Literature archives

An Education

This article was first published on © Tony Watkins, 2010 What is life really all about? That’s the question which troubles Jenny – played brilliantly by Carey Mulligan – when she finds her life being pulled in two different directions. She is a very bright 16-year-old schoolgirl who is destined for Oxford University, but […]

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New series of books from G.P. Taylor

Posted by Authentic Media on (7 October 2009) MOVE OVER HARRY POTTER! A NEW SERIES OF BOOKS FROM G P TAYLOR STARTS HERE Authentic Media have released a paperback edition of The First Escape, the first title in The DoppleGanger Chronicles, an exciting six book series with Christian themes by bestselling author G P […]

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Interview with Philip Pullman (from 2004)

I interviewed Philip Pullman back in 2004, before I started work on my book, Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide. It was an interesting experience, partly because I'd had car problems on the way there and arrived a little flustered. Looking at it again now, there are some ways in which I don't think I handled it all that well. If I'm honest, I guess I was somewhat intimidated. Anyway, here it is, for what it's worth (it's also available on the Culturewatch site, where it's been since 2004). With news today of his forthcoming book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, it seemed a good time to repost it here.

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Another article on Pullman's next book

Canongate to publish Pullman on God 07.09.09 Catherine Neilan Canongate is to publish "a remarkable new piece of fiction" by famously atheistic Philip Pullman, in which he challenges the events of the Gospels, and puts forward his own "compelling and plausible version". Publisher Jamie Byng acquired world rights to the book, for an undisclosed sum, […]

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Pullman's next book reworks of the story of Jesus

Children's author Philip Pullman says Jesus wasn't the Son of God by Tom Kelly Bestselling children's author Philip Pullman has provoked more anger from Christians with a new book denying that Jesus was the son of God. The book, due to be published next Easter, accepts there was a holy man called Jesus but says […]

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Simone Weil on Good and Evil in fiction

Nothing is so beautiful and wonderful, nothing is so continually fresh and surprising, so full of sweet and perpetual ecstacy, as the good. No desert is so dreary, monotonous, and boring as evil. This is the truth about authentic good and evil. With fictional good and evil it is the other way round. Fictional good […]

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Angels and Demons - discussion guide

This discussion guide was first published on Culturewatch in 2009. Summary Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is woken by the ringing of his telephone in the early hours of the morning. The caller is Maximilian Kohler, Director of CERN, the largest particle physics research facility in the world. He wants Langdon’s help because of the murder […]

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Scaring kids

Some quotes from Lewis and Tolkien on fairy tales.

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The hidden foundations of C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia

I wasn't able to see The Narnia Code on BBC One yesterday, but I watched and enjoyed it this evening. Directed by Norman Stone, it profiles the discovery of Michael Ward who, while working on his PhD on Lewis, stumbled onto a secret no one had ever seen before. He was reading Lewis's poem about […]

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Agenda Squabbles – Filming The Golden Compass

There’s nothing like controversy to promote a film. A row in the media grabs the public’s attention more effectively than official publicity campaigns ever can. So New Line Cinema and director Chris Weitz must be delighted at the fuss being made over The Golden Compass which opens in cinemas next week. There was already a […]

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Atonement - Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's brilliant novel

Just back from the press screening. Oh my word, I'm traumatised all over again. The book traumatised me for weeks, and now the film has left me a broken man once more. Why do I put myself through this kind of thing when I know what it will do to me? I'm a huge McEwan […]

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Dan Brown's Secrets

Why is Dan Brown the biggest-selling author in the world after J.K. Rowling?1 After all, Brown’s writing is not high quality literature (in fact, that’s probably in his favour – many readers prefer light fiction to sophisticated, intellectual literature). But The Da Vinci Code in particular is one of those books that get even reluctant […]

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The Quest for the Sacred Feminine

In another article I have given three reasons for the general appeal of all Dan Brown's novels: he is good at telling exciting stories; the books are full of puzzles, codes and mysteries; and they are all about conspiracy theories, which, in our suspicious age, are immensely popular. But there is a far more significant reason […]

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The Da Vinci Code - more audio

I've now added the recordings of Wednesday evening's events at Above Bar Church, Southampton, which I shared with David Couchman of Focus. I talked about the appeal of The Da Vinci Code, its opposition to orthodox historical Christianity, the sacred feminine and goddess spirituality. David addressed three key claims in the book: that the Gnostic […]

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Mini interview on Publishers Weekly

As well as reviewing Dark Matter, Publishers Weekly also conducted a short email interview with me which was published in Religion BookLine. Here's an extract: . . . rather than a screed against Pullman's books—which portray the Church as a corrupt corporation and God as a sick old man whose place has been taken by […]

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Review of Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Philip Pullman

My Review of Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Philip Pullman has now been published in the USA by IVP. Publishers Weekly, a major trade publication for the book world, has published a favourable review: 'Philip Pullman's acclaimed His Dark Materials trilogy, a sweeping retelling of Milton's Paradise Lost and The Fall , has […]

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Getting Da Vinci-ed out!

I'm beginning to feel like I've overdosed on Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Hardly suprising I guess since it's been such a huge bestseller since publication and especially given the amount of over-the-top hype from Sony (which is, frankly, setting people up to be disappointed with the film - all the advertising makes people […]

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Dark Matter

Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Philip Pullman was published on 22 September 2004. Response has been very positive from readers and the few reviewers who ever saw a copy. Unfortunately, it fell foul of major changes in the way Damaris books were published and distributed so it had virtually no marketing. You can […]

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A Clash of Other Worlds: Pullman's Critique of Lewis

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is now delighting cinema audiences across the world, but not everyone is so pleased. One of its most vocal critics Philip Pullman has been particularly outspoken in his condemnation of the stories for years, calling the series, ‘one of the most ugly and […]

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Philip Pullman: 'The Most Dangerous Author in Britain'?

Note: This article is incomplete because it developed into my book, Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to Philip Pullman. Nevertheless, it gives a shortish introduction to some of the key ideas. Philip Pullman is a writer, author of a number of books mostly aimed at older children, including I was a Rat, The Ruby in […]

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Stories Run Like Clockwork

Philip Pullman believes that: 'Stories are the most important thing in the world. Without stories, we wouldn't be human beings at all.'1 They stick in our minds and we are all hungry for them; stories feed our imaginations, help us to see the world through different eyes, and make us consider some of the big […]

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Lyra's Oxford - Discussion Guide

Summary Two years after the events of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass , Lyra is once more on the roof of Jordan College with her daemon, Pantalaimon. They see a large flock of starlings attacking a bird, which turns out to be a witch's daemon. They rescue him into the safety of […]

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The Amber Spyglass Discussion Guide

This article was first published on Summary The Subtle Knife concluded with Will and his father meeting just moments before his father is killed (by a witch whose love he had spurned) and the abduction of Lyra from their camp. The Amber Spyglassbegins immediately afterwards with Will finding that he has two new companions, […]

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The Subtle Knife Discussion Guide

First published on Summary Will Parry’s mother believes that enemies are all around her, watching her every move. And Will is beginning to think that, after all these years, she’s right – there are some suspicious men wanting to know about his father who disappeared while Will was just a baby. Leaving his mother […]

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© Tony Watkins, 2020
The Tony and Jane Watkins Trust oversees and supports the ministries of Tony and Jane Watkins in Christian training, education, and communication. It is a charity registered in England and Wales, no. 1062254.
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