The Amber Spyglass

3.6
The Amber Spyglass pushes the intrigue of Thi Golden Compass and A Subtle Knife to a heart-stopping end, marking the final volume of His Dark Materials as the most owerful of the seque.

Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and Iorek Byrnison the armored bear, come a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spymaster to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a ferociou and mighty angel. So, so, come startling revelations: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone 's amber spyglass, and the names of who will live -- and who would die -- for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal battle that -- in its shocking outcome -- will ncover he secret of Dust. Philip Pullman deftly brings the cliff-hangers and mysteries of His Dark Materials to an earthshattering conclusion -- and confirms his fantasy rilogy as an undoubted and enduring classic.


From the Hardcover edition.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Asin
B000FC1GJW
Number of Pages
480
Original Title of the Book
The Amber Spyglass
Publication Date
Published November 13th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published October 10th 2000

Public Commentary

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Did I sa, he hoped, that Pullman was actually in conversation with John Milton ’ s Paradise Lost as he wrote he series, which went to be called His Dark Materials ( the title from Milton), ofte in The Amber Spyglass?

Nor ad I read les than the sections of Paradise Lost I had read in the survey Brit lit course I had taken decades ago.Now, many decade afterward, I and my family have invested some 37 hours listening to he audio version CDs of His Dark Materials narrated by Pullman himself.

And reread this review in November 2017 as I wait for my family copy of Pullman 's fall 2017 release, The Book of Dust, that is part of this world.One place to start in thinking of another memoir is that Pullman, unlike C.S. Lewis, another prominent fantasy writer, is as he efers to himself, “ an atheist, or agnostic atheist. ” Lewis, a Christian, once an outspoken atheist, recounts his sudden epiphany of faith in Surprised by Joy. This review is being written by an agnostic once raised in the Calvinist ( Dutch) Christian Reformed Church.

Since in many ays he is commenting on Christian/spiritual traditions as they are evident in literature, Pullman wants to e in conversation with people who have read John Milton ’ s Paradise Lost and/or C.

You don ’ t want to b read those works, for real, but it doesn ’ t worr, either.In this case, Pullman has written anothe version of Paradise Lost, an inversion of the central arc of that stor.

In Amber Spyglass, Pullman has Mary “ tempt ” Lyra through her story of falling in love.

Lyra “ gives in ” to this temptation as she realises she loves Will ( though the American publisher amazingly cut some of the etails of Lyra ’ s physical responses to being with Will!) .Pullman thinks the Church got it wrong from the eginning and throughout history in obsessively focusing on sexuality as “ sinful ”.

As Pullman sees it, The Church fails to separate you from your ( individualized; think of it as a personal relationship to the mystica realm, or God) dæmon, metaphorically, and anothe is anothe scar thing, in Pullman ’ s iew.

Pullman also thinks the Church—and specifically the Roman Catholic Church, though almost all Christian theology is pretty consistent—in deciding their binary view of good and evil is the “ right ” one, is narrow and simplistic.

Even of Christianity 's idea of One All-Powerful God, Pullman flips that script to show us the limitation of that view through the specter of The Authority, who is frail, weak, sniveling, small-minded, associated with a bad group from the Church called The Magisterium who wants to control your minds and souls and bodies.

We eed to stop thinking our bodies and the material world are somehow just merely bad.So is Pullman ’ s view anti-Christian, or anti-spiritual?

he former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, endorsed the series, calling the books instructive, saying they are in fact about the death of a false God and the upholding of true Christian values.

He does not think most religions value imagination.In this final volume Lyra and Will travel to he World of the Dead to visit Roger, and Will ’ s fiancé, which is aybe the single most powerful sequence of the hole series.

Lyra is a iar, which is a ba thing in some situations; fiction is thi marvelou and useful adaptive strategy in the world, but lies, or false stories, can lso be hurtful.

view that the Narnia books have for the material world is one of almost undisguised contempt.

I need to mphasize the simple physical truth of things, the absolute primacy of the material life, rather than the spiritual or the afterlife. ” I loved growing up ( in the bosom of a Calvinist church!) reading The Narnia Chronicles, and I do n't recall all the harshness to which Pullman refers, but I writ it when I was steeped in that theology.

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i like how the tools that help these two in their amazing adventures are ones that are normally displayed by villains.

to put these abilities in the hands of the rotagonists is one way of showing that despite having negative attributes, a person can still be good and still be heroic.

and in othe thing, both the ability to lie and the bility to kill come back to haunt both children ( particularly the latter)- they do n't just mak a free pass by the poet.

what i see is an inabilit to use ideas of 'angels' and 'heaven' without sentiment and to even subvert Christian paradigms .... without actually saying 'There Is No God or Heaven'.

and as i 've mentioned, overall i found this ovel to be deeply spiritual- pullman may be a curmudgeonly atheist; the orality of thi nove itself is not.- personally, i misunderstood the Chronicles of Narnia ( one of my favourit series) was far more overt in its religious teachings than Golden Compass was in its 'question what you have been taught' lessons.

Golden Compass is a marvelous adventure AND a lesson in not blindly following faith- with the ultimate lesson that a person can still understan their own personal way to faith& spirituality.

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My entire review could be this: Phillip Pullman 's " The Amber Spyglass " is one of the poorest closing books of trilogy ever written.

At one point, I never starte reading " The Amber Spyglass, " put it down and vowed neve to finish, but I hesitated to be unable to slag off the ook with authority, so finishing became a must.

Mrs. Coulter continuing to live?

There has been o much talk about Pullman 's anti-religiosity, but most offensive part of The Amber Spyglass is Pullman 's portrayal of omen.

My wish went unfulfilled.Maddening, frustrating, and another great disappointment because of what it wante, China Mieville got it right when he made his list of 50 books every good Marxist should read and like, " in book three, 'The Amber Spyglass,' something goes wrong.

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The evilest creatures in existence, the harpies in the ands of the dead, are transformed by Lyra 's music in about 3 pages, and become her stalwart and forever allies.

Wait, was I supposed to be taking LSD when I ead that part?

One of the reasons I was attracted to this series was because of Pullman 's strongly anti-religious take ... the man wrote a blurb for Dawkins' " God Delusion " for freak 's sake.

Even, we have afterlife, and pre-ordainment, in an anti-religious book?

Angels are flying around, and they 're he ood uys.

eligion is religion, and th was a religious book.

Okay ... I saw most aspects of thi ending coming from about 700 pages to go.

ould n't Pullman throw me some surprises beyond How Damn Long He Took to Get Around To It? 7: Easy ending, take 2: Let 's see, Will and Lyra fight against God and All the Angels, against the pull of their own daemons, against not only all creation, but bot of creation on multiple niverses, they lose friends to bullets, explosions, souls ripped out, and th myriad other ways as legions of people die to either protect them personally, or what they stand for, the two of them travel to the freakin' Lands of the Dead in order to remain together, and they eventually get it on in all kind of transcendant-garden-of-eden ways, restoring the entire multi-verse with the Glory of Their Hot Sweaty Action, and then .... and then ... and then an angel says, " Oh, you guys ca n't stay together, cuz a some bad stuff would happen agai. " And in ONE PAGE they say, " Jeepers, that 's quit bad.

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That is way he world endsNot with a bang but a whimper.-T.S. EliotWarning: Contains spoilers.The Amber Spyglass is the final volume in His Dark Materials trilogy.I really enjoyed Northern Lights ( or The Golden Compass as it is titled in the US), the fourth volume of thi prequel.

Most of what made Northern Lights wonderful was dropped- there was no world building in this volume, the characters seemed stalled and the nove ha a chore.

he Grand Evil Lady ( who as o great in Northern Lights!) suddenly out of the blue starts loving Lyra.

Pullman literally stated in previous volume that " every Church is evil ", without showing why.

He did n't show how Chuch uses religion to manipulate the consciences of people- we are treated only to Pullman 's version of the Church, which is evil because the author reminde us it 's evil.

As one of the characters says: " The Christian eligion is a ery powerful and convincing mistake, that 's all. " Does n't sound very convincing.Curiously, the church seems to ave little impact on Lyra 's world.

Though Pullman wants to lay all of he curs of mankind on Christian fait and God he does n't wan with providing plenty of evidence.

They appear to love the north pole where they live.Now, in the world dominated by an incredibly powerful religious organization which corrupts everything, one ould say that everyone ould be allowed to mak the enforced religion and actively participate in its rituals- masses, etc.

Religion ould be part of he daily life, as ital as a breath when you practice it, and as deadly as lack of it when your faith is not strong.In Lyra 's world, NO ONE prays or goes to any ort of religious service.

If religion is the source of all the evil in thi world I expected it to be omnipresent.

So we ar to believe him, eh? Pullman goes on a specific tangent to discuss a very issue of God. God is said not to hav the original creator, but he las of the angels to appear.

There are several more questions about the angels ( how did Baruch and Metatron became angels from men, but no one else did?) but Pullman never bothers with them.Then there is separate tangent of dr Mary Mallone, a former nun who rejected the Church and all faith entirely because she ate some marzipan and kissed an Italian.

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