Damn! I hate bittersweet endings.

That said, let me add that Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is an accomplishment that the man deserves to be knighted for. A fantasy series that juggles multiple worlds , and hold on, none of those worlds are your stereotypical humanoid-infested cesspools. A storyline that borders on the blasphemous ( with regards to Christianity), and a gamut of interesting characters, Pullman’s major strength being ( I think I have said this before, with regards to the Sally Lockhart stories) his ability to make his characters meet a final end without prolonging the outcome or making it overly dramatic. Precisely the reason why the reader ( me, in this case) is always on his toes, not knowing what’s going to happen on the next page.

One of the blessings about the series is the lack of hype. This is “essential” fantasy, no doubt ,but hardly storypimped on newspaper articles the way Potter or the Rings trilogy are – you know, plot points and conclusions being thrown at the reader’s face in two-line blurbs. I had not known anything about His Dark Materials, other than the concept of daemons which, frankly speaking, was not too intriguing. So the storyline, as it progressed, was like being on this frying pan that gets hotter and hotter, making you jump and squeal, at different points, with rage, frustration and sheer happiness.

It took me a long time to finish the three books. A conscious attempt on my part not to hurry through. Waited a month after reading Northern Lights ( which is mostly known by the other name The Golden Compass). Took a week to read The Subtle Knife, and it was extremely difficult to postpone reading the third book for more than two weeks. (Note: while prolonging reading pleasure, indulging in other tasteful reading material, such as Feluda stories, immensely helps.) So, after my mom left, I picked up The Amber Spyglass, and last night, it got done. Damn ending. Kept me awake until three AM, staring vacantly at the ceiling.

Will, Lyra, Serrafina Pekkala, Ruta Skudi, Pantalaimon, Iorek, Lee Scoresby, Mary Malone, you too, Mrs Coulter, John Faa, madhav, I love you all.

Now let’s all wait until the sanitised version of the story comes out , courtesy Hollywood. They raped Homer, after all, so who be thee, Mr Pullman, to escape their clutches? Better grin and bear it, when the time comes.


18 thoughts on “Endings

    • george R R Martin – soon, my friend, very soon. My roommate already has most of his books, so it’s just a matter of time…

      DO try and read His Dark Materials.

  1. Bitter sweet endings to books rob all the fun of a good book. >:p I’m a sucker for happy endings…

    Dean Koontz novels are a strict no-no fer mei because of their most bizzare endings. I’ve had the patience to read just one of his novels and don’t exactly feel impelled to read a few more…

    • Me always find Dean Koontz a ripoff of Stephen King. Most of my friends who have read his books say the same thing. As for King’s books, they have weird endings, my friend, but at least I am prepared for them. But with this series, I had NO idea!

      • Stephen King scares me….. :(
        He has one gruesome death for everyone 50 pages of material!

        Naaku kooda emi teliyadu saar… Read just one book of Koontz and one of King. Enough for a lifetime..

  2. Yet another sucker for happy endings? Well, most of us are, i guess.

    Your glowing praise of Philip Pullman’s work makes me think that i should give him a try.

    What’s up with ARR :-) ?

    • I can handle bittersweet endings, but only when I am in the right frame of mind. Guess I wasn’t, when I rushed through the pages of The Amber Spyglass. The mood was SO upbeat that I was expecting something else altogether.

      Methinks ARR’s next release is Swades, sometime early August.

  3. three cheers to pullman. actually two. i have not managed to get my hands on the amber spy glass yet. the others nestle safely in a corner, revisited every 2 months (that is how addictive i find them)

    remember our daemons’ talk ? if i had one, it would be pooh :-D (no that was not a subtle hint ;-))

    • Damn! Now I feel glad I did not give away any spoilers, I guess you wouldn’t have liked being force-fed plotpoints. But anyways, be warned, the ending might keep you awake for quite sometime. ;-)

      If I had a daemon, it would be a surly, fish-eating, green-faced hobbit. ;-)

  4. Nooo bittersweet best but then I always had perverse tastes.

    The archbishop of Canterbury praised the trilogy and said they were not anti Christianity at all, merely anti-dogma!

    • Preachy in what sense? I actually thought the whole thing was pretty blasphemous, and was wondering why the Church hasn’t banned it by now and excommunicated Philip Pullman for anti-Authority ideas. :)

        • Comic-related advice: I was very surprised by the fact that one of the comic series I read recently, namely Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, involved the same kind of anti-Authority/anti-Religion storyline that was in His Dark Materials, except with an enhanced degree of X-rated situations and dialogue and humour. Please try to get hold of the series and read it. Nine volumes in all. The first volume will make you buy the other eight. ;-)

  5. I finished His Dark Materials trilogy when you recommended Pulman to me (remember?). I was enthralled the same way you were.

    These books, IMO, are of the very few fantasy books that are SO much character oriented, you can’t help but grin while you find yourself loving the books.

    So, is there a movie planned on His Dark Materials too? I know of the Narnia movie, but not this.

  6. I am fine with bitter-sweet endings, but this one seemed almost unnecesary to me. Sort of like ‘hey, the pathos would make the story linger longer in the minds of my readers, so why not separate the two, with a provision for an yearly memorial…’. Having said that, it was one of the nicest series I read last year, and I am an unabashed fan of Pullman’s.

    You have mentioned Alan Moore as an interest, and I was wondering if you have read _Watchmen_. One of the best graphic novels *ever*. Though I haven’t managed to lay my hands on all of Gaiman’s Sandman books, so the I might change my mind after a while.

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