I have a fair bit of the old fantasy and occasional sci-fi vein in me, stretching back to the days when Dungeons & Dragons came in a box with a thin blue rule book, and including books like Lloyd Alexander's series and the Michael Moorcock Elric novels, and of course Tolkien. But this is not a part of me that I like to acknowledge too often any more because I like to think that I have grown up or something, whatever that means. In fact, when I read Jonathan Strange & Dr. Norrell last year, I felt embarrassed to talk about it some times. I need to loosen up more.
However, so many folks have talked up the Phillip Pullman His Dark Materials series that I've always been curious, and in a hammock at the lake this weekend, I gave the first volume, The Golden Compass, a try. I have to say: it is a ripping good yarn. It has some of the problems that most books in this genre have, but it's hard to notice them as I get pulled along by the adventure of it all. I love the "daemons" and the "armored bears" and the intrigue. It's a great change of pace.
There's a movie trailer online for the film version that's coming out this fall, and though it has some big names and some money behind it, it looks, like everything has to look now, I suppose, like something trying to ride the Harry Potter coat tails. I sure hope it's better than that, though.
Who knows. Maybe I'd like Harry Potter. Maybe I should just get it all over with at once--turn on some Phish and read the HP books straight through.