A Slice of Fried Gold

An admission

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

This is a terrible thing to admit. I like to think I am intelligent person. I really do. I have no real reason to not think this, as I know a lot of things, know how to do many others, and know more useless things than many people know in their entire knowledge base (yes, I do think I am hot stuff...deal with it my gracious readership). But there is one thing that is strange for me, more than anything.

I love kids books.

See, intelligent people are supposed to read the classics and thought provoking fair. Why read Harry Potter when you can dive into something like War and Peace? Who cares about the Golden Compass when you could read the sumptuous verses of Ulysses?

Well the reason I read those books is because I get a ridiculous amount of enjoyment out of them.

For example, I just finished reading the Golden Compass (or its original title - Northern Lights), the first book out of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman. It was a wonderful young adults fantasy about a young girl named Lyra whose fate was to save the world, but one of the keys was her to not know about it along the way, all the while being led by a Golden Compass called an Alethiometer. It takes her from Oxford, to London, all the way north to fictional iced over worlds called Bolvangar, Trellusland, and Svalbard. It has a wonderful cast of characters that help her, terrible villains, and brilliant ideas all along the way. The sad thing is it has probably been classified as a children's book by your average book reader and/or adult, when truth be told the sheer escapism and the wonderful characterization and adventurous plot should be seen more often in today's world.

In today's world full of televised despair and instantenous updates on insurgent bombings, who really needs a glum book about depression anyways? I don't! I'd rather read about the Panserbjorn, the warrior bears of the North. Or about Lee Scoresby, the Texan aeronaut who helps Lyra along the way. This is why I in no way feel badly about my love of these types of books. I just get so much enjoyment out of them, how could anyone that is wrong.

With all that said, regardless of your age, I fully recommend reading this series. I'm currently on the second book and it is similarly wonderful. The first book however, I can fully attest for and it is absolutely riveting and alternately joyous, adventurous, and tragic. It is every bit as good as the Harry Potter series (oh my god, what did I just say...did I really just say that?!) but with not nearly the hype behind it. Sorry...I have to compose myself, I can't believe I just said that I liked that book as much as the Harry Potter books. Take a deep breath...take a deep breath. Ok. Better.

Also, the movie of the Golden Compass is coming out December 7th, as directed by Chris Weitz and starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, and newcomer Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra (and she best by top notch because Lyra is the backbone and heart of the story). The new trailer came out, and I can already tell that they changed the plot around a good bit, but that is OK. It's like with the Harry Potter series - when you have a longish book that you have to convert into a movie, things need to change around and certain characters need to disappear to really fit the outline.

I cannot in good judgement say that this does not look awesome anyways. I am ridiculously excited to finish the book series, and I want the movie to come out, become a huge success, and then the next two movies to come out as well. Is that so much to ask? Now get reading and make sure to watch come December 7th. If not for you, but for me. I am but a simple man who loves children's books and the films that are adapted from them. Is that so weird?

Also, I have included the third and final trailer for the film. Enjoy! It's a pretty one!


sheri said...

"..and no more useless things than many people know in their entire knowledge base"

This is a great mistake to have in your sentence about how smart you are ;).

And.. if you wait 'til I get up there, I'll go see the movie with you... But you won't want to wait... oh well.

David Harper said...

Even geniuses require editing.

Bobbie said...

Better than Harry?!
I am #2 on the waiting list at AML.
Yep, should have it done before December 7 -- as promised!!

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