Friday, 13 July 2012

Northern Lights

Title: Northern Lights
Author: Philip Pullman  
Number of pages: 399
Started: 5 July 2012
Finished: 13 July 2012

Opening words: 

Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen. The three great tables that ran the length of the hall were laid already, the silver and the glass catching what little light there was, and the long benches were pulled out ready for the guests. Portraits of former Masters hung high up in the gloom along the walls. Lyra reached the dais and looked back at the open kitchen door, and, seeing no one, stepped up beside the high table. The places here were laid with gold, not silver, and the fourteen seats were not oak benches but mahogany chairs with velvet cushions.

Read a longer extract here  

Plot summary:

Lyra's life is already sufficiently interesting for a novel before she eavesdrops on a presentation by her uncle Lord Asriel to his colleagues in the Jordan College faculty, Oxford. The college, famed for its leadership in experimental theology, is funding Lord Asriel's research into the heretical possibility of the existence of worlds unlike Lyra's own, where everyone is born with a familiar animal companion, magic of a kind works, the Tartars are threatening to overrun Muscovy, and the Pope is a puritanical Protestant.  

What I thought:

I had been meaning to read this book for ages and finally got round to doing so. Despite all the plaudits this book has received, it didn’t really work for me. I know several people who have really enthused about this book, but I didn’t really enjoy the plot and never felt terribly much empathy or concern for the characters. Not the book for me.

1 comment:

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