/ Philip Pullman - La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One

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Fraser on 12 Nov 2017
Having listened to the first half of this (abridged version) on R4's Book at Bedtime last week, I was thinking of getting this as a present for my dad, who usually likes this type of story. However I'm not clear if this is a prequel to the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy.

He always likes to read books in the correct order, but I can't tell from PP's own website if this is a stand-alone volume or is linked somehow to the HDM trilogy.

I'll probably end up buying this and the trilogy just to be sure, but would be good to know if there's a 'correct' or best sequence in which to read them all. Can anyone advise please?

Ps, I guess the same qu. applies for 'Lyra's Oxford' and 'Once Upon A Time In The North'.

Thanks.
full stottie on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:

Read an interview with Pullman last week in which he described "Dust" as an "Equel", as it was neither prequel nor sequel. Another new word for me. Mrs is reading it at the moment so I can't be sure how it pans out.
Dave
Fraser on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to full stottie:

Hah, thanks - that's interesting and a new one on me too. I've ordered Dust and the trilogy, so my dad can figure it out I guess. I've only listened to the first 5 episodes of 10 so far, but it's been a decent listen on the train. I think it's probably a prequel, given that Lyra is a baby in it, but it's all so odd (so far) that you can't tell what's to be expected in the future.
SpaceCaptainTheodore on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:

The events in Belle Sauvage occur prior to those described in the His Dark Materials trilogy. However some of the characters are better understood/appreciated by having read the His Dark Materials books first.

I'd also say the tone of Belle Sauvage is quite different. For most readers, I'd suggest reading the His Dark Materials stuff first. However, if the new book aligns well to your Dad's taste, it might be better to read his way in with that. Each of the books stands alone quite capably, though, so no specific order is entirely necessary. I originally read it volume 2, 1, 3 which worried quite nicely in some ways.
Fraser on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to SpaceCaptainTheodore:

Interesting, thanks for the suggestion about maybe sticking to the written chronology. Although I'd heard of the HDM trilogy, I've never read any of them. I'm pretty sure my dad will enjoy the Belle Sauvage book but if the style/tone is significantly different in the trilogy, it might not be so much to his taste. He'll certainly read them though, all as he devours books, so hopefully he'll get something from them all.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:

If he's not read Dark Materials then buy Northern Lights first . It's a much better (and longer) book and far more likely to draw you into the world and leaving you wanting more than starting with Dust. Lyra's Oxford is just a short story.
Fraser on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Okay, I'll order that up too, thanks.
SpaceCaptainTheodore on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:

I'm sure he'll get something from them whichever order they come in - being jolly good books.
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Fraser:

BTW, his collection of essays on storytelling, 'Daemon Voices' (just published) is superb. I started reading it very late last night, and thought at first 'he's a bit full of himself', but by the third essay I was hooked. And the fourth essay on Paradise Lost is absolutely superb, making the whole book worth buying for just that. Now, in the fifth essay, he's continuing brilliantly with a discussion of Stephen Hawking. But ... my own writing beckons now, so it'll be late this evening before I get back to it

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