception of the Authority and the horror of the World of the Dead and are introduced to Lord Asriel's war against the Authority. Now, all of this is tied in with the Dust idea. The alethiometer runs on effect, Lyra is actually contacting consciousness itself when she asks the alethiometer questions. Dust is indeed original sin, because it was originally produced when Eve gave in to temptation and bit into the apple from the forbidden tree. Dust is what gives all humans free will, or (as Animorphs author K.A. Applegate would say) makes them sentient. It is also angels, bene elim, watchers, etc.; all are names for this one thing. In Amber Spyglass, Lord Asriel is fighting a war against the Authority while Lyra and Will are discovering his deception. The goal of the Church and the Authority, it is found, is to eliminate Dust, effectively making humans automatons, doing whatever they're told with no minds of their own. When Will cuts the window out of the world of the dead, Lyra and Will accidentally dissipate the frail Authority, and Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter pull Metatron into the abyss, huge blows are struck in favor of knowledge and free will and against mindless obedience and submission. However, the Subtle Knife has been causing Dust to leak out of the worlds for 200 years, and so even with these victories it seems that the Dust will still seep out of the worlds and every sentient creature in every universe will lose their free will. But that is where the symbolism of Lyra and Will as the second coming of Adam and Eve comes in. Mary Malone (the serpent) tells the story of how she felt at that party with the marzipan to Will and Lyra; Lyra (Eve) falls for the serpent's temptations by offering the fruit to Will (Adam), thus causing the second Fall, marking the final victory of consciousness and free will over blind obedience. This is what all the books have been leading up to; this is what Pullman's main point in writing the books was; this is why the romance was included at all. The romance is not important because it is "true love" or because it will last forever; its importance is in causing the second Fall of Adam and Eve and preventing the Dust from leaving all the worlds. (Yes, I know I am too much of an HDM geek.) With that said, I disagree with your opinion, but am interested to hear what you have to say in return. -KaiserMonkey
1/10/2006 #2
The Thirteenth Councilor
Yeah, you're right. I did see all that, and I realize it wasn't reflected in my post. I guess what I was trying to say is that it's a weak thing to lead up to, and that it doesn't quite work. [q]The romance is not important because it is "true love" or because it will last forever[/q] Ah, but, while that is not the most important aspect, it is still necessary for the ending to work. See, if the romance is included - which it has to be, because everything leads up to it - then Will and Lyra must be split apart at the end so it isn't an unbelievably happy ending - because no-one likes those. And for them being split apart to be a big deal, it has to be "true love" that will last forever. So without the Will+Lyra=
1/13/2006 #3
The Thirteenth Councilor
Well that doesn't seem to have worked. Okay, here's the rest of the mangled post. So without the Will+Lyra=
1/14/2006 #4
The Thirteenth Councilor
I think it has a problem with the symbol I was using. *calls of "WELL THANK YOU, CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!" from imaginary friends* It was a less than, then a three to make a heart. I'll just replace it with "heart". So without the Will+Lyra=heart 4-eva-and-eva aspect, the plot istelf may be concluded, but the characters get off too easily, which makes for an unbelievable ending. And the Will+Lyra=heart 4-eva-and-eva aspect is what I have a problem with, because it's just such a breakable, unrealistic thing to conclude the books with. So the romance is a very weak thing to conclude the sereis with. And the fact that the entire sereis leads up to something so fragile makes it all the more disappointing. If this one doesn't work, I will kill someone.
1/14/2006 #5
Dilapidated- queen-of-all
if the book left out all those things the suspense in the tale wouldn't be nearly as effective..though I agree the ending was sucky so many things left unconcludeded and even if they were it still leaves you guessing..A little too much.
1/28/2006 #6
My main questions all got answered - What will Pan settle as, whats Will's daemon's name and what does she settle as, what was it Lyra would be tempted to do, how do the mulefa relate to the humans of Lyra's world, Will's world and C'gazze, what are the Spectres and basically what is the deal with Dust, and others. I think that the ending did work, and it left me wondering what would happen to Lyra and Will in the future. I was distraught that they would be split up but found it fairly easy to accept when you think about how really it could never be forever. They have to keep the window open for the dead, and build the Republic of Heaven where they are etc. I think its ok because they'll meet again when they die, and who knows, maybe by then the harpies would be beautiful not ugly because of all the happy stories they feed on. And if you wanna read a little bit more about Lyra later on, read Lyra's Oxford. It's got a short story in it called Lyra and the Birds which takes place a couple of years after TAS, and although it doesn't have much to do with the previous books, its an interesting and thought-provoking story (much like the others!) Overall I wasn't annoyed with the ending, and the last line ("And then what?" said her daemon sleepily. "Build what?" "The Republic of Heaven," Lyra said.) was ringing in my ears for ages afterwards.
2/1/2006 #7
The Thirteenth Councilor
Yeah, I see your side of it, though I can't identify. I guess we enjoy different things about Philip Pullman's writing. I'm gonna compare HDM to the Sally Lockhart sereis now, so sorry if you haven't read it. The plots of both sereis are unbelieveably convoluted and leave you guessing 'til the end. But the characers... In ths Sally Lockhart sereis, I identify with and love most of the protagonists. The ones I don't like are made up for by others that I simply love. In HDM, I found them less likeable. And since the conclusion has so much to do with character development, I found it not very enjoyable.
2/2/2006 #8
I dunno...I like the characters. Although it was a bit confusing with Mrs. Coulter and it was all a little weird the way she did love Lyra but didn't but was weird. And Mary Malone was a little annoying because you had all this stuff about her when really you just wanted to know what was happening everywhere else. I was distraught by Lee and Hester dying, I liked them. And I liked Lyra, Pan & Will too.
2/8/2006 #9
Wordmage Kazzidae
Personally I think that the book ended in just the right way. I hate these books that always go with the 'and they lived happily ever after'. That's just cliched. HDM had a very bittersweet ending that somehow expressed hope as well. In fact, it was so well written that I was bashing myself on the head with the book and thinking 'Why?! Why did Pullman have to be so harsh to to Will and Lyra?! WHY?!' until a few days later I realized the above, and I sort of calmed down. The ache in my heart for Will and Lyra still hasn't fully gone away, though... Why?! No!
3/1/2006 #10
I loved how the book ended. It left a kind of mystery behind it. It makes you think of the story and what will happen to the characters in the future for a long while after you're done reading it. It really gave me the feeling that after the books the characters were still have more adventures and tasks a head of them even if I won't get to read about them.
3/11/2006 #11
Wordmage Kazzidae
Hm... I wonder if anyone has written a fic exploring what they did afterwards?
3/28/2006 #12
[q]Personally I think that the book ended in just the right way. I hate these books that always go with the 'and they lived happily ever after'. That's just cliched.[/q] Me too! Even though a happy ending is nice once in a while, they usually get to the point where they're overly cliched and sappy and annoying. That's what made me fall in love with these books. The non-happy-sappy-faerytale ending.
5/1/2006 #13
Rainstorm Amaya Arianrhod
Right. You're all going to hate me, because this is horrendously off-topic, but ah well. We have an own clothes day at school coming up soon. Sadly, our charity commitee, who is responsible for this, decided to make us look like total idiots. So we have to pick a book character to dress like. (And no prizes for dressing like Hermione Granger.) And I went for Lyra, because she's my favourite book character. And I can't find a description of what she wears. Will someone please help a poor confused Brit? *regards kitchen knife in corner and people slowly inching towards it* Please?
7/3/2006 #14
Well, you could go dressed in furs like when she in most of northern lights, but you might get a bit hot. She is described as wearing a tartan skirt and shirt of some kind i think it may have been light green, but i dont know if thats true or im just making that up. Check at the begining of the subtle knife when she and will find clothes for her in cittagazze.
7/4/2006 #15
The ending was yes, sad; yes, a little dissapointing; yes, a bit annoying. But even though it was all those things, all the things that NEEDED to be known, all the loose threads that NEEDED to be tied, everything was explained and finished (except the whole "Republic of Heaven" ending). And I agree tht the first two books were vivid, inspiring, and down-right brilliant. But even though I enjoyed the first two more, I was also entertained by the final installment.
8/19/2006 #16
Sorry I just kind of broke off there. To finish my statement....I did enjoy the third book also. the ending was a little dissappointing, but it made sense. I was surprised that I even enjoyed the third, because I usually don't like series closers. Whatever... Happy Reading!
8/20/2006 #17
Hahahaha, I did the same thing! Only I was kind of crying while "bashing" myself with the book... just thought I'd let you know you weren't alone!!
9/25/2006 #18
Hmmm... yeah, ignore that last comment! It didn't make any sense.
9/25/2006 #19
The Amber Spyglass had a very bittersweet ending. But that's what makes it so memorable. If Lyra and Will had been selfish and kept another window open, or had even been evil enough to close the World of the Dead one, it wouldn't have been such a good book. I found the Mulefa brilliant creatures, and I loved Mary's adventures with them. That was practically a book in itself. Father Gomez is another way of Pullman saying that Christianity is wrong (how else than have a priest set out to murder two children?) The romance was the best bit of TAS, in my opinion. It shows how much Lyra and Will have grown up and really made me smile. (Although that might just be the hopeless romantic in me). The book wouldn't have been as good if it had ended straight after Metatron was killed, there were too many questions left to be answered. I'm heartily looking forward to The Book of Dust, and I bloody well hope that Pullman is writing it as fast as he can. Siren out. :P
10/1/2006 #20
Wait... what is the Book of Dust? The romance was brilliant! It was so perfect! Even though I wished they could still be together (who doesn't?!) the ending was great. Being a Christian myself, I have to say I was a little taken aback on how he refered to Christianity. I mean, it was very bold! But I liked it. It made me think about my religion in a different way, and I appreciated that.
10/4/2006 #21
Yeah...I have to ask the same thing: What exactly is "The Book of Dust"?
10/4/2006 #22
Read this Actually, go join the forum, it's certainly the best hdm website around and the people at the forum are really nice. (I'm a member!)
10/5/2006 #23
Sword Pen
Umm... I probably should't be here 'cuz I'm about halfway through "The Amber Spyglass", but, at my rate, I'll finish it today, anyway... I hear this book has an... unhappy (to put it bluntly) ending. I don't think it would work any other way. It's an amazing story, and it just wouldn't leave me feeling the same way if everything was perfect at the end.
10/12/2006 #24
You're right.
10/16/2006 #25
[q]The romance was the best bit of TAS, in my opinion. It shows how much Lyra and Will have grown up and really made me smile. (Although that might just be the hopeless romantic in me).[/q] Pretty much yeah, me too. YEAH HOPELESS ROMANTICS!! *High-fives all around*
11/7/2006 #26
Let's Play
I loved the ending of the book, I'm a hopeless romantic too and I cried ahaha. Like A LOT. A LOT. I just thought it was a good way to end the book though because I didn't realize they'd be separated like that when they just realized they loved each other.
3/16/2007 #27
V rex
Phillip Pullman needs to stop giving the finger towards the Catholic chruch.
5/20/2007 #28
Well if you want to see it that way. Personally I see it as a warning against being a zealot not just "Philip Pullman giving the finger to the Catholic church" as you so uneloquantly put it. If you didn't like the book then you should leave the forums alone so that those who did enjoy it can discuss it in piece; but if you must feel like posting at least post to answer the question not just to shout out your opinion of the author. Be respectful please, it would be apprieciated.
5/21/2007 #29
V rex
It's an opinion thread and I just gave my opinion.
5/21/2007 #30
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