... and I'll now plunge on with the rest of the trilogy that makes up His Dark Materials. I haven't seen the movie of The Golden Compass, but I'm now a bit bemused by what I've heard about it. A major criticism was (or seemed to be ... it's possible that I got the wrong impression) that the movie watered down the anti-clerical content of the book. I've got to say that the latter wasn't actually very important. There are plot reasons why it may become more important as the trilogy continues, but there's really no great reason in the first book why the bad guys have to be connected with the Church/Magisterium. At least for the purposes of this first book, it could be just about any sinister, power-hungry, unscrupulous organisation doing these terrible things.
I'll get to the rest of the trilogy over the next few days.