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The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials


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About the Author

Mary and John Gribbin are award-winning science writers for both adults and children whose books include Eyewitness: Time & Space. John Gribbin has a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Cambridge and is a Research Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex. The Gribbins live on the Sussex coast in England with two sons, one dog, one cat.

From the Hardcover edition.


Readers who were fascinated by the inner workings of the Golden Compass, the nature of Dust and whether or not there truly are "hidden dimensions," introduced in the trilogy that began with The Golden Compass, may wish to delve into The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials by Mary and John Gribbin, with an introduction by Pullman himself. The authors open with a quote from the books and segue into a discussion of the scientific underpinnings of some of the trilogy's themes. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Gr 5-9-The Gribbins are fairly successful at relating various aspects of the worlds of Pullman's series to scientific principles of our world. The discussion is less than scientific at some points. The authors relate the use of The Golden Compass to the unconscious mind and, in so doing, describe both the theories of Jung and the use of the I Ching. At other times, their science is on solid ground, even cutting edge, as in their discussion of quantum entanglement, but their comparison of this scientific principle to Will and Lyra's sharing the same Oxford park bench in different worlds is tenuous at best. The book is organized roughly by the chronology of the trilogy so readers must jump from one concept to another quite disparate idea within a few pages. Overall, though, the Gribbins introduce quite a few interesting topics ranging from cosmology to natural selection in an understandable and readable manner. This book could be used to introduce scientifically inclined readers to Pullman's works and Pullman's fans to the wonders of science.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Be prepared to be truly amazed and fascinated." -Full On!
"It's brilliant fun, even if you've not yet entered the best-selling universe of Philip Pullman."-RTE

From the Hardcover edition.

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