Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Different Kind of P&P

I've spent much of this last year celebrating a certain "P and P," that of the Jane Austen variety. But there's a different "P and P" I'd like to celebrate this month, and that's the author Philip Pullman.* You might be asking why I'm celebrating Philip Pullman and polar bears in a month usually devoted to something ghastly and ghoulish what with the approach of Halloween, but there's a simple answer: La Belle Sauvage, the first book in Pullman's new series, The Book of Dust. Seventeen years ago with the publication of The Amber Spyglass Pullman's fans thought they had heard the last of Lyra, her daemon, and Dust with a capital "D." Yet Pullman kept offering up tantalizing hints that we had not seen the end of this fantastical parallel world. In 2003 Lyra's Oxford, set two years after the events of the trilogy offered us a glimpse into our heroine's new life. In 2005 the 10th anniversary edition of The Golden Compass came out with wonderful drawings by Pullman at the start of each chapter.** In 2008 we got another short story followed by an audiobook in 2014. The more time passed the more obvious it was that Lyra's world wasn't done with it's creator and the clamoring fans would be appeased and the announcement from earlier this year about The Book of Dust was literally everything. These books meant so much to me when I first read them but that was almost two decades ago, as hard as that is to believe. The announcement made me long to immerse myself in this world once more. Therefore I hope you'll join me in reading His Dark Materials whether for the first or fiftieth time as the release for La Belle Sauvage gets even nearer. Let's start with a story about something that happened in the north once upon a time...

*Side note, Panserbjørn are also included in this "P" themed celebration because I seriously don't want to get on their bad side.

**The drawing of Iorek Byrnison above is one of these illustrations. 


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