Philip Pullman that is.

Honestly, people, get over Harry Potter. As I have been saying for ages, this other guy under your radar actually has an explicit anti-theist agenda he works into his books for 12-year olds. As in – God dies, and everyone’s better off. That’s the climax, okay?

And in this week’s New Yorker, a story about a a 6-hour theatrical version of the trilogy, packing them in in London

Unless you reserved a seat in December, even before the reviews came out, the only way you can see the adaptation of Philip Pullman’s trilogy “His Dark Materials,” at the National Theatre in London this winter, is to stand in line and hope to get one of the thirty seats or sixty spaces for standees that are set aside for sale on the day of the performance. Otherwise, you will have to miss a play that lasts six hours (it can be seen in one sitting, with a dinner break, or on separate days, in three-hour segments); includes witches, angels, armored polar bears, talking dolls who ride dragonflies, evil prelates, a hundred and seventeen scene changes, multiple universes, Timothy Dalton, and a hot-air balloon; and features one of the few theatrical representations of the death of God (who turns out to be a tiny old guy in a plastic casket, and who, when he has his big moment, literally croaks). ….

Pullman also has a following in the United States—his prose is more elegant and his plots are more sophisticated than Tolkien’s or J. K. Rowling’s—and a lot of people in the theatre for that January performance were Americans. A three-movie adaptation is in the works, to be produced by Scholastic Entertainment in collaboration with New Line Cinema, which produced Peter Jackson’s three-movie adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings.” A script for the first volume has already been written, by Tom Stoppard


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