Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004
10:52 am - Fling...  
So, I've been reading The Subtle Knife, by Philip Pullman, and was really enjoying it, even moreso than The Golden Compass. Last night I was having some computer connectivity issues, so I decided to turn off the machine, and just plow through the last eighty pages. So I finished it. It is to my credit, I think, that I did not fling the book across the room when I was done.

I was doing pretty good. I figured out who Jopari had to be. I was suspending my disbelief about all things dark matter well enough. I liked the characters. There were some minor quibbles. Lyra kept doing stupid things. I remember her as being smarter in the first book, but allowed that I could be wrong, so let it pass. Then it all went horrible awry. Everybody gets stupid. First Pullman kills off the character with whom I most identified. Bad enough in itself, because I have a problem with authors who take major characters, let us see the world from their point of view, and then kill them. And not just kill them, but kill them by having them simply forget that they had the means to get help in their pocket until it was too late. Feh.

Next came the asspull of Mrs. Coulter suddenly being able to grant the power of flight to the Specters. WTF? Now all the witches are out of it, except for the one witch in all the world who has it in for Will's father, so she flies up and kills him without so much as a word. WTF?

I completely lost it at that point. What happens then is that all the inconsistencies that your mind has been glossing over come back to you, and you stop suspending disbelief. Too many coincidences. Too many "Huhs?" Lee Scoresby is, like, the best shot ever. Lord Asriel is planning on taking an army of men to fight God? Yeah, good luck with that.

I was originally going to continue right into The Amber Spyglass (I even got it in hard cover), but I've completely lost interest. I just don't care as I did at the end of The Golden Compass. I have a new Sharpe novel I can work on instead.
Current Mood: cranky
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serenada: pippin - ohserenada on February 3rd, 2004 - 09:05 am
I totally haven't read your post because I'm almost done The Subtle Knife and I'm already made hesitant by comments on it in Literary. Now I'm extra nervous. Must finish it tonight.
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Hel Viragohelvirago on February 3rd, 2004 - 10:17 am
I vaguely remember...
Actually, I've blocked most of it out, but I do remember making a conscious decision not to continue on to the third book, so I imagine I had a reaction very much like yours.
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arliss: flyarliss on February 3rd, 2004 - 11:57 am
Wise decision. I went the other way, and wished I hadn't.

What Sharpe are you reading, now, DX?
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DXMachinadxmachina on February 3rd, 2004 - 12:51 pm
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flyingtapes: chosen sketchflyingtapes on February 3rd, 2004 - 03:59 pm
I actually didn't like the first book very much at all, but I'm a compulsive completist and had to finish the trilogy. I liked it better as the story progressed, but on the whole I didn't enkoy (no left-of-k-key) them much at all. For all the renown they got, I thought they would be better. It seemed very sloppy to me, though I did like certain parts of it.
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serenada: knockyououtserenada on February 3rd, 2004 - 09:23 pm
I'm done it now, and I agree with just about everything you said, although I don't mind the death of Lee -- I like not knowing who will live (Roger stunned me, in the first book).

It just doesn't anger me.
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