Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Northern Lights, by Philip Pullman

After the success of The Book of Dust, we tried Audible's version of Northern Lights for some long journeys - and were enraptured.

Author Philip Pullman reads the story but the dialogue if performed by actors. I've experienced this book in a number of formats - reading it myself, watching the two-part play at the National Theatre, listening to the BBC radio version and watching the film. The audiobook retains the rich and vivid description missed from most adaptations and gets into characters' heads.

It's a dense, rich story full of arcane language but the story is thrillingly exciting, full of perilous dangers and set in a fantasy world that feels utterly, scarily real. The Lord of Chaos sat beside me in rapt silence as the hours unfolded.

The production is directed by Garrick Hagon - who I obviously know from his roles in Star Wars and Doctor Who. There's another Who connection: Joanna Wyatt plays 12 year-old Lyra, though once it struck me that she sounded a bit like Camille Coduri I found myself imagining Jackie Tyler organising battles between polar bears.

I'm very much looking forward to the TV version, and to the next two Audible versions in this trilogy, and to the next Book of Dust.

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