Review: Philip Pullman’s “The Amber Spyglass” (His Dark Materials III)

by writereaderly

Third and final installment of the Pullman reviews: this one made me feel more equivocal than the earlier two books in the series. Lyra and Will head off to end death and save the world, adventures ensue, the Apocalypse is averted, ta-da. The story is still quite gripping, but the threads of the plot fray a few too many times, as if the book were written too fast and not quite pulled together in time for publication: that was all that happened to the padre-assassin? Mummy and Daddy really became so nice so fast? Christianity is that bad, the end? I got irritated also with Lyra’s new doggishness (wherefore art thou, Will?), and found the Coming of Love remarkably burdensome for ~13 year olds. However, I was very moved by the descriptions of the dead atomising with joy into the universe, and the powerful creed of “tell them (true) stories” – whichever page that was, it was the best one of the book. All in all it was pretty good, though for the sake of the series I wish it had been more tightly written.

Where it came from: Library
Time and manner of reading: Bed, bath, bed, car and walking to the train station reads
Where it went: Home
Reminds me of: None come to mind right now, although many a book has saved the world from ending
Who I’d recommend it to: Idem
Also reading: Rabbit #4; How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch; Selected Essays by George Orwell; Picturing Canada by Gail Edwards and Judith Saltman (just the images); The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen