Reading The Amber Spyglass – Sisnlaw.co.uk

The Amber Spyglass Will is the bearer of the knife Now, accompanied by angels, his task is to deliver that powerful, dangerous weapon to Lord Asriel by the command of his dying fatherBut how can he go looking for Lord Asriel when Lyra is gone Only with her help can he fathom the myriad plots and intrigues that beset him The two great powers of the many worlds are lining up for war, and Will must find Lyra, for together they are on their way to battle, an inevitable journey that will even take them to the world of the dead When I was in high school, the local video arcade passed out fliers that that evening, after a 2 admission, you could play all the video games for free I and several of my friends went and enjoyed ourselves.And then suddenly they closed the doors, turned off all the games, and a preacher got up and proceeded to try to save us.True, we had already gotten our money s worth, and we we could have gotten up and left even though all of us wanted to but none of us had the nerve But we still felt When I was in high school, the local video arcade passed out fliers that that evening, after a 2 admission, you could play all the video games for free I and several of my friends went and enjoyed ourselves.And then suddenly they closed the doors, turned off all the games, and a preacher got up and proceeded to try to save us.True, we had already gotten our money s worth, and we we could have gotten up and left even though all of us wanted to but none of us had the nerve But we still felt deceived and cheated.This is how I felt reading The Amber Spyglass I was lured in by the promise and the deliverance of an exciting story in an utterly compelling world But then in the third book, Pullman closed the doors and turned off that great storytelling and I found myself sitting through a tedious sermon waiting for it to be over already This is the way the world endsNot with a bang but a whimper T.S EliotWarning Contains spoilers The Amber Spyglass is the final volume in His Dark Materials trilogy.I really enjoyed Northern Lights or The Golden Compass as it is titled in the US , the first volume of the trilogy Pullman introducted us to a fantastic world of great scope It was suspenseful, the presented world was enchanting, and Northern Lights was pregnant with interesting ideas and concepts that s why I chose to read al This is the way the world endsNot with a bang but a whimper T.S EliotWarning Contains spoilers The Amber Spyglass is the final volume in His Dark Materials trilogy.I really enjoyed Northern Lights or The Golden Compass as it is titled in the US , the first volume of the trilogy Pullman introducted us to a fantastic world of great scope It was suspenseful, the presented world was enchanting, and Northern Lights was pregnant with interesting ideas and concepts that s why I chose to read all three.The next one, The Subtle Knife was laborious indeed Most of what made Northern Lights wonderful was dropped there was no world building in this volume, the characters seemed stalled and the book was a chore It was a transitional piece so some of these things might be excused, and I approached the final installment expecting a grand payoff The Amber Spyglass is no Return of The King It s the ugly baby that came out of Pullman s imagination and his hatred of religion The novels is such a tremendous let down that it s hard to decide where to start a list of its failings.Lyra, the cocky and bratty protagonist of Northern Lights disappears almost entirely Lyra from The Amber Spyglass is almost fullly submissive to Will Oh Will What shall we do Will Oh Will Where is the girl who rescued children and planned it all on her own Here Lyra doesn t seem to be able to do anything without depending on Will.The redemption of Mrs Coulter is totally unconvincing The Grand Evil Lady who was so great in Northern Lights suddenly out of the blue starts loving Lyra This is just so ridiculously uncharacteristic and unbelieveable The great villain is reduced to a mere puppet in Pullman s hands, who seems to have forgotten how to hold the strings.Not that other characters are handled expertly Aside from Lyra who was reduced to a dependand sissy and Will, the grand young adult fiction boy on a quest stereotype Pullman introducesandcharacters like the new race of Mulefa, the bug like creatures He then goes on a tangent describing their culture, which while interesting doesn t add much to the plot.The figure of Father Gomez, who is sent by the Church to kill Lyra is just a cheap way of maintaing tension He never faces his victim and dies from the hand of a character we believed to be dead several hundred pages previously His sections are nothing but filler.The theological questions are never developed Pullman literally stated in the previous volume that every Church is evil , without showing why He didn t show how Chuch uses religion to manipulate the consciences of people we are treated only to Pullman s version of the Church, which is evil because the author told us it s evil Everyone associated with Church is EVIL at a cartoonish level Mother Theresa has evaporated from Pullman s cosmos, and took all the good priests along with her.There s no conflict inside the Magisterium no good voices are drowned by the bad ones because everyone is bad All of these evils are dressed in the not at all veiled robes of Christianity, especially the Catholic Church These evils are never really shown, we re just told they are evil Oddly, there are no evil Muslim priest or bomb throwing Buddhist monks In Pullman s world there is only one religion, and it is THE BAD ONE As one of the characters says The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that s all Doesn t sound very convincing.Curiously, the church seems to have little impact on Lyra s world Though Pullman wants to lay all of the evil of mankind on Christian religion and God he doesn t bother with providing plenty of evidence The Church does evil things, but it doesn t get into the way of the Ard Polar Bears who live a godless existence, or the clans of Witches who are into paganism Neither the Polar Bears nor the Witches seem to be particularly bothered by the Evil church The Witches seem to love their country, and don t seem to be forced or isolated by the church They seem to love the north pole where they live.Now, in a world dominated by an incredibly powerful religious organization which corrupts everything, one would expect that everyone would be forced to follow the enforced religion and actively participate in its rituals masses, etc Religion would be a part of the daily life, as vital as a breath when you practice it, and as deadly as lack of it when your faith is not strong.In Lyra s world, NO ONE prays or goes to any sort of religious service In a world where religious domination is SAID TO BE thriving, I d expect it to be obvious If religion is the source of all the evil in the world I expected it to be omnipresent But it isn t Except Pullman said so So we have to believe him, eh Pullman goes on a specific tangent to discuss the very issue of God God is said not to be the original creator, but the first of the angels to appear He portras him as some sort of terrorist, who lied about his origins and holds the reins of Heaven in his strong hands However, it is all told to us we never see it played out When God makes an appearance, he is shown to be a demented, old angel which vanishes almost immediately We are never shown the man behind the curtain, the malevolent presence who is the source of all trouble We are supposed to accept, that no matter what THIS is TRUE and REAL Is God a sadist We may never known, we can only accept what Pullman tells us, because he showes his truth down our throats.The angels are shown as extremely ineffectual They can t really hurt anything, which makes us think again How exactly did God , who is just the first angel, become so powerful There are manyquestions about the angels how did Baruch and Metatron became angels from men, but no one else did but Pullman never bothers with them.Then there is the separate tangent of dr Mary Mallone, a former nun who rejected the Church and all faith entirely because she ate some marzipan and kissed an Italian Whoa Maybe if she ate an Italian and kissed the marzipan I could understand the Church denouncing her the convent would grow slimmer and slimmer but it doesn t make much sense In fact this is some of the poorest reasoning I ve read in a while Can t you believe in God, practive your faith and enjoy the world at the same time Millions of people do, but Pullman apparently think you can t I could understand Mary quitting being a nun, even quitting organized religion because of the imposed restraints, but stopping believing in God because of marzipan This is not a strawman argument, it s a marzipanman argument, and unfortunately it ain t sweet.Mary s story stirs some tension in Will and Lyra, who suddenly realize that they re meant for each other at age of 12 eternal love is serious business, mind you and the story morphs into a contrived retelling of The Fall of Man, though I don t understand why Lyra is said to be the next Eve Of course she finds love with almost no build up , she gives it up for the sake of the worlds hers and Will s I think she resists the temptation to continue their relationship to help everyone build the new Eden, or the Republic of Heaven, but it s a tenuous connection at best Not to mention that twelve year old children suddenly start talking like certain older men Blah.This is getting long, so I ll wrap it up in Pullman fashion An angel shows up, answers all of the questions and the children return to their separate worlds, promising that they will never forget each other and visit the same place in their worlds to remains as close as possible In Lyra s world generous foster parents magically turn up, and she sets up to build a godless existence where people could enjoy themselves as if anything was stopping them before DOH I think that these books had great potential They could show children the dangers of corrupt individuals who use religion to influence and control people Unfortunately, Pullman took it all away with his absolute lack of polemic and blatant one sideness and all we got were some puppets running around and spewing his personal sentiments in this incredibly boring and contrived slog The guy s obviously an imaginative author, but his bigotry got the better of him here and I can only wish that Norhtern Lights was a standalone A 83% Very Good NotesA sad but necessary ending its exceptional last chapters may have seemed unconvincing if penned by a lesser writer. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Okay.firstmake no mistake, this review contains spoilers Now, having read the first book 5 stars and the second book 3 stars I had some hope for this book But, this book was an excruciating head hammering look at an author making all the wrong moves 1 Lyra s sublimation to Will becomes utterly complete Hell, women are supposed to bend to men, aren t they Lyra quit taking a step without fearing it would cause Will to raise his eyebrow 2 Lyra s mother who had been SUCH a wonderf Okay.firstmake no mistake, this review contains spoilers Now, having read the first book 5 stars and the second book 3 stars I had some hope for this book But, this book was an excruciating head hammering look at an author making all the wrong moves 1 Lyra s sublimation to Will becomes utterly complete Hell, women are supposed to bend to men, aren t they Lyra quit taking a step without fearing it would cause Will to raise his eyebrow 2 Lyra s mother who had been SUCH a wonderfully evil character and father both find ultimate redemption in their love for Lyra Whoopee In fact, EVERYBODY finds redemption in this novel Everybody The evilest creatures in existence, the harpies in the lands of the dead, are transformed by Lyra s music in about 3 pages, and become her stalwart and forever allies Cripes 3 Lyra and Will gettin it on Yeah, hello We knew from point one that Lyra and Will would eventually get busydid it have to be Sex That Saves the Universe Cosmic Humping That Restores the Fabric of All Reality Wait, was I supposed to be taking LSD when I read that part Damn, dude, you should have packaged a tab with the book 4 More damn characters More damn MAIN characters Suddenly we ve got Important People on Bugs Pullman continues to pull in so many disparate characters and plot threads that EVERYTHING is diluted into a big stinky morass 5 Theology aspect One of the reasons I was attracted to this series was because of Pullman s strongly anti religious takethe man wrote a blurb for Dawkins God Delusion for freak s sake So, umm, why was this book sooooo religious The dust Well, the dust is all knowing, even of the future And there is indeed a land of the dead So, we have afterlife, and pre ordainment, in an anti religious book Sweet, how does that work Well, it doesn t Angels are flying around, and they re the good guys No, wait, they re the bad guys Well, no matter, I mean, there IS a god, but he didn t make all creation That was, apparently, maybe, the dust Seems to me that if you re praying to dust, rather than God, it doesn t make any difference Religion is religion, and this was a religious book 6 Easy ending OkayI saw most aspects of the ending coming from about 700 pages to go Couldn t Pullman throw me some surprises beyond How Damn Long He Took to Get Around To It 7 Easy ending, take 2 Let s see, Will and Lyra fight against God and All the Angels, against the pull of their own daemons, against not only all creation, but all of creation on multiple universes, they lose friends to bullets, explosions, souls ripped out, and a myriad other ways as legions of people die to either protect them personally, or what they stand for, the two of them travel to the freakin Lands of the Dead in order to remain together, and they eventually get it on in all sorts of transcendant garden of eden ways, restoring the entire multi verse with the Glory of Their Hot Sweaty Action, and then.and thenand then an angel says, Oh, you guys can t stay together, cuz a some bad stuff would happen then And in ONE PAGE they say, Jeepers, that s too bad Any way around it Angel says Nope And they don t even try It s just ta ta, been good knowing you That s it Well, trilogy, it actually hasn t been so good knowing you

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