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on 6 August 2005
After reading Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy I was left with a thirst to find out what makes Philip Pullman tick. Tony Watkins has quenched this thirst with his brilliant book. Tony Watkins has interviewed Philip Pullman to discover more about the beliefs and values that run through 'His Dark Materials' and finding out about these not only enhanced my enjoyment of the trilogy, but also led me to a deeper understanding of Philip Pullman the author. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to understand more about the view of the world Philip Pullman has, especially his beliefs about physics, philosophy and theology. I don't agree with Philip Pullman's perspective, but I found the process of analysing his beliefs helped me develop my beliefs about this fantastic world we live in more fully.
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on 24 October 2008
The title of this book is really misleading. True, Watkins explores Phillip Pullman's ideas - but his perspective is firmly rooted in his role as a Christian polemicist. For `A Thinking Fan's Guide', read `A Christian Critic's Guide'. This book is published by the evangelical Christian 'Damaris Trust', of which Watkins is a member. So be warned: unless you want to waste your hard-earned cash on a polemical Christian defence of The Authority and The Magisterium, look elsewhere for useful background material to Pullman's excellent trilogy.
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on 13 March 2011
As with the books in the series, this book examines world view assumptions surrounding hugely popular works. Watkins is a Christian who writes in an analytical manner which lays out the key issues, helping your understanding - whether you agree with him or not.

Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy was a great commercial success. The engaging stories draw you into a magical world. Yet Pullman seemed to step deliberately into a world of controversy about "killing God" (Pullman's own words).

Thinking fans will want to explore this further. If you are one, or just curious, I strongly recommend Watkins' book to help you think through the issues. Myself, I found it very helpful.
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