Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Buyer Beware

I don't know if any of you are aware of Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. They are wonderful science-fantasy books allegedly aimed at older kids. I read the first in the series last summer, intended to get hold of the other two and then completely forgot about it. But something reminded me last week - I think I heard that they're making a fillum of it - and I set off in search of the full set. My local second-hand bookshop had three books by PP that all claimed to be part of the Dark Materials trilogy, so I bought them. I got 'Northern Lights', which is Book I, 'The Subtle Knife', which is Book II, and 'The Golden Compass', which is Book I.

Did you spot the deliberate error? No, me neither. What I've actually got is two versions of Book I - the UK version and an American edition. For some unfathomable reason the American publishers have changed the name of the first book. Why they think 'The Golden Compass' is a better title than 'Northern Lights' is beyond me. Why the author and copyright holder let them do it is something else again.

I remember that 'Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone' was published in the US as 'Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone'. I can possibly understand that because 'Philosopher' is a very big word, and it is spelled incorrectly. If 'sulphur' is 'sulfur', then surely 'philosopher' should be 'filosofer'. But I digress.

I'm halfway through Book II, and enjoying it immensely. Wonderful stuff.


Blogger secretdubai said...

I just read them for the second time, and they are a gazillion times better on the second reading. I thought they were great the first time, the second time I have been just blown away.

His Ruby In The Smoke series are interesting too, also they are going to be televised with Billie Piper in the lead role.

*readies Bitorrent in anticipation*

10:22 pm  
Blogger Mme Cyn said...

Jonathan Stroud's Bartemaeus Trilogy (Book I = The Amulet of Samarkand) is simply FAB. You will devour them!

12:13 am  
Blogger Jin said...

I still haven't managed to get hold of a copy of TP's Thud yet (*sniff*) & you told me about it months ago!
So do you know Armthorpe? :-)

9:00 am  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Jin: Armthorpe, a little bit. There used to be a fantastic musical instrument shop there called 'Music Ground' - spent a lot of time hanging out there when I was a budding pop star!

9:20 am  
Blogger Herlock Sholmes said...

Wait until you get to part 2. It's awesome

10:49 am  
Blogger Jin said...

Keef........I lived in Armthorpe after I got married & then moved to Kirk Sandall. Grandma was from Intake. I honestly didn't recognise the villages & Donny itself the last time I saw it, about 7yrs ago!

1:35 pm  
Blogger Duffy said...

in re: Harry Potter in the US;

US publishers changed the title because they feared kids would think it was a book about philosophy (filosofee)and not read it.

3:57 pm  
Blogger muhaafiz said...

did u pick them off "house of prose" at ibm?

5:14 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Jin: You could order Thud from Magrudy's - they are tres bon with that. Armthorpe, Kirk Sandal, Intake, ah those exotic North Donny villages. I'm from the wrong side o' de tracks meself - Edlo (cringe).

Muhafeez: yepp, from HOP, I know I can sell it back for half the dosh...

10:55 pm  

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