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Re: [Fantasy_Books] His Dark Materials

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  • Peta Smith
    I haven t read Redwall . Apart from Watership Down I don t think I have read any YA or adult fantasy with animal characters. Probably any book with slayings
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 13, 2008
      I haven't read "Redwall". Apart from Watership Down I don't think I have
      read any YA or adult fantasy with animal characters. Probably any book with
      slayings or death as a theme I would consider dark for my 10-12-year-olds.
      Cheers, Peta


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "karl barnes" <priestvyrce@...>
      To: <Fantasy_Books@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 1:44 AM
      Subject: Re: [Fantasy_Books] His Dark Materials


      > If you think that "His Dark Materials" and "Sabriel" are dark then would
      > you think that Brian Jacques' "Redwall" series would be dark too? Sure, it
      > has its cute good animal characters, but there are quite a few killings
      > and the like.
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: Peta Smith <petas@...>
      > To: Fantasy_Books@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2008 5:26:06 AM
      > Subject: Re: [Fantasy_Books] His Dark Materials
      >
      > Thanks Bill,
      >
      > I think of them as suitable for say 12+. That's when my son read them and
      > introduced them to me. They are a bit dark in places but no more so really
      > than the later Harry Potters.
      >
      > I was more concerned about my son reading Sabriel with its death themes at
      > that age!
      >
      > Cheers, Peta
      >
      >>I finished Philip Pullman's *His Dark Materials* fantasy trilogy this
      >> week, and I was quite impressed. It's very imaginative, and it kept my
      >> interest, though the ending could have been tightened a bit. When you
      >> think the story is over, it continues for awhile wrapping up loose ends.
      >> But that's a minor problem.
      >>
      >> Note that these are *not* children's books, though the main characters
      >> are children. And although the author is supposedly an atheist, these
      >> aren't going to affect anyone's religious beliefs (not unless reading
      >> *The Chronicles of Narnia* caused you start worshiping a giant lion).
      >> This is a fantasy, after all - with armored, talking bears, flying
      >> witches, parallel worlds, and people whose souls exist as animal
      >> companions. No one is going to mistake this book for reality.
      >>
      >> And with its typical fantasy elements - magic, the supernatural, ghosts,
      >> life after death, talking animals - there's no way this is an atheist
      >> manifesto, either. The whole idea is ridiculous. Sure, a powerful
      >> religious organization is the evil enemy, and most of the 'angels' fight
      >> on the other side (but not the good angels). Still, this fantasy church
      >> - the Magisterium - doesn't even belong to our own dimension, and the
      >> whole setting is so imaginatively unique that it's obviously,.. . well,
      >> fiction, of course.
      >>
      >> I haven't seen the recent movie based on the first book in the series,
      >> *The Golden Compass* (that's the American title; I believe the book was
      >> first printed as *Northern Lights*). Apparently, that IS a children's
      >> picture. With a child hero and her talking animal companion, not to
      >> mention intelligent polar bears, I can see how it might be perfect for
      >> that. But the book itself isn't written for children. Though wildly
      >> imaginative, it's a bit dark in places, and that continues through the
      >> other two books.
      >>
      >> I'd recommend the trilogy, if you want to see what all the commotion is
      >> about and enjoy a good fantasy, too.
      >>
      >> Bill
      >>
      >> --
      >> I threw out the bath water, and there was no baby there. - "Losing Faith
      >> in Faith" by Dan Barker
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> Yahoo! Groups Links
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
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      >> 12/01/2008 2:04 PM
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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    • Richard Claypool
      I really loved the first book in the series, though, as a hole, it is a good series. I have the dramatized version on cd, and it s wonderful! You can t live
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 13, 2008
        I really loved the first book in the series, though, as a hole, it is a good
        series. I have the dramatized version on cd, and it's wonderful!

        You can't live in a led lined box all of your life.

        msn
        bellevue.bat@...
        aim
        rclaypo
        skype
        lord_of_beer
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "William C. Garthright" <billg@...>
        To: "ClassicScienceFiction Yahoo Group"
        <ClassicScienceFiction@yahoogroups.com>; "Fantasy Books Yahoo Group"
        <Fantasy_Books@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2008 8:37 PM
        Subject: [Fantasy_Books] His Dark Materials


        >I finished Philip Pullman's *His Dark Materials* fantasy trilogy this
        > week, and I was quite impressed. It's very imaginative, and it kept my
        > interest, though the ending could have been tightened a bit. When you
        > think the story is over, it continues for awhile wrapping up loose ends.
        > But that's a minor problem.
        >
        > Note that these are *not* children's books, though the main characters
        > are children. And although the author is supposedly an atheist, these
        > aren't going to affect anyone's religious beliefs (not unless reading
        > *The Chronicles of Narnia* caused you start worshiping a giant lion).
        > This is a fantasy, after all - with armored, talking bears, flying
        > witches, parallel worlds, and people whose souls exist as animal
        > companions. No one is going to mistake this book for reality.
        >
        > And with its typical fantasy elements - magic, the supernatural, ghosts,
        > life after death, talking animals - there's no way this is an atheist
        > manifesto, either. The whole idea is ridiculous. Sure, a powerful
        > religious organization is the evil enemy, and most of the 'angels' fight
        > on the other side (but not the good angels). Still, this fantasy church
        > - the Magisterium - doesn't even belong to our own dimension, and the
        > whole setting is so imaginatively unique that it's obviously,... well,
        > fiction, of course.
        >
        > I haven't seen the recent movie based on the first book in the series,
        > *The Golden Compass* (that's the American title; I believe the book was
        > first printed as *Northern Lights*). Apparently, that IS a children's
        > picture. With a child hero and her talking animal companion, not to
        > mention intelligent polar bears, I can see how it might be perfect for
        > that. But the book itself isn't written for children. Though wildly
        > imaginative, it's a bit dark in places, and that continues through the
        > other two books.
        >
        > I'd recommend the trilogy, if you want to see what all the commotion is
        > about and enjoy a good fantasy, too.
        >
        > Bill
        >
        > --
        > I threw out the bath water, and there was no baby there. - "Losing Faith
        > in Faith" by Dan Barker
        >
        >
      • Richard Claypool
        It s subtle, but at the end will and lyra do get it on. msn bellevue.bat@gmail.com aim rclaypo skype lord_of_beer ... From: William C. Garthright
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 13, 2008
          It's subtle, but at the end will and lyra do get it on.
          msn
          bellevue.bat@...
          aim
          rclaypo
          skype
          lord_of_beer
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "William C. Garthright" <billg@...>
          To: <Fantasy_Books@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2008 11:06 PM
          Subject: Re: [Fantasy_Books] His Dark Materials


          >
          >> BTW, the books are marketed for children aged 9 and up. Why do you think
          >> their unsuitable? You mentioned "a bit dark in places," but a lot of
          >> children's fantasy literature is a bit dark. I think the main difference
          >> between adult and children's fantasy is the sexual content (although I
          >> have been really surprised at some of the books I've seen in my library's
          >> young adult section!).
          >>
          >
          >
          > Ages 9 and up? That does surprise me. Hmm,... well, first of all,
          > there's no sexual content at all. Zero. The main protagonists are
          > children, and though they start to grow up, it's all pretty innocent.
          >
          > But there is some torture in the first book - not especially graphic -
          > and lots of death. And children are subjected to some terrible
          > experiments. None of this would be a problem for adults, even if you're
          > squeamish (like me). But I'd think it would give 9-year-olds nightmares.*
          >
          > The books are also very long and detailed. Yeah, I know the Harry Potter
          > books were even bigger, but these just didn't seem to be written for
          > kids. Even if the subject matter didn't bother them, I'm not sure many
          > kids would wade their way through them. OK, the first book, maybe. It
          > really held my interest. Aw, what do I know? :-) I used to read
          > Charles Dickens when I was a kid, and this would be a heck of a lot
          > easier than that, I'm sure.
          >
          > Note that I don't have any kids, and it's been a LONG time since I was
          > one! So you're probably asking the wrong person.
          >
          > Bill
          >
          > *PS. Off-topic, I know, but the kid-friendly question brought it to
          > mind. My brother and his wife rented the movie "RoboCop" when it first
          > came out. I never watched it, but apparently the hero gets his limbs
          > deliberately (and explicitly) blown off by a shotgun. They said it was
          > really disgusting, and they didn't watch anymore. But before they took
          > the movie back, a friend asked them about it, because her two young
          > children really wanted to see it. They told her all about that terrible,
          > gruesome scene and said they just couldn't watch anymore. So their
          > friend asked if she could borrow it for her little kids!
          >
          > So I don't know. Kids these days might be less squeamish than I am. I
          > certainly never rented "RoboCop" after hearing that! :-)
          >
          > --
          > Having taken Godlike power, we must seek in ourselves for the
          > responsibility and the wisdom we once prayed some deity might have. Man
          > himself has become our greatest hazard and our only hope. - John Steinbeck
          >
        • Leigh L.
          ... I m early on in the second book right now and just got past the torture scene - not exactly pleasant, but so far (this included) I ve encountered nothing
          Message 4 of 13 , Jan 17, 2008
            > But there is some torture in the first book - not especially
            > graphic - and lots of death. And children are subjected to some
            > terrible experiments. None of this would be a problem for adults,
            > even if you're squeamish (like me). But I'd think it would give
            > 9-year-olds nightmares.*

            I'm early on in the second book right now and just got past the
            torture scene - not exactly pleasant, but so far (this included) I've
            encountered nothing that'll twist a kid's mind for life.

            > The books are also very long and detailed. Yeah, I know the Harry
            > Potter books were even bigger, but these just didn't seem to be
            > written for kids. Even if the subject matter didn't bother them,
            > I'm not sure many kids would wade their way through them. OK, the
            > first book, maybe. It really held my interest. Aw, what do I
            > know? :-) I used to read Charles Dickens when I was a kid,
            > and this would be a heck of a lot easier than that, I'm sure.
            >
            > Note that I don't have any kids, and it's been a LONG time since I
            > was one! So you're probably asking the wrong person.

            Well, I've got kids aged 9, 8 and 5, and while the older two are
            pretty keen readers, to be honest I couldn't see them getting through
            His Dark Materials just yet. 12+ sounds about right. I'm not
            convinced it'd give them nightmares or turn them into blasphemous
            sociopaths posting diatribes about killing God on YouTube as the
            Vatican seems to think, I just agree with Bill that the style isn't
            particularly preteen-friendly. There are some big themes that they
            just wouldn't get, and narrative decisions (like basically resetting
            the stage at the start of book 2) that could well stop them in their
            tracks. I'm still undecided about that one myself at the moment :)

            Good stuff though, looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

            - Leigh

            PS RoboCop: classic schlocky film, but I'd worry about anyone who
            wanted to rent it for their kids...
          • Richard Claypool
            I read goodnight mr. tom, when I was six, and To Kill a Mocking Bird a year or so later. That stuff is way more graphic than what a kid will ever see in TGC.
            Message 5 of 13 , Jan 25, 2008
              I read goodnight mr. tom, when I was six, and To Kill a Mocking Bird a year
              or so later. That stuff is way more graphic than what a kid will ever see
              in TGC. I'm not warped, well, I am, but not as a result of reading that
              kind of material.

              Why is this stuff floating in way after the fact? Yahoo is strange.
              msn
              bellevue.bat@...
              aim
              rclaypo
              skype
              lord_of_beer
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Leigh L." <leighlo@...>
              To: <Fantasy_Books@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2008 8:05 AM
              Subject: [Fantasy_Books] Re: His Dark Materials


              > But there is some torture in the first book - not especially
              > graphic - and lots of death. And children are subjected to some
              > terrible experiments. None of this would be a problem for adults,
              > even if you're squeamish (like me). But I'd think it would give
              > 9-year-olds nightmares.*

              I'm early on in the second book right now and just got past the
              torture scene - not exactly pleasant, but so far (this included) I've
              encountered nothing that'll twist a kid's mind for life.

              > The books are also very long and detailed. Yeah, I know the Harry
              > Potter books were even bigger, but these just didn't seem to be
              > written for kids. Even if the subject matter didn't bother them,
              > I'm not sure many kids would wade their way through them. OK, the
              > first book, maybe. It really held my interest. Aw, what do I
              > know? :-) I used to read Charles Dickens when I was a kid,
              > and this would be a heck of a lot easier than that, I'm sure.
              >
              > Note that I don't have any kids, and it's been a LONG time since I
              > was one! So you're probably asking the wrong person.

              Well, I've got kids aged 9, 8 and 5, and while the older two are
              pretty keen readers, to be honest I couldn't see them getting through
              His Dark Materials just yet. 12+ sounds about right. I'm not
              convinced it'd give them nightmares or turn them into blasphemous
              sociopaths posting diatribes about killing God on YouTube as the
              Vatican seems to think, I just agree with Bill that the style isn't
              particularly preteen-friendly. There are some big themes that they
              just wouldn't get, and narrative decisions (like basically resetting
              the stage at the start of book 2) that could well stop them in their
              tracks. I'm still undecided about that one myself at the moment :)

              Good stuff though, looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

              - Leigh

              PS RoboCop: classic schlocky film, but I'd worry about anyone who
              wanted to rent it for their kids...
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