Daily Archives: March 30, 2008

Freakonomics Meets Lyra

Freakonomics author Steven D. Levitt on reading The Golden Compass:

Earlier this month I asked readers what I should do to fill my post-Harry Potter void. I didn’t anticipate just how full of reading suggestions blog readers would be — 270 comments.Of the hundreds of books mentioned, I had to start somewhere, so I read The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.

I can’t really say that I liked it. I had a hard time identifying with the hero, Lyra. I couldn’t really picture her in my mind, for starters. (Which got me thinking that maybe it helped me to like the Potter books because I had seen some of the movies first, and thus knew what the characters were supposed to look like.)

I found the whole discussion of “Dust” to be boring. Things happened too fast and too unrealistically in the book: somehow she can all of the sudden read some impossibly difficult instrument; she’s in trouble and then some lady appears out of nowhere who had been her wet nurse 13 years earlier and saves her not realizing who it is.

The only part I really liked was what she did to the undeserving bear king.

I bought the trilogy, but given my lack of imagination, maybe I better see the movie first before trying the second installment.

Steven D. Levitt on The Not-So-Golden Compass – Freakonomics – Opinion – New York Times Blog


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The Opening Page:A CLNE Colloquy

There is still time to register for this wonderful event to be held May 8-11, 2008 at the lovely Inn at Essex, Vermont. The speakers are M. T. Anderson, Susan Cooper, Sarah Ellis, Janice Harrington, Arthur A. Levine, Katherine Paterson, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Brian O. Seznick. For more information and/or to register go to clne.org.

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