The Golden Compass
I just reread this book, and liked it even more the second (or third?) time around. I wanted to be all brushed up before I go to see the movie. As with almost any book, I'm sure the movie will never equal the richness of the written text (the one exception is the Princess Bride, which I thought was a stupid book but one of the greatest movies of all times), but I'm looking forward to it none-the-less. I'm a total Philip Pullman fan, so I expect I will gripe and fawn in equal parts over the Golden Compass movie. I never realized what a fantastic read-out-loud book this is, but I began reading it to my daughter and we both found it enchanting. The book on CD is also very enjoyable; it's supported by a full cast (who are much more authentic than my fake Cockney and London accents, but my daughter doesn't seem to care). The complexity of the Dark Materials plot lends itself well to frequent re-reading. Even this time through I caught things I didn't previously. So if you haven't already, dust this off and curl up with a blanket and cup of coffee before going to see it in the theaters.
Author: Philip Pullman
FOLLOW-UP: I saw the movie. It was actually better than I expected. The film rearranged some sequence of event that worked to not only condense the plot but make it more linear and focused; and the conflict between the Church and free will was made much more clear. I admit that the books left me working harder to discern the importance of Dust, the reason the Maagestrium was after the control of Dust and the purpose of the Intercisions. The movie actually clarified a lot for me. The morphing of Pan and the other daemons also worked very well. Yay!