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Book Review: Lyra's Oxford (Monday, October 20, 2008)

Title: Lyra's Oxford
by Philip Pullman
Release Date: October 28, 2003
When read: October 11, 2008
Review: 2/5 Stars

There's really no other way to explain it. With Lyra's Oxford, Pullman caches in on his success with His Dark Materials, and releases a 50-page short story that could never have stood on its own. Perhaps I'm being harsh. For such a short story, it is just loaded with symbolism and moral platitudes that young children will miss, and that will nauseate adults. The story takes place a short time after the end of the famous trilogy, and stars Lyra and Pan in an epic adventure that crosses streets and hours. That doesn't sound nearly as exciting as the trilogy, which spanned space and time, and crossed the borders of death and back. I guess with the bar set so high, this story is just totally anti-climactic. Especially when you consider that the resolution was not Lyra's cleverness or will (or Will, even), but rather deus ex machina — a rescuer from the heavens, that reaches down and saves the day. It's a very quick read, so you shouldn't lose more than an hour to it, and the book does include lots of "extras" (a.k.a. junk) that people obsessed with the trilogy may find interesting. For the rest of us, there's just not much there.

—Brian (10/20/2008 1:34 PM)
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