Three Essential Perspectives on Philip Pullman’s Trilogy

[UPDATE: Bonus... a fourth essential reading. Here's John C. Wright's hilarious summation of the trilogy, via Mark Shea.]

I am so glad Peter Chattaway rediscovered this: Alan Jacobs’ thorough, eloquent review of The Amber Spyglass, the last book in the trilogy that The Golden Compass begins.

I remember reading this when it was first published, and boy am I glad it’s available again. Jacobs has done an excellent job of illustrating the strengths and weaknesses of Pullman’s work.

Also essential for anyone interested in a discussion of the trilogy, and what we’ll be seeing on the big screen in the next few years:

An Almost Christian Fantasy“, which assesses the whole trilogy and its eventual collapse, and

The End of Magic,” which assesses the trilogy in view of other great epic fantasy series.

These three articles are so much more rewarding than the proliferation of uninformed, hysterical, anti-Pullman rants going around. It’s easy for Pullman to shoot down the reactionaries because they don’t really have arguments. But this, this is good reading, and good criticism.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at