Download The Secret Commonwealth AUTHOR Philip Pullman
Y when one of your main storylines is the internal struggle "of a man feeling guilty for loving a woman who is so much younger than him and when one of your " a man feeling guilty for loving a woman who is so much younger than him and when one of your heavy handedly arguments is that it s ok because they re both adults now and oh let s have all the other female characters reassure him that it s ok Well guess what It s not ok It s not ok when you remind your reader that that man took care of her when she was baby It s not ok when you tell your reader that he sed to smell her hair when she was Brothers underaged and HIS STUDENT It s not ok to write this as one of the central arcs in the development of your main characters especially not in a story in which men are constantly shown ogling younger women in a deeply perverted way You re not writing the feminist story you think you re writing Please do yourself and all ofs a favor and talk to people who are directly concerned by these problems Don t think you can educate yourself on your own You haven t gone through the same things you don t have our experiences of the world so stop trying to be our advocate if all that you come p with is this sexist storyWriting a sexist world critically does not a feminist story make As a huge fan of Philip Pullman I take no pleasure in reporting that The Secret Commonwealth is a massive disappointment This novel which begins every bit the worthy successor to Pullman s marvelous His Dark Materials trilogy slowly and tragically dissolves into a narrative so desultory and dull that it may as well not exist Or it s brilliant in a way I can
T Comprehend But I Don comprehend but I don think soRarely do I feel the need to take vengeance on a novel when reviewing it but this one brought me to a point of deep painful resentment The primary reason is that nlike most bad books the opening act displays incredible promise La Belle Sauvage the first volume of The Book of Dust was a strange and dark tale with a lot of potential and the first couple hundred pages of The Secret Commonwealth honor that potential proving as good as anything Pullman has previously written The story is mature and nsettling in a fashion that departs from his first trilogy and the book starts off with a solid balance of plot based and character driven energyLyra now twenty years old must deal with the conseuences not only of her own personal journey as an adolescent but of events that took place in her infancy The relationships between Lyra and those seeking to cultivate her incipient adulthood are touching and the older versions of the main characters from La Belle Sauvage are well crafted Watching them interact with Lyra is a genuine pleasureThis pleasure is contrasted heavily by Lyra s intriguing and disturbing arguments with her daemon Pantalaimon Pan The Secret Commonwealth reveals new dynamics between humans and daemons namely a host of ways in which people and their daemons can become separated These operate as relatively successful metaphors for how our social relationships fluctuate over time and how people can become internally conflicted and alienated from aspects of their own personalities Lyra and Pan become embroiled in a philosophical dispute over the nature of truth and whether it is a product of strict objective
rationalism or of pure subjective imagination Their suabbling over this false dilemma becomes ite vicious or of pure subjective imagination Their suabbling over this false dilemma becomes La muralla verde uite vicious leading to a dramatic but somewhat baffling estrangement Unfortunately theality of this conflict degrades as the novel progresses along with everything elsePullman is also preoccupied with the world of hidden things and hidden relationships an animistic magical realm from which the novel derives its title 389 He often hints at the possible significance of the secret commonwealth but doesn t deliver enough detail to est. Meet Lyra Silvertongue And she is no longer a child The second volume of Sir Philip Pullman's The Book of Dust sees Lyra now twenty years old and her daemon Pantalaimon forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existedPulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm; onc. .
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Oh the disappointmentWhile I appreciate good representation and diversity in the stories that I read I acknowledge that even in 2019 not all books can be The New Competition up to my own standards So if a book is well written has a solidly planned story has good pacing and keeps me interested I will consider it a good book even if it doesn t contain any good female characters or POC or LGBT representation I definitely won t like it as much as a good book with good representation but you know Bottom line is I don t judge books solely on their representation of minorities However When an author writes a work of fiction that is clearly meant as a political statement when the narrator s voice is an obvious extension of the writer s voice when Philip Pullmanses his newest work of fiction to try and convey a feminist and antiracist message and fails miserably I feel like the most important thing to review isn t so much the story as its execution And I can t believe that Philip Pullman needs to be told that his story is both incredibly sexist and racist I have zero legitimacy commenting on racism so I ll focus on the sexism here So to Pullman and other authors who still don t realize how conservative they are I have to say you are NOT writing a feminist storyWhen your narrative voice comments on the beauty or
sexuality of every single one of your female characters they re either pretty very pretty not pretty butof every single one of your female characters they re either pretty very pretty not pretty but slender or well preserved for an older woman Every single one of them no matter how important they are to the story Oh and of course you don t do that to the male characters that would just be eual treatmentWhen you write a trusting female character and have her constantly warned mansplained by male characters that her behavior isn t safe because men are pigs and then punish her for being trusting by having her raped well almost raped because thank goodness a man had given her a weapon and then another man intervened to save her and then another man cleaned her Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution by Francis Wayland and Richard Fuller up It s NOT ENOUGH that you reappropriate the word rape instead ofsing common euphemisms it s NOT ENOUGH that you have a strong character who knows and says that it wasn t her fault but the rapists If your story makes it look like the men who warned her were right to do so then you are not criticizing the system like you think Please realize that women are raped no matter what they do how they behave what they wear Men will rape anyone they think they can overpower and that takes many different forms Writing yet another story where a woman is raped despite mens best effort to warn her against traveling on her own does one thing and one thing only it perpetuates rape culture You want to write a feminist story Stop sing rape as an event that brings drama and rhythm to your story Stop punishing female characters with rape Stop writing only men characters who are knowledgeable about rapists and know how to avoid them You want to talk about rape Then TALK about it Showing it is not the only way Make your characters have a conversation about it Make
them talk about rapes that you don ttalk about rapes that you don t and argue about rape culture Instead of writing it wasn t my fault when I was raped write it s not women s fault when they are raped How hard is this There are so many impromptu elements that you manage to sneak into your story surely you can replace a rape scene by a constructive discussion of rape cultureYou are also not writing a feminist heroin when every single one of her relationships with men is described in terms of how sexual it is It is not feminist to write that a young woman feels comfortable hanging out with older men because at least she won t risk entering into a sexual relationship with them For goodness s sakeYou are not writing a feminist stor. It is twenty years since the events of La Belle Sauvage The Book of Dust Volume One nfolded and saw the baby Lyra Belacua begin her life changing journeyIt is seven years since readers left Lyra and the love of her young life Will Parry on a park bench in Oxford's Botanic Gardens at the end of the ground breaking bestselling His Dark Materials seuenceNow in The Secret Commonwealth we.
Ablish its value as a narrative device This noncommittal attitude toward its own ideas permeates The Secret Commonwealth in a way that feels almost intentional as if Pullman thought being intellectually wishy washy would somehow improve thingsFor as long as Lyra and her companions stick around in Brytain Pullman s fictional version of Britain the novel holds together fairly well But once they hit the road and split off into separate subplots the story swiftly disintegrates into a plodding caravan of interactions with seemingly inconseuential and mostly ninteresting new characters The main characters don t interact nearly enough and none of their individual journeys proves enlightening or than superficially exciting The novel is than 600 pages and in the last few hundred the story becomes increasingly rudderless and worst of all boring There is nothing in the way of a compelling climax and the book terminates at a point that would constitute rising action in a tighter focused taleGiven that The Amber Spyglass is by far my favorite volume of His Dark Materials I am cautiously optimistic that Pullman s conclusion to The Book of Dust will be worth reading at worst and capable of salvaging the series at best But as it currently stands The Secret Commonwealth imperils Pullman s reputation as a master storytellerThis review was originally published on my blog wordsdirt lyra silvertongue as a twenty year old lyra silvertongue as a twenty year old lyra silvertongue as a twenty year old LYRA SILVERTONGUE AS A TWENTY YEAR OLD am actually losin me shit one of the reasons why la belle sauvage wasn t as good as hdm was because lyra wasn t in it well i mean she was but she was 8 months old but this BUT THIS Northern Lights is ite possibly my favourite book of all time and I actually really liked La Belle Sauvage despite the mixed reviews it got so I was pretty confident that I d love The Secret Commonwealth Grown The Oswald Reflection up Lyra I pre ordered it and started reading it the Hey this review has spoilers soI was really wanting to love this book and His Dark Materials is basically still my favourite series ever I don t really know where to begin so I m just going to make dot points I m pretty disappointed Why did chapter 31 even need to exist why is it necessary to the plot to have the attempted rape of the main female character The parts at the end are filled withnintentional irony She says she shouldn t have to expect that like Pullman is a massive feminist for point out that fact but if he was an actual feminist he would never have put this chapter in the book to start off with What purpose did it serve Why even mention that Malcolm was attracted to Lyra when she was like 14 or 15 when he was her teacher and 11 years older than her at the time Could there have been a way better way to dismiss cold logic in the face of blind acceptance of the church than a convoluted plot about philosophersauthors That I find it The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Harvard unrealistic that Pan and Lyra would ever fight about It seems strange the way the events of His Dark Materials are referred to like they happened 50 years ago instead of only like 7 or 8 There s no way you forget stuff that fast Pullman trying to make an allegory of the rose oil causing conflict oil disputes and theltimate controlling of this by the West feels like way too much with everything else happening in this story and also Poorly done Same goes for the refugee crisis the entire chapter about Malcolm at that rallytown meeting etc We already had the Adam and Eve story
Played Out Again Without again with and Lyra why do we need this to happen again just with a storypoem belonging to another culture You ve got this ancient story from this culture and then suddenly of course it s about our two main white E a boy with a boat and a mission to save a baby from the flood now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is rightTheirs is a world at once familiar and extraordinary and they must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford across Europe and into Asia in search for what is lost a city haunted by daemons a secret at the heart of a desert and the mystery of the elusive Dus.