I love, love, love Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, and his latest first book in the new Book of Dust series, but I have sometimes found sometimes when I’ve heard Philip talk in interviews for him to be a bit too ‘opinionated’ so I approached this book cautiously.
I had had a taste of what it was like though: the essay on ‘Imaginary Friends’ published as a pamphlet for Independent Bookseller’s Day, five of them were serialised for Radio 4’s book of the week, and more importantly I was fortunate enough to hear him talk in person when he visited Oxford Brookes University in November.
This is an outstanding collection of essays (on the theme of storytelling). You will find yourself not always agreeing with Pullman, but he makes very good points and observations and makes you look at your own ideas and beliefs in a new way. You can’t fail to actually admire him. I think that maybe, he doesn’t get the time or the angle to articulate them (even though he articulates very well) those thoughts in more journalistic environments.
You will find yourself copying down, underlining, photographing, or instagramming quotes (however you choose to do it) because it is full of lots of choice quotes to apply elsewhere in life.