Thursday, October 18, 2012

Abducted by The Golden Compass chapters 18-23

Well, I finally finished the Golden Compass on Saturday!

I wanted to send a huge shout out and Thank You to Andrea and Jessie for hosting the event and thinking up all the great discussion questions! I've been curious about this book for a long time so I was grateful for the excuse to finally give it a shot!

Here are my answers to the last round of questions and I'll be posting my official review, hopefully, in the next couple of weeks! I've got a lot of posts that need to go up but I am going to try to space them out!

Anyway, these questions are brought to you by Andrea from The Overstuffed Bookshelf.

1.  Without trying to get too political, did some of the events in the book seem controversial to you?  What parts were they?  And did they bother you or did you just see them as part of the story?

Yes, the ending did seem controversial to me. But I think it is important to also acknowledge that there is a difference between recognizing something as being controversial and something being offensive. At any point in any story, whether it is a fantasy or contemporary doesn't matter, but if at any point you have your main characters pull out a Bible and start discussing the story of Adam and Eve - that is going to be controversial.  Now, me personally, did a recognize the controversial quality of that ending. Yes, of course. Was I offended? No, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and to a certain degree that is kind of a huge point to this story. You have this mystical substance called Dust and it seemed to me that everyone in the story had their own idea as to what it really was and what it could be used for. The church/government had one idea, Lord Asriel had another, and Lyra was on a quest to decide for herself what she thought of it. So I can't fault the book for that.
What is scary to me though is that you are going to have, and did have, so many Christian organisations get all up in arms about the characters even discussing religion in a negative way. But I bet there wasn't any controversy at all about an adult killing a child for his own personal gain! Now that did offend me!

2.  Several of the characters in this book turned out to be very different than they first appear.  What characters were you surprised by (if any), and what did they do that surprised you?

The only character that really shocked me with his change was Lord Asriel. I believed him to be good from the part where the narrator pointed out that Lyra had grown accustomed to thinking of Lord Asriel as "father" but that she would never be able to called Mrs. Coulter "mother". I trusted in that until Lyra finally reunited with him and he was all living in the lap of luxury after she had been so worried about him. What an ass.

3.  In the end, Lyra and Pantalaimon "walked into the sky."  If you haven't yet read The Subtle Knife, what kind of other world do you think they're going to end up in? A futuristic city, an underwater realm, a type of heaven, etc?

I really don't have that much of an imagination so when they "walked into the sky" I just kind of assumed the other world would be exactly like theirs. Maybe the humans wouldn't have daemons or their would be no such thing as a talking bear. But in terms of technology advancement language and scenery, I expected it would be much like what she already knows.
But if we are imagining for imaginings sake, then I guess it would be cool if when they walked through the sky they ended up in our world. Like some rooftop of some apartment building in downtown New York City at some point in the 90's.


fakesteph said...

Sigh, I wish I had had more time to participate. I love your answer for number 1. seriously, we are so often mad about the wrong things! Man... the end breaks my heart every time I read it.

Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

I agree totally with you on #1. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and people (as a whole) need to be more respectful of that.

I hope you liked the book!

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

Yeah, I do think a lot of people that want to ban books simply see that something is not what they believe in and they automatically call it bad or evil or something. Yes, these books are controversial for some people. But not everyone believes the same thing and even if one person is offended by it, it doesn't mean that other people will be or that the book should be banned. And yeah, killing a kid for personal gain is much more wrong, to me, than suggesting that a religion is incorrect or corrupt.

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