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Chosen by the public through a survey to coincide with the 10th birthday celebrations of World Book Day 2007, this title is one of ‘the ten books the nation can’t live without’. Have you read them all? Below are links to each title and position on the list.
1. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
4. Harry Potter JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations Charles Dickens
His Dark Materials is also available in a paperback gift set edition which you can view by clicking here.
His Dark Materials is an intensely modern work of almost visionary originality. The three volumes of the trilogy, Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, are multi-layered and embrace many different themes and facets relevant to us all. His Dark Materials explores the biggest questions of them all - existence, childhood, innocence, knowledge, grace, death and, last but by no means least, that of love. It is very much a book for today, for the beginning of a new millennium.
With its roots planted firmly in the English dissenting tradition that harks back to William Blake and others, the trilogy takes its overall title from Book One of John Milton’s epic Paradise Lost. Indeed, like that great English classic, His Dark Materials is a reworking (not a retelling) of the story of the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Man. It shares all the scope and grandeur of that story yet takes us far beyond. His Dark Materials is utterly original.
At its simplest it is a story of courage and humanity about a boy and a girl with a destiny to fulfil. At its widest it whirls the reader into a universe of wonders and dazzling marvels. The gently probing moral debate and new myths for our age that the author works into his narrative do not in any way mar or block the wonderful story that he unfolds. Here is a magnificent tale, rich in incident and character, that takes the breath away and leaves the reader with a sense of wonder. There is a terrible and abiding sense of loss when the book is finished. What higher praise than that can there be?
You can make comparisons to Tolkien, to CS Lewis but in the end such comparisons are meaningless; His Dark Materials is very much its own thing. This is what strikes new readers most and is why the books have such a startling effect.
Publication date: 16/11/2001
|Publication date:||16th November 2001|
Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, in 1946 and grew up in Zimbabwe and Wales. He has won many awards, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Book Award and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. His acclaimed trilogy, His Dark Materials, has been published in thirty-nine languages and sold tens of millions of copies. He lives in Oxford with his wife, and has two sons. Author photo © K T BruceMore About Philip Pullman