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.