Tag: philip pullman

Don’t Clean Your Room! Read About The Top 8 Books About Dust

Riddle me this: What is everywhere in your room but doesn’t clutter up any space?

DUST!

Dust is actually very important, as far as books go. They can set a scene, they can create a mood, they can be an important plot element. So before you go off and clean your room or procrastinate about cleaning your room, you might just want to read through this list about our top 8 books that feature dust as an important element in the story.

 

 

8-Amelia Bedelia

 

Amelia Bedelia

Image Via Banres & Noble

 

Before we get dark, let’s start with a happy children’s book. Starting in 1963, Amelia Bedelia stars, well, Amelia Bedelia, which started this hit children’s series. Funny, brilliant, this stories often follow Amelia Bedelia, a maid in the Rodgers family, who often misunderstands various commands of her employer by always taking figures of speech and various terminology literally.

 

Dust The Strawberries

Image Via Teaching College English

 

Notably, she takes the command “dust the furniture” literally and, well, mayhem ensures.

Lucky, after a series of comic misunderstanding and general mayhem, Amelia Bedelia is usually able to the win the family over with a delicious pie or cake. After a while the Rodgers family becomes astute enough to realize that Amelia Bedelia takes everything they say literally so, instead of firing her, they give her more specific commands such as “undust the furniture”.

So remember: You shouldn’t ‘dust around the house’, you should ‘undust the house’. Or you can dust the house. I don’t care, you do you.

 

7-Cinderella

 

Cinderella book

Image Via Amazon

 

With that out of the way, let’s get dark. Dust can set a scene, set a mood, and you know that things are dark when this story opens with a little girl dusting the house while her step-mother and step-sisters are lounge around the house.

 

Cinderella dusting

Image Via Your Keyword Basket

 

Since her father’s death, Cinderella’s has been left in the dust, left in the squalor of her step-mother’s tyrannical rule. We all know where the story goes from here, either from the Disney movie or Grimm’s Fairy Tales, with her rising from the dust and into the arms of someone who loves her.

6-Infinity Gauntlet

 

Infinity Gauntlet Comic Book

Image Via The Wrap

 

Before the monsters of movies, Infinity War and Endgame, hit theaters, comic readers knew since 1991 that there was a chance our favorite heroes might get dusted. Though we weren’t sure if Disney was going to go through with it, we sat back in awe as our favorite characters, including Spider-Man, bit the dust.

If you want to see where this plot point came from, we’ll buy this comic and listen to Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” as you see characters you know and love and characters you don’t know but will love get dusted. Be warned:

 

 

It’s some heavy stuff.

 

 

5-Howl’s Moving Castle

 

Howl's Moving Castle

Image Via Hero Complex Gallery

 

Published in 1986, Howl’s Moving Castle is a fantasy novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones. A runner-up for the annual Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the book was adapted into in 2004 was adapted as an animated film of the same name in 2004 and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

 

Young and Old Sophie Hatter

Young and Old Sophie Hatter / Image Via Fairlight Books

 

The importance of dust cannot be understated. After her father dies, Sophie Hatter takes over her family’s hat shop but encounters some trouble when she meets a witch who believes Sophie is doing some magic in her territory. In the book Sophie’s guilty as charged, so the witch curses her into looking like an old woman.

She runs away and, cold alone, sneaks on board a moving castle. But she’s found out!

This is when dust comes into play. See, Sophie’s cover story is that, since the castle is old and dusty, she’s the new house keeper! A quick look around and everyone is satisfied with her story, and Sophie ends up actually cleaning the castle.

The story goes on from here, but the most important moral of the story is this: Dust is helpful.

 

4-The Help

 

The Help

Image VIa Amazon

 

Published in 2009, Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is about African Americans working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s.

A story about oppression, prejudiced, and hope, this story utilized dust to symbolize the hardships people go through and the impossibilities in cleaning away hatred.

 

3-Les Miserables

 

Les Miserables

Image Via VisitLondon

 

You might know the film, the play, or Victor Hugo’s magnum opus, this story shines a lighter on the misery and the pain of poverty and finding redemption in a cruel world. From the grimy streets of Paris to the dirt of the taverns, this story is known best for this image:

 

Les Miserables image: Cosette sweeping

Image Via Pinterest

 

There’s a reason for that. A young girl cursed to poverty, to survive and not thrive in a dirty world, she’ll have to work hard and, with a little luck, she might be given a new start and a clean slate.

 

 

2-Series of Unfortunate Events

 

Three orphans cleaning with toothbrushes because life sucks and then you die

Three orphans cleaning with toothbrushes because life sucks and then you die / Image Via Fast Company

 

In this series the Baudelaire orphans can’t catch a break. While they are bounced around to guardian after guardian, they are met with increasingly dire circumstances and squalor beyond repair. From a greedy man who just wants them for this vast fortune to a man engulfed in smoke who keeps them (including the baby!) working in a lumber mill, the orphans are no stranger to dust, grime, filth, and dusty things.

Thankfully, they never seem to catch a case of the sniffles, so I guess they’re lucky in that regard.

 

Count Olaf

Image Via Pinterest

 

Darkly funny and disturbingly horrific, this series is certainly something that’ll make you thankful because, even though dust seems to follow you everywhere you go, at least you’re not being chased by a villain.

If you are in fact being chased by an evil villain, considering calling 9-1-1.

 

1-His Dark Materials

 

His Dark Materials

Image Via The Verge

 

Does dust follow you everywhere you go? Well, that might be a good thing. In the His Dark Materials trilogy, dust are elementary particles associated with consciousness and are integral to the plot. Everyone is chasing dust.

In the first book, young Lyra is bombarded with adults who claim that dust is evil, a terrible particle that causes all the misery in the world. Even her father, Lord Asriel, tells her that

Somewhere out there is the origin of all the Dust, all the death, the sin, the misery, the destructiveness in the world. Human beings can’t see anything without wanting to destroy it, Lyra. That’s original sin. And I’m going to destroy it. Death is going to die.

In the first book, Lyra believes this wholeheartedly, but at the end of the novel her eyes are opened up to the wonders of dust when her daemon, Pantalaimon, asks her:

We’ve heard them all talk about Dust, and they’re so afraid of it, and you know what? We believed them, even though we could see what they were doing was wicked and evil and wrong…We thought Dust must be bad too, because they were grown up and they said so. But what if it isn’t?

From there, Lyra realizes:

If Dust were a good thing…If it were to be sought and welcomes and cherished..

‘We could look for it too, Pan!’ she said

The moral of the story? Don’t dust your house, because dust is magical.

 

 

Featured Image Via RZIM

Adaptations Round-Up! 10 Adaptations Coming out This Year!

Adaptations galore is coming this fall season! What are the ones that you should look forward to most? Well, stay tuned!

 

 

It Chapter 2

 

It: Chapter 2

Image Via Vanity Fair

 

A sequel to the horrifying film It, the ‘Loser’s Club’ is back twenty-seven years later (or two years later). The group returns to Derry, Maine, where the Losers must finish what they started: destroy Pennywise.

Who from our lovely ‘Loser’s Club’ will be lost in the ensuing bloodbath? How will these losers defeat Pennywise? Well, it’s based on a Stephen King novel that was released back in 1986, so the answers are out there and, um, it’s pretty wild. Remember to sing your praises to Maturin this September 6th!

 

 

Joker

 

Joker

Image Via Variety

 

An original standalone origin story for a character who infamously doesn’t have a definitive origin, this movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has clearly taken cues from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke by making Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man disregarded by society, into an up-and-coming comedian. In the iconic comic book, the unnamed man’s career in comedy ends in a chemical bath, but Arthur Fleck’s story might end on a different note entirely.

Is that scene, where Arthur Fleck, in full-fledged Joker makeup, goes on stage with Robert Di Niro a callback to The Dark Knight Returns scene when the Joker poisons the audience and the talk show host alike in a scene of ‘hilarious’ death?

 

 

We’ll find out this October 4th.

 

 

Nancy Drew

 

Having been around since 1930, Nancy Drew has been around longer than your parents (not judging) and she’s spent her time well: solving mysteries even when people told her she couldn’t.

This series has been around forever and if you haven’t read it, you’ve definitely heard of it. Well, we’re getting an adaptation of this series that’s set to debut on October 9, 2019 on the CW.

 

 

 

Looking for Alaska

 

The Fault in Our Stars broke our hearts, and now John Green is at it again. Or has he already broken our hearts beyond repair? The Fault in Our Stars was Green’s sixth novel and Looking for Alaska was his first novel, but for all of you who haven’t read the book, you’re in for something special.

Miles Halter is our man and through his eyes we are introduced to Alaska Young. A new student meets a timid young girl? Sounds like a love story made in heaven, until Miles soon learns that her life isn’t as perfect as he originally thought.

We’ll get a chance for our spirits to rise and our hearts to grow and break and grow again this October 14th.

 

 

HBO’s Watchmen

 

Another (sort of) Alan Moore adaptation, this version of Watchmen will be, in the words of showrunner Damon Lindelof, “a remix.”

For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, an alien invasion took place which ended the Cold War, but it was all a fake-out. Rorschach, before his untimely demise, sent his journal to the press where he laid a bread crumb trail to the truth.

What is known about this HBO series is that it takes place thirty-four years after the original comic left off. Taking place in an alternative reality in 2019 where this is no internet or smartphones, we are introduced to a United States where Robert Redford is now the longest-serving president, having been elected in 1992, a feat accomplished thanks to President Nixon abolishing the two-term limit back before the original comic book. Things are in disarray. A white supremacist group calling itself “The Seventh Cavalry,” with members who all wear homemade Rorschach masks, commits simultaneous attacks on the houses of police officers. Because of this, the police start wearing masks themselves.

What is this leading up to? Where are the original characters? Tune in to HBO October 20th find out.

 

 

Doctor Sleep

 

Another Stephen King adaptation, this one is an adaptation of Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. While the movie won’t be based on the Stanley Kubrick version, since the movie departs too much from the source material, this standalone is clearly drawing on the imagery set forth by Kubrick. Will it be any good? What’s going to happen?

The film arrives in theaters this November 8th.

 

 

 

The Good Liar

 

Catherine McKenzie brought us The Good Liar, and Warner Bros is bringing us the film adaptation. Ian McKellen is going to grace the screens as seasoned conman Roy Courtnay.

After he meets Betty McLeish online, he decides to steal a glorious amount of cash from her. But Betty McLeish, played by Helen Mirren, is too much for the conman and he finds herself falling for him. How will this sinister love affair turn out? See it in threaten this November 15th.

 

 

Cats

 

First, T.S. Eliot brought us Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939. From there we got a play, and now we’re getting a movie. The plot is hard to describe, but it basically follows a tribe of cats known as the ‘Jellicles’ who gather together to make the ‘Jellicle choice.’ Those who get the ‘Jellicle choice’ mean they can now be killed so they can go to heaven and come back because, you know, cats have nine lives.

Don’t get it? Doesn’t matter! There’s singing and there’s dancing and there’s this purr-fect trailer! It comes out December 20th.

 

 

His Dark Materials

 

Image via Amazon

 

This series has never been adapted before (we don’t talk about that other thing) and so THIS will be the first adaptation of Phil Pullman’s epic book series, His Dark Materials, in our books. The first season will draw upon the first book in the trilogy, following the life of a young Lyra (Dafne Keen) who is an orphan living with the tutors at Jordan College, Oxford. It’s not the Oxford you and I know, however, it’s an Oxford in an alternative world where all humans have animal companions called dæmons, which are the manifestations of their souls.

Lyra’s search for her missing friend will lead to uncovering a massive conspiracy linked to a mysterious substance called Dust and secrets from these two mysterious people, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson).

If the first season is good (please let it be good), then we’ll be getting at least two more seasons! BBC One and HBO are teaming up, so hopefully they won’t disappoint us… In the meantime, however, I just want them to give a release date that’s more specific than “autumn.”

 

The Witcher

 

The Witcher is known as a great video game series, but did you know it started out a book series? In fact the saga is based on a series written by Andrzej Sapkowski that started in 1992 with Sword of Destiny. The last book in the series, Season of Storms came out in 2013.

The stories follow Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavil, a solitary monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. What will become of Geralt?

Check out the series on Netflix this sometime “late 2019”.

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via HITC

Philip Pullman’s ‘La Belle Sauvage’ Gets Stage Adaptation!

Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage is getting a stage adaptation!

 

La Belle Sauvage
Image Via Amazon
 

The first volume of planned trilogy entitled The Book of Dust to his previous trilogy His Dark Materials, an infamous trilogy made up of The Golden Compass (known as Northern Lights in its home country of the UK), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass, La Belle Sauvage is a fantasy novel that is set twelve years before this trilogy.

Published in 2017  by David Fickling Books in the UK and by Alfred A. Knopf in the US, this first volume in a planned trilogy covers the story of the event leading up Lyra Belacqua’s arrival as a six-month-old baby at Jordan College, Oxford.

 

Philip Pullman
Image Via Irish Times
 

The book received positive reviews, with The Guardian noting that La Belle Sauvage recalled children’s classic like C.S Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, Lucy M Boston’s Green Knowe, and the ancient Welsh tales of The Mabinogion, raving that “[o]ne other way in which La Belle Sauvage recalls those children’s classics is the sheer beauty of the book itself. David Fickling Books should be praised for the faith it’s shown in producing something both lavish and readable.”

The Washington Post said of the trilogy, “Too few things in our own world are worth a seventeen-year-wait: ‘The Book of Dust’ is one of them”.

 

HBO is making an adaptation of 'His Dark Materials' too!
Image Via Town & Country Magazine
 

Since The Golden Compass is getting an adaptation in the form of an HBO prequel show, it seems fitting that the prequel should also get an adaptation.

Before going on, let’s note that Pullman himself said the second volume in his new trilogy, the The Secret Commonwealth, is fast forward to roughly ten years after His Dark Materials ended and will follow Lyra as an adult. No dangling plot threads in this story!

That story is set to be published in October.

Back to the stage adaptation!

 

 

Given that Nicholas Wright’s stage adaptation of the His Dark Material triology was adapted into a two-part production that managed to nab  Timothy Dalton, Patricia Hodge, Ben Whishaw, and Dominic Cooper, this new adaptation should

Nicholas Hytner
Image Via The Telegraph
 

The stage adaptation is set for in autumn 2020 premiere at London’s Bridge theatre. The Guardian reports that Nicholas Hytner, whose had extensively work in the theatre stretching back to 1978, will direct the show.

 

Bryony Lavery
Image Via The Stage
 

The adaptation will be written by Bryony Lavery, who notably got a Tony Award nomination for Best Play for her 1998 play Frozen, which was about the disappearance of a ten-year-old girl.

 

Illustration from 'Le Belle Sauvage'
Image Via Medium
 

Hytner is no stranger to Pullman stage adaptation. Back in 2003, His Dark Materials was adapted into a two part production. Written by playwright Nicholas Wright, the original production, which premiered at the National Theatre in London in 2003, managed to nab stars such as Timothy Dalton, Patricia Hodge, Ben Whishaw and Dominic Cooper!

Who do you think they’ll get for this adaptation?

 

 

Featured Image Via The Verge 

His Dark Materials BBC promo image

First Look at HBO’s ‘His Dark Materials’ Trailer

HBO’s long-running, hit series Game of Thrones has officially come to an end, but that doesn’t mean HBO is short of material. They have plenty on the deck ready to go, and one major project is the adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

There are three installments in Pullman’s series: The Golden CompassThe Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. Each book features the adventures of Lyra (who will be played by Dafne Keen) and Will, two seemingly ordinary kids who find themselves on a thrilling journey through a world of fantasy. It’s no wonder HBO wants to stick with the fantasy genre, it did work out pretty well with Game of Thrones. And who are we kidding? The trailer is absolutely stunning!

 

 

The show appears to be jam packed with adventure, giant bears, magic, and so much more! What isn’t to love? From the trailer it is easy to ascertain that the first season will be adapted from the first book in the trilogy, but it will be interesting to see where the series goes from there. Originally premiering on BBC, an announcement with the season two renewal revealed the signing of HBO as a co-producer for the series.

They have not given a specific date for when we can expect the premiere, but the trailer promises it will be coming soon.

Featured image via youtube

Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman, Tom Holland, and Others Stand Against Piracy

Everyone needs to stop pirating books. That’s means me – especially me – and you, and the person next to you, and the people who don’t read this article.

 

Creativity creates worlds

Image Via Medium

Creativity is meant to be experienced, but we live in a capitalist society, in which people need to make money, and sadly, by artists’ work being distributed for free, they lose out. And you know what happens if they lose money? All those books and other creative works we love will no longer we accessible.

Thankfully people are fighting back.

This isn’t the say that musicians and filmmakers aren’t fighting back, but on the literary side,  we have Philip Pullman.

 

Philip Pullman

Image Via The Guardian

Philip Pullman, author of the famed His Dark Materials trilogy, and president of the Society of Authors, sent a letter to Greg Clark, the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy specifically about ebook piracy, and he’s not alone.

Others include novelists Neil Gaiman, author of The Sandman, Tom Holland, author of In The Shadow of the Sword, Joanna Trollope, author of A Village Affair, Malorie Blackman author of Black and White, and poet Wendy Cope (If I Don’t Know) and historian Antony Beevor (Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943), along with twenty-eight other authors.

 

Image result for society of authors

Image Via Marque Antony

That means THIRTY-FOUR authors wrote to the UK’s Secretary of State to talk about ebook piracy – specifically its growing relevancy and how it hurts the writing industry.

 

Holy cow Batman!

Image Via Meme Generator

That’s right Robin, Holy Cow.

What did they have to say? Well, it might scare you.

“We are concerned that websites offering illegal downloads of books are becoming increasingly prevalent,” the letter reads, “We do not want to give any of these sites publicity by naming them here, but they can easily be found”.

The letter goes on to cite its sources, kids, noting that that the growth of online book piracy could “make it even harder for authors to make a living from their work”. If that wasn’t scary enough, The Guardian wrote nine months ago how, “[b]ased on a standard thirty-five-hour week, the average full-time writer earns only £5.73 [$7.49] per hour, £2 [$2.61] less than the UK minimum wage for those over twenty-five.”

This is in thanks to ebooks. If publishers can’t get back their money by publishing books, then why give the authors the money they deserve? Why give them any money at all?

“This will harm writers and readers alike – if authors can no longer afford to write, the supply of new writing will inevitably dry up.”

This isn’t hyperbole, this is straight honest truth. It’s hard to listen to, we might not want to hear it, but we have to. There’s a reason all these authors, all thirty-four of them, wrote to the UK’s secretary of state, “calling on [him] to take action against the blight of online book piracy” because if creative people don’t get paid for their work, then they have to spend less time being creative. That means we get even less books, writings, and other creative works.

 

Creativity is leaving us
IMAGE VIA ADWEEK

Gregg Clark hasn’t given a response, yet, but we sure hopes that after his words comes quick, decisive action because, even though we might not like it, creativity and business go hand in hand in our society. Ironically, piracy is so easy because creative works are all around us, but if piracy were to continue then there WILL NOT be anywhere near as many creative works around us.

 

Featured Image Via Good e-Reader