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Finished reading HDM

I finished re-re-re-reading His Dark Materials yesterday, twice in Finnish, twice in English. (Once when I was reading my boyfriend looked at me really funnily and asked "Are you reading it for the second time?" and I answered "Well... Actually the fourth." He has also read HDM, thanks to me, but he's not the reading type and I guess he doesn't understand how some books can mean the world to the person who loves them)

I started the Golden Compass for over a year ago, so as you can see I haven't been hurrying too much. As I know what's going to happen in the three books, I can read them slowly and whenever I feel like it. Sometimes I used to read them as a bedtime story, sometimes when I had nothing else to read and sometimes when I just wanted to spend some time with Lyra and Will or whoever starring the book at the moment. But everything good has to end sometime, and now I think I should wait at least a year before I start it again.

It's funny how I know some parts of the books better than some other parts, even though I have read them all as many times. For example, in the Golden Compass when Lyra has just escaped from Mrs. Coulter's cocktail party and buys coffee or something, and she tells the two gentlemen that her name is Lizzie and her father is a murdered and "oh, there he's coming", is something I've rememebered ever since I read it for the first time. On the other hand, the whole chapter "There is now" from the Amber Spyglass seemed totally as if I'd never read it before. Almost everything in the last few chapters, except the separation of Will and Lyra is sort of covered with mist to me, but I guess it might have something to do with the fact that I always read the last few chapters so quickly through, without thinking but crying my eyes out.

About crying my eyes out, I was at my boyfriend's during the last ten chapters, and I guess it must have been quite a shock for him when I suddenly started sobbing and sniffing while I was reading. He even brought me a paper so I could wipe my nose! And he asked whether I cried because of him or because of the book.
After I had finished I just tossed the book away and curled under a blanket and sobbed for I don't know how long, and then he said "Oh poor thing are you worrying if I had to move to another universe", and actually that was just the thing that had been mostly in my mind.

What saddens me the most is that it's their destiny to fall in love with each other. There's no question about whether it should or should not happen (as there might be a question whether e.g. Lee Scoresby should or should not have died), it's inevitable. Everything from the witches' prophecy to the cat at the hornbeam trees and Mary being the tempter led to that. If it didn't happen all the Dust would just pour out.
And then, in order to reserve Dust they have to be separated for their whole lives. I mean, come on! It's like an universal twisted plan to make their lives suck (your daemon can live only in their own world, you can't cut to another world without creating a Specter, you can have only one window and it must be in the world of the dead .... Why couldn't they make two small ones!) I just figured all this after the fourth reading and it makes me even sadder than before.
But I have to admit, if everything had turned out fine and they'd be happy together for the rest of their lives, I suppose I wouldn't be so affected by these books, and even though I would still love then, I wouldn't love them as much as I do now.

I've been thinking of bying hardcover British versions of these all, also I should by Lyra's Oxford and Once Upon a Time in the North. I've got only the Finnish translation (hardcover, which I'm never going to read again because the translation sucks big time) and US version (paperback), but I want the UK hardcover where's Pullman's illustrations in the beginnings of the chapters, and the Golden Compass is the Northern Lights as it should be. Also I want them separately, and I don't want any movie covers. Huugh I'm so demanding! I'm quite a fanatic, I guess. I found something promising from amazon.com.uk, but I have to think about it a bit more. And it's going to cost a few pennies, but I think it'll be worth it.

This entry is also in my journal.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
You're not a fanatic. :p I'm on my fourth copy of TGC (admittedly the third is not yet worn out, but I needed a new hardback so it could, um, be signed by Philip Pullman. eeeeeeee.) but I totally understand the way you read them, and the desire to not read them too often. I have that kind of restraint now, but when I was younger - since my dad brought home TGC when it first came out in the US - I didn't. And more than any other series, it has defined my desire to write.

Your wording concerning Will and Lyra is interesting, actually. I mean, there's no question about the nature of their romance, but it makes you wonder about it. Everything is supposed to be a choice, that is a huge element of Pullman's story, and it is even specifically said that it is Lyra's destiny to bring about the end of destiny. But how much of falling in love is ever a choice, and how much does this change things? Does it become chance? Chaos? None of the above?
Jul. 30th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
These are big thoughts for a small head.

But well, I think falling in love is most chance (you need two people that fit together + conditions so they could meet and fall for each other). Of course, it depends on the person whether they think that what I just said is a chance, or destiny. In reality I'd say it's definitely chance, but when it comes to a fictional book and fictional characters, i.e. Lyra and Will, I might say it's destiny.
There were several occasions when things could have gone totally differently, the most obvious one being if Will hadn't seen the cat by the window in Oxford; or Lyra could have chose in the very beginning to just stay with Mrs. Coulter, or the gypsies (we don't know what then would have happened). But she didn't, and she met Will and everything happened (even things that were quite unlikely: Balthamos killing Father Gomez just before he was about to shoot Lyra's head off, for example), and they released the dead and fell in love and Dust didn't all pour out etc.etc., and the prophecy was fulfilled. I think that's what I meant by using the word destiny instead of something else.

But how much of falling in love is ever a choice, and how much does this change things?
For that, I'd say that there's very little room for choice when falling in love. Of course you can try to make yourself love someone, but well, I suppose if it works out it's mere chance (again).

(And oh yeah, there's of course this "coin-flips theory" which I read in some piece of (not good) fanfiction once. The author had interpreted from the books something like, everytime you flip a coin the world splits up; in the other it lands on heads, in the other tails. And the splitting happens each and single time there's a situation that can end more than one possible ways (= several times each moment). So, there would be a world where Will didn't see the cat, and another world where Lyra and Pan got severed in Bolvangar, and one where everything happened the way it happened.
But I don't really buy that theory. There might have been a brief mention about the splitting-thing in the book, but I don't think it happens all the time.
It just came to my mind, so I mentioned it.)
Jul. 29th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
They are my very favorite books, and yet I've only read them all through twice total -- I started back when there was only one, so I've read The Golden Compass (US version, here) four or five times, The Subtle Knife three, but the last only two ...

I feel the same way you do. It makes me a wreck for a week, so I tend to avoid it, a bit. Even though it's my favorite.

I have this version (link goes to amazon.co.uk), and that has the little hand-drawn chapter headings. I just went and looked myself. It's a lovely book, it really is.
Jul. 30th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC)
interesting story. I mailed the books to my dad, who's in prison, so he could read them, because he liked Harry Potter a lot.
After he was done reading them, he put them in the library for others to read.

He said they were gone in a second.

So I wouldn't feel silly for being so affected by the books if even grown men in prison are eager to read them. It really is a compelling story.
Jun. 9th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
Ah, finished The Amber Spyglass last night, I always collapse after they separate. I have the version with Mary's papers as a bonus after the story, and there's one where she writes about Will, and says "but he'll never forgot" or something like that, and every time I finish it, I flick through the back absentmindedly and then I break down again whenever I read that. Does anyone else feel the same?
And also, two small cuts would have been so much better. You know they have to tell people about the harpies and their true stories and teach others to make the Dust-levels balanced? Why can't every single person present be told to do this so that another, teeny-weeny window could be made? Heck, my ghost will deal with the Spectre that is made if needs be.

Off to weep over Will/Lyra.
Jun. 9th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
Wow, what version have you got?

I've got these three
and I just checked the last pages of The Amber Spyglass and there was some extra stuff in there, I just didn't read them yet.

I keep thinking too ways they could've been together. For example they both could've moved to another world so they both would've died young together, but I guess it wouldn't have been that good. It's just so heartbreaking.

Jun. 9th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
I think ... that even if you searched the worlds, the only way for them to be together is to die young, but that would pain each because of the death of the other ... say Lyra died first? I think that Pullman was kind in letting them live, and not separating them would not had affected me so, but why are all the best loves tragedies? *sniffle sniffle sob* I can't go to the Botanical Gardens this year like I want to because of school too ... I have this copy of the Amber Spyglass (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amber-Spyglass-His-Dark-Materials/dp/0439943655/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244572645&sr=8-1), but I want audio versions and the other covers of the books I've seen are fantastic ... I want them!
Jun. 10th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
Hah I know :p If they had lived happily ever after I wouldn't have had that emotional breakdown and it would not have affected me as much as it does the way it is now. I mean, at the first time I had finished the trilogy I woke up two weeks afterwards, in the middle of the night and found myself crying because Will and Lyra had to separate x____x

I wish I could visit the Botanical Gardens this year. I live in Finland so I've never been there before but I'm travelling to Cambridge in July, so I hope I'd get to visit Oxford too *fingers crossed*

Ps. Do you mind if I friend you? 8D
Jun. 10th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
No, of course not! Go ahead! I need more friends! I remember, I went to the museum in Oxford where Lyra saw the skulls a few weeks before reading the Subtle Knife ... and kicked myself so hard I still have a mark. I missed out on standing where she stood, looking at the skulls, being where it happened ... I love Oxford, always have, but I have never seen the Botanical Garden. I will, someday. I bombarded my friend Sophie last night, after re-awakening my Will/Lyra fandom, and terrified her with sobbing ramblings and cute tragic pictures :)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


Phillip Pullman and His Dark Materials

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