His Dark Materials

alexandra.bolintineanu at utoronto.ca alexandra.bolintineanu at utoronto.ca
Sat Jan 20 23:26:18 EST 2001

> I also just finished "The Subtle Knife" and thought it was fantastic. I'm 
> itching to read part 3 already. In the meantime I can't stop saying 
> "Serafina Pekkala, Serafina Pekkala" - such a delicious name!

Isn't it though!  (I think I've a weakness for Scandinavian names--looking
for some totally unrelated thing in the library I chanced upon an author
by the name of Eliel Saarinen...)  My favourite of the Dark Materials
books was the first. I am still in shock that someone could have made up
the panserbjorne; they have that startling, heartbreaking convincingness
of true myth about them (like Tolkien's Ents).  I didn't like the last
book quite as much because I felt the author's dogma flared up at the
expense of convincingness in his characters and of justice to his readers'
intellects.  (Andrew's review of The Amber Spyglass expresses my
misgivings towards that book more thoroughly and satisfyingly than I could
hope to do myself.)  But The Golden Compass is decidedly on my list of
books whose sheer vivid inventiveness and narrative gusto just blew me


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