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Major letdown *spoilers*

This forum is for all the stuff related to the second book in the trilogy: The Subtle Knife.

Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby Unity7 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:09 pm

I was kind of indifferent to His Dark Materials after seeing the mediocre move The Golden Compass. I read the first book and it was kind of cool. Pullman has a great imagination and in the second book it just seems like he ruins it by randomly inserting his own personal bias against God, religion and churches. I can see why he waits until the end of the book to insert most of the stuff, because it would be laughable in the beginning and people would close the book. Pullman pulled a similar stunt near the end of book one when Lyra and Pantalaimon concluded that Dust, also known as original sin, is "good" and should be "cherished".

The second book seemed to introduce a thinly veiled luciferianism philosophy. The first rebellion against God failed because the rebelling angels lacked a proper weapon to destroy God and the Subtle Knife is the weapon that can now do the job. So the bad guys are the good guys, God is a tyrant who needs to be destroyed and the church is a stereotyped evil entity that works to control people? You freaking kidding me?

Did anyone actually enjoy the second book? Yes there were some cool parts in there as part of the quest, obtaining the Knife and stealing the Compass back, Lee Scoresby and his part, but the blatant injection of a seemingly pro-luciferian agenda is laughable. No wonder some parents don't want their kids to read this series, which they have the right to decide as parents.

Lyra also lost her awesome personality from the first book. She basically becomes Wills sidekick and loses that edge that made her cool in the first book.

Is the third book worth reading? The trend isn't looking good and if it is basically a platform for an anti-religious, luciferian agenda I'd rather pick up a book on that subject and read it instead of reading the philosophy in the form of a young-adult fantasy book.
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby Neptune » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:29 am

The Subtle Knife is my least favourite book in the trilogy because it has so much dryness in it - it feels empty, especially in Cittagazze (the actual place in the book). It doesn't let me down though, even I have no religious tie whatsoever (probably because of my ethnicity and my link to the supposed Christian God is weak), I still find it enjoyable. I was shocked at a few ideas represented from the book, but I was merely close-minded and haven't seen the possibility represented in literature in an afterthought.

If you didn't enjoy the idea of Philip Pullman writes to represent his idea on God or religion, you might want to put down. Although as much as I'm not religious, these kind of books only tells me what the author want to tell their definition of religious organisations. In the whole story line the Magisterium are doing experiments on children so they remain child-like, innocent and pure - these are the things that people are not able to virtually imagine, yet simply powerful enough to oppose humanity.

Which comes into the question of all in the whole series - do you pick humanity as opposed to blindly believe in the faith of your choice (even they believe they are right)? Are they necessary bad? What is the right thing, what is the wrong thing?

The Amber Spyglass continue this theme pretty well. Lyra changed. She has to - her role was so important at the end of the series she has to stop being reckless and brilliant (in my opinion). She's still Lyra, but she grew up.

My own personal choice would be to read on, and judge later whether I like it or not. Although I do skip the part where I ask everyone's opinion whether it is worth it - because we can't know whether you like it or not, whether you have been 'converted' or not. As the story was pretty good itself if you just put the religious agenda behind - it IS a good story.

Why do people have to have ground to believe that whatever it is in a fictionous work meant it is the truth? That whatever an author write will divert the real attention of religion in modern times? It's like saying a simple book can change one's perception on faith just because you read it... (Another example, Da Vinci Code.) I contains blasphemy? Perhaps. But you can be the judge of it, so can I. I find this kind of 'ban' or 'disallow' very laughable. If you are strong enough and see/read an incident/book as an outsider, nothing will change who you are or what you believe.

Although you may want to read TAS for obvious plot holes in your perception in most of your posts... I obviously can't tell you what it is, so you have to find out yourself!!!!
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby Unity7 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:03 pm

This book isn't about humanity vs. blindly believing a faith. It's quite clear that Pullman thinks that God and churches are completely opposed to humanity, which is absolute crap and completely untrue. As much bad stuff as the Catholic Church has done especially during the middle ages churches do a lot of good stuff. The church he paints as evil is obviously a representation of the Roman Catholic Church; the Magisterium, the Pope, the Vatican council are all mentioned in the first book so he wanted to make it crystal clear that was his target of criticism. But taking it to the level of promoting a luciferian philosophy instead of rebelling against the church and people responsible for their actions is laughable. That's like these anti-government tea-party people saying "the government is evil and everything they do is bad" even though it was a PERSON who made a choice, not an amorphous blob that is looking to steal peoples liberty called the "government" or in this case the "church"

It just feels like Pullman is bitter about something and it looks like he feels as if he has to sneak in various potshots at religion and churches along the way instead of making it a central theme from the beginning. Like I said there were cool parts in the story, so why ruin it by sneaking in various potshots at church?

Banning books is obviously stupid and I never suggested such a thing, as for a parent disallowing their 11 year old read such material. That is absolutely within their rights as a parent. Obviously when a kid gets older his/her parents may decide it is ok to let their children read it. Regardless of the parents decision a teenager can go out and buy the book, no one is "banning" it. As an extreme example, if I had a child of any age, I wouldn't let them read the Satanic Bible and if that offends someone online tough luck, you get to raise your kids however you want and if you want to introduce them to luciferianism at age 11 that is your choice. Depending on their age novels about WWII might be inappropriate if they're to violent. I think the criticism of God and church is so childish in its manifestation, i.e. inserting most of it near the end of the book after the main adventure, that most children will be able to see right through it. Children generally aren't stupid.

It just seems like Pullman wrote a story which could have been great, but then he added his own agenda just for the heck of it. It feels like he let his "I want to be the anti-religion guy" get in the way of the actual fantasy story which could have been very good. I'll probably read the last one to see if he saves the series, from my post you can probably guess I don't have high hopes.
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby tearsintheearth » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:02 pm

I am not quite sure why people are so offended by this series, It can be taken in two ways: if you are looking for a deeply gripping story that is great from beginning to end you can read it like this and not look deep into the moral messages he has hidden in there and get deep enjoyment from it. The other option is too look at these messages, but you must make sure you do so in the proper light. I don't think pullman is actively against the idea of god, as 'the authority' is not in fact god as he was created not the creator. Nor does he point out that he is actively against god in this world because in fact our world (will's world) never really gets involved in the war. To be honest I think the Amber Spyglass is the best book in the trilogy and well worth the read, its awesome. If you want to read a really interesting article about the authority not being god read this:

http://www.hisdarkmaterials.org/opinion ... ity-of-god

Really quite enlightening. Please do not take any offence at any of my comments, although I do not know how i would have caused any :)
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby jfrcoates » Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:35 pm

I really don't mean to blow my own horn here, but Unity, I really would recommend reading my article that tearsintheearth so kindly linked to above. I am fully aware that my opinion is far from definitive, but it may help you understand what I believe to be Pullman's reasoning behind the themes of, as you put it, luciferianism.
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby owen_thornton » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:29 pm

too much text DX, but im to assume im fine to interject?

my life (short lived as it is so far) has been mainly church and worship, and waqs even a liturgist (read at mass) for a roman catholic church. i first picked up Northern Lights 6 years ago, before i got majorly into church life. and as ive got older and older, and read through the trilogy, ive picked up more and more of the messages, but i dont think ive ever put it down to Pullman being anti-theistic.

i am now more agnostic, and i know for definate, that the trilogy hasnt done it, its been mainly the pressure that my parents put on me to go to church, and that fact that i grew up, and started to think for myself.
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby Unity7 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:13 am

But it isn't deep, that's the point. I just finished The Amber Spyglass today and it is not a deep story, the moral messages aren't hidden, one doesn't have to look hard to to find the luciferian philosophy. Avoiding the moral messages especially in the third book would be like trying to avoid someone yelling one foot from your ear while holding a poster, wearing a shirt and updating his facebook with the same message all at the same time. It's not like the philosophical themes in the book are subtle like the Christian themes in some of the Harry Potter books. The series also does not promote atheism, it promotes a type of luciferianism. The idea of the original fall of Adam and Eve to original sin as good and original sin as something that should be "cherished" (Lyra's words) is a central part of that philosophy and it is pretty sickening. The conflation of innocence and ignorance.

I read some reviews on Amazon saying that this series was about "religious oppression" and it wasn't against anything specific. What crap. Jesus, Holy Spirit, Vatican Council, Pope, Magisterium, Genesis, John, Revelation, Ezekiel, Baruch, Enoch, Adam, Eve were all either directly mentioned in the book or were quoted prior to the opening of a chapter. Pullman absolutely painted "The Authority" as the Christian God. Why else would he invoke the names "the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, El, Adonai, the King, the Father. the Almighty" Why not Gauri? Why not Allah? Why not Rah? Why not Zeus? Why not Horus? Why not Rama? I don't know what other religion would put up with such a blatant attack against them.

Pullman is obviously very bitter. I think he got in one too many arguments with his parents as a child and heard the response "you know what the Bible says, honor your mother and father" one too many times.

Avoiding the major philosophical whacked-outness, which is difficult to do given its strong ties to the story, the series ends on a very weak note and book three is The Matrix Revolutions of a disappointing trilogy. Lyra and Will can't be together because cutting a new window will make a specter? I couldn't imagine if J.K. Rowling said "Harry and Ginny can't be together because every time they do some action a death eater will be made". Since one side is clearly victorious in both series I think they can handle a single opponent every now and then. The third book did have some redeeming value in that I finally felt something for Lyra and Pantalaimon when she had to leave him to go to the land of the dead, that was extraordinarily sad, however it had nothing to do with "betraying" someone. Lyra unfortunately never got her aristocratic attitude back which made her a much better protagonist in the first book. In the second and the third book she was nothing more than Wills partner. Lyra made it difficult to like her, I couldn't help but laugh at her in The Subtle Knife when she was whining that Sir Charles stole her alethiometer and her ridiculous claim that "I ent' dishonest!" after bragging about being a world class liar. Shouting that she hopes someone rips his head off, that is far from the Lyra in the first book. As for 12 year olds falling in love... well ok. I know a lot of people who feel in "love" :roll: when they were 10-to-18 years old just to have reality smack them in the head as they grew older and more mature so they could learn the difference between love, curiosity, loneliness, co-dependence and lust.

I am very liberal and I consider myself to be open minded. However The Amber Spyglass and His Dark Materials as a full work is ridiculous. I'm not taking offense to anyones comments on this site. As a work of literature some things have to be destined for the 99 cent bin. I can't believe I choose to read this series over A Song of Ice and Fire. Then again, I also heard A Song of Ice and Fire is good.
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby owen_thornton » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:42 am

before i start, did you join specifically to criticise His Dark Materials?

it wasnt told that the authority was the "bad guy" it was told that it was the Magisterium (HUMANS) and the Regent Metatron (a succesor). the Authority was old, and immmeasurably so. that means he was probably in his crystal casket for centuries.

Yes Xapahania was a Rebel angel from before the beggining of our creation, but that was rebellion against The Authorities lies that he created everything. he wasnt, he was just the first angel.

and i think that Lyra and Will were a bit older than 12. i got the sense she closer to 16 than 12
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby tearsintheearth » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:59 pm

This may be long but bear with me,

Ok first off it is deep in a lot of peoples points of view because it not only encapsulates a great story (IMO) that is inventive and deeply emotional at times that also includes some moral messages, I bet there are a lot more that you have found (Unity7). Ok ill give you the fact that some are obvious but not all are as obvious as the innocence ignorance theme etc.

Secondly Dust was only viewed in the 'churches point of view' as original sin it never actually came out and said it was sin - as far as i believe - and the church was in fact misguided, which it can be, everything/everyone makes mistakes. Therefore it does not promote any sort of luciferianism and as PP said he only used christianity because it was the religion he knows best. It does have a sort of anti-theme against organised religion, NOT religion in itself. The authority was not it fact 'the creator' as you suppose, he was an angel as we have said many times. This means that he is not what is being worshipped, he is manipulating their worship and using organised religion to gain power. This is not an attack on god, this is an attack on an institution that is based on a deity that may or may not exist and as a result can use power badly in some situations.

Thirdly making an assumption on something about PP which you don't have any basis for isn't really a good point, it actually detracts from your argument.

It was always hinted that the spectres had something to do with the knife so inflicting death on people because they wanted to move between worlds would have been immoral out of character and downright wrong. This is not a weak point, this was how the story had to end and we had to understand more about Dust and Spectres or it would have ended on a weak note. The actual reason why they couldn't be together was that otherwise they would have either:
1. one of them died by staying in another's world - going against the idea of a republic of heaven, which is a moral concept also.
2. Dust leaking out if they left a window open precipitating the demise of all conscious life which is even more immoral than letting loose the spectres on people.
3. Opening windows at intervals and making spectres (already covered)

May I also point out that you will find it a weak ending if you focus too much on what is said about the book. It appears from some of your earlier posts that you were already sort of biased against the book, almost looking for reasons why to hate it. If you don't want to appreciate literary brilliance at the hazard of some hurt feeling of the people who don't want their faith challenged then don't read it, simples :)

As for falling in love, how can anyone put an age cap on love? Plus they do not represent average people, they represent as in love as you can be in, i doubt anyone here can relate to that so how can you doubt it? Also after having read it how can you see either of them betraying or lieing to each other? I just don't understand... Furthermore you clearly haven't understood Lyra's character if you think that her in this instance is a far cry from the first book, I don't think I'll be able to persuade you otherwise.

To be quite honest I was disappointed with the last book of Harry Potter, didn't think it was as great as it was meant to be, I don't like the comparisons of it to HDM, HDM is much better imo and very different so not really comparable anyway.

If you are so opposed and think his work is so ridiculous why are you on this site? Are you just deliberately trying to antagonise us? If so why? I am pretty sure you have time to read those books as well, maybe you should do that instead of spending precious time on here attacking HDM.

Right sorry for the essay lads

(oh btw Owen Lyra is actually 12-13 in the amber spyglass, it says in the book :) )
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby owen_thornton » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:31 am

oh ok XD, id completely missed that quite a few times :) i just got the impression it was a longer time frame, and she was older when she first set off in book one
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby tearsintheearth » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:52 pm

i think the books take place over about a year and a bit, ive heard it said quite a lot anyway definately was not over 2 years :)
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby owen_thornton » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:43 am

never mind then XD

hmm now i think about it, i doesnt seem to take that long at all.
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby missy » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:14 pm

Well I read it because I wanted to find out what happened next. I didn't like will's character at all as it took away from the awsomeness of Lyra at first mind. But now i'm used to it and rather like Will because he's more mature then Lybra. You have to be open to other points of view and I think that is what this book teaches us, that even if you have this belief in chrisitianity or other religions you can still look at it from a point of view of someone that doesnt' have this relligious affiliation.
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby JohnT » Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:43 pm

Pullman wrote this book specificly to be a recreation and inversion of Paradise Lost where the role of Satan is filled by the hero. Now of course, there is no God like you claim there is in this fiction. God never makes an appearence that we know of in these books. An evil impostor, named the Authority, does. I would claim that in fact, the thing with the most God-like powers in the book is Dust itself, which the book is about saving. Dust is NOT original sin. Dust is many things, none of which are bad.

So you shouldn't be surprised at "luciferianism philosophy". That's the whole point. Open your mind a little, and you will enjoy it. You say "I'm even a liberal, and I didn't like it". I'M A CONSERVATIVE, and I loved these books. I have an open mind. Not so open that my brains fall out, but open enough to love these books.

If you're out to hate these books, it is easy to distort the prose in the fashion you have and hate them.
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby faze » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:02 pm

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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby Isaac-kairos » Wed May 25, 2011 7:26 am

*snip snip* be nice now!
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Re: Major letdown *spoilers*

Postby jfrcoates » Wed May 25, 2011 12:21 pm

The book is also about tolerence of other peoples opinions. We respect those on this site, so kindly don't attack other members for offering their points of view.
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