So, I read The Golden Compass last week. I would invite any Christians who have been convinced by current propoganda that it is designed to convince everyone of the truths of atheistic thought, to do the same. It’s simply not there.
I can’t comment on the rest of the series—indeed, I’m told that God dies in the second book, or something, so perhaps the series, as a whole, promotes anti-religious thought. However, there was very, very little—if any—in the actual book, The Golden Compass.
To be honest, I wasn’t particularly impressed by the book, though I suspect it probably makes a good movie (plan to take the kids to see it soon). I do kind of want to see what happens next, though, so I’ll probably read the rest of the series anyway. I suspect that it may improve as it goes along. It’s not on a literary par with C.S. Lewis, though, that’s for sure.
The whole current fuss in the Christian community over this book is just ridiculous. It’s Harry Potter all over again, only with even less basis. Heh, I remember one anti-Potter site I was directed to a couple years ago decrying Potter’s flagrant rebellion against his guardian Aunt and Uncle. Yeah… sneaking out to get some food while you’ve been punished with a week locked in your room without food, and crying foul when your guardians heap absurd insults to your parents… I’m pretty sure those are justified, to any sane human being.
There were two things that drew me to the Potter series… the second was that, once I checked it out, it was damn good writing. The degree to which the abusiveness of his Aunt and Uncle were exaggerated to the point of hilarity, reminded me a good deal of Roald Dahl, particularly James and the Giant Peach. And, there was a lot in them for adults to enjoy, as well as for older children. AFAICT, Pullman has nothing on Rowling, at least when it comes to writing kids’ books.
But the first thing that drew me to it, of course, was all the mindless hype surrounding it in the Christian (my) community. While I was a Christian, I certainly was capable of thinking for myself, and had definitely learned to spot mindless hyperbole by that point, so I was curious as to whether there was any basis for the accusations. There was little, of course: the only thing that could really be said against it was that, of course, it featured sorcery. If you’re going to cry foul for that, though, you’d better through out your Narnia as well, as it featured sorcery plentifully—in fact, one sorceror was a friend of Aslan’s, so what do you do with that?