His Dark Materials
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“Lyra, Lyra, pants on fire-a!”
“My books aren't atheist-like.”
The widely acclaimed His Dark Materials or as Her Raw Materials trilogy comprises some of the greatest evangelical Christian literature in history, surpassing annual sales of the Book of Mormon, Left Behind, and the Bible combined. Written by devout Catholic Philip Pullman, the books include The Golden Crucifix, The Subtle Spear, and The Spyglass of Revelation. Each book passionately professes the will of God, the powerful story of Christ, and the amazing, peace-filled history of Christianity in a cleverly layered children's story, as only a balding Englishman can tell it.
edit The Books
The trilogy traces the story of one Lyra Belacqua, and her guardian angel, Pantalaimon, sent by God to do his bidding. The books have been called "equal companions to the Chronicles of Narnia," in the way they bolster the Christian ethos in the minds of their young impressionable readers.
edit The Golden CrucifixIn The Golden Crucifix (originally Heavenly Lights), Lyra and Pantalaimon enlist the aid of a band of born-again evangelical Christian gypsies in order to save her lost friend, Roger. Roger is one of many children that have been kidnapped by the malevolent, atheistic all-powerful authorities (led by the evil Mrs Coulter) and spirited away to a "re-education" gulag in the far north. In the gulag the children are cut away from the body of the Church and indoctrinated with heretical ideas of Darwin, Newton, Galileo etc. The group travels to the far north, recruiting several characters along the way, including a missionary from Texas, a saint trapped in a bear's body, and a lesbian Wiccan who is killed at the end of the last book and is judged in Hell with all the other gay pagansinners despite repenting of her sins and marrying Farder Coram, one of the Born-Again missionary gypsies.
Upon arriving in Far North they free the imprisoned Engelbjørne and convert the entire town away from Nordic paganism to Christianity with the help of the bloodthirsty - but peaceful and god-fearing - polar bear. They then travel north to a Nazi death camp called Bolvangar, where they release the indoctrinated children. The children are clad in just flimsy garments and are saved from certain death due to exposure to Arctic climate when, in one of the books most moving sequences, they establish a make-shift church where, during the giving of the sacrament, all are warmed by the heat of the Lord of Love and by Holy Miracle are able to withstand the sub-zero temperatures. Afterwards, they travel to the island of Svalbard where the Engelbjørne has his home. In his absence the other Bears have turned to idolatry and have become possessed by the dark powers of Satan. After killing their king and destroying all their idols, Lyra's friend the Engelbjørne takes his rightful place on the throne and God's enduring reign of love is restored.
The book ends with Lyra and her guardian angle Pantalaimon chasing evil agents of the evil secular Authority and vowing to end secularism, science and reason replacing it with the unchallengeable might of God's law.
edit The Subtle Spear
In The Subtle Spear, Lyra and Pantalaimon venture alone into the pagan city of Cittàgazze. In former times Cittàgazze was inhabited by a vile, aethiestic people who traveled between worlds stealing items of holy significance with the goal of undermining belief and piety. Lyra and Pantalaimon find the Holy Spear used to kill Christ and venerate it with a prayer to the almighty. Eventually they come across Will Parry, a young emo who has killed a man and has yet to repent for his sins. He experiences a divine revelation, equal to that of St. Paul on the road to Damascus and realizes that the Spear has the power to kill the Atheist Authority and his divine mission is to undertake this task and restore the majesty of God. Meanwhile Lee tries to help them find the holy spear, but is shot down by the Russian Mafia.
This book is noted for its potentially phallic title (LOL SPEAR = PENIS).
edit The Spyglass of Revelation
More people converted to Christianity, more sinners judged. This most subtle work won the Vatican prize for the best novel of the year. Will and Lyra in this book travel through Hell, witnessing the divine wrath meted out upon sinners so as to learn the lesson that a crime against God is most severely judged. They then travel to the site of the final battle where the might of the evil atheistic Authority is ranged against the divine power of God and all his Angels. Will is able to confront the Authority - described as looking exactly like the elder Charles Darwin - and kills him with the spear and with it all his heretical ideas. Finally Will and Lyra become close but they do not kiss. Having witnessed in Hell what happens to unmarried lovers they swear to save themselves until after marriage. However fate intervenes and they are returned, each to their own worlds, models of chastity and virtue.
edit Recurring Themes
One of the common themes in His Dark Materials is that God is not just a God of love but of wrath, vengeance and law. Omnipotent and all seeing he is not to be disregarded but feared. The message of the book could be summarized as "Every Knee Must Bow"
Literary critics have also commented on the similarity of various characters. In particular many of the characters die at some point in the story.
edit The Movie
Directed by Mel Gibson the movie intends to be a focus for evangelical Christians everywhere. As a clarion cry it encourages revolt against the heretical visions of Darwin and promotes the omnipotence of the Papacy of Rome. The movie is called The golden cum-ass.
edit Poetic Inspiration
edit Later Works
Following a nervous breakdown Pullman wrote the highly sexualized novel "Lyra's Cambridge". This is a totally explicit account of Lyra's twenties, as a scholar at Diana College University of Cambridge. It details her dalliances with hunky Gyptian toy-boys, effete Cambridge Scholars (male and female) and perverted agents of the Magesterium. It is currently being filmed under its US title The golden cum-ass by acclaimed director Larry Flynt.
Pullman's mental health continued to deteriorate as he wrote the massively hallucinogenic "Once upon a time in the North-East" based on the book of Revelations. He followed it up by writing, in German, "Das Buch von Scheiße" (published in England and the US as "The Crap Book") which has been compared to Friedrich Nietzsche at his best.