Friday, November 02, 2007

Heard Anything About the Golden Compass?

Has everyone else heard about this controversy? Am I always the last to know? I recently started reading about the flap over the controversial themes of the Golden Compass. Some people are saying the books that the film is based on are anti-religious; others, (including the Archbishop of Canterbury), saying they are just "an attack on dogmatism and the use of religion to oppress, not on Christianity itself." Meanwhile, the Catholic League has called for a boycott of the film.

Now I want to read the books. Has anyone else read them?

12 comments:

Jeff said...

Hi there, Mary Claire (Jeff's wife here). I've read the books. I didn't find them anti-Catholic (and I'm Catholic). However, they are definitely anti-organized religion/dogma. As far as entertainment goes, I found the books a little difficult to get into - but I was determined to slug through them, because a friend had given them to me as a gift and I knew I was expected to report back. The further I got into them, the more interesting they were.

Mr Goodson said...

I know someone that animated for Rhythm and Hues for the Movie. I've just seen trailers but it looks like another one of those, "get the golden child before it fulfills its destiny" things.

weezie said...

I've read the first book and I thought it was pretty cool. It's got very anti-establishment overtones (religious and governmental), but nothing that's patently offensive or controversial. That being said, people will find things to object to in any form of art or literature if they look hard enough. For those of us who want to read a good book, it's got elements of magic, spirituality, and high adventure and, in my opinion, a level of sophistication that places it above Harry Potter or Lemony Snickett. Along with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, it's one of the best fantasy books i've read this year.

rickart said...

Hmmm... I liked Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell quite a bit, so that's a pretty good comparison in my book.

I haven't heard a thing about this controversy... sounds like one of Fox's trumped up "War against Christmas" things that they manufacture to get god fearing folks riled up.

rickart said...

Oh, and hello there MC! Good to hear from you!

Mr Goodson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Carroll said...

I read The Golden Compass ... not the other books ... and like M.C. found it haaaaaaard to get going, but once it picked up it had my attention. I found nothing about it anti-Catholic or anti-Christian and only wish I could write a book that combined so many cool things into a single, fairly coherent adventure storyline.

Scotty Buncake said...

Howdy. Everyone's favorite Ellis-maimer here. I just started reading the first one after a friend recommended it and I'm about 250 pages into it. So far I find it intriguing and more sophisticated than the 'children's fantasy' I was expecting. I like it alot so far and am looking forward to the rest of the series.

As for the religious fanatics and not-so-fanatics who are calling for the boycott I have one piece of advice... "Shut the hell up already." These are the same agenda-pushing morons who scream bloody murder at the Potter books for promoting witchcraft... HELLO people? Are you listening to yourselves? 'Promoting witchcraft???' Just like the stories of J.K. Rowling and countless of other imaginative authors it's MAKE BELIEVE. MAAAAAAAKE BELIEVE!
Do these delusional (ahem) 'well-intentioned folk' actually believe their young Sally is going to rush out, learn the ways of Lucifer, then turn their brother Tim into rat terrier? The Potter books turned millions and millions of non-reading children into avid readers and now they've decided to attack another creative force just because the author happens to be an atheist? Friends who have read these books haven't suddenly turned to the darkside because of the series subtle tones. Kids are going to be excited by talking bears and witches flying around on broomsticks and not turning to each other and saying, "My God, the anti-ecclesiastic undertones of chapter 23 have made me rethink my current stance on organized religion. Let's turn to Satan after recess is over." If they're going to attack books for the horrible messages it's sending to our children, they might want to take a look at their own Good Book too. There are alot of ugly lessons mixed in with the good in there as well.
(I don't mean to offend anybody with my views, it's just that, as a creative type, I get VERY bent out of shape when I hear tales like this. It just seems like alot of agenda-pushing blowhards trying to get attention at the expense of something that doesn't deserve it.)
We now return to M*A*S*H already in progress.

rickart said...

Well said Scott... I'm right there with you... that is until the Inquisition come to get us... then I'll deny I ever knew you!

Mr Goodson said...

Scott, start over and read it out loud onto cassette and send it to me. I'll love to hear it with all your enthusiasm.

No Country For Old Men this weekend. That's good literature baby.

I've got THE ROAD by Cormac mcCarthy waiting at the library.

weezie said...

The Road is like Seinfeld combined with Stephen King's the Stand. It's a horror book where nothing happens. :)

Mr Goodson said...

Weezner, this will be my third Cormac McCarthy. Blood Meridian and No Country For Old men. I get a little bugged by his playing against expectations but the descriptive power and characters keep me coming.