Why The Amber Spyglass is the only children’s book nominated for The Booker Prize
Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass is the third and concluding volume of the epic His Dark Materials trilogy – and might just be the only children’s book ever nominated for The Booker Prize. The story follows the journey of Lyra – a young girl destined to bring about unfathomable change in her world and beyond. It was longlisted for The Booker Prize in 2001, alongside Ian McEwan’s Atonement, David Mitchell’s number9dream and that year’s winner, Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang.
In this episode, Jo and James talk about:
- The animal forms their daemons would take
- A brief – and slightly spoiler-y – summary of what happens in The Amber Spyglass, as well as the previous books in the trilogy
- Whether The Amber Spyglass is really a children's book
- The literature that has inspired His Dark Materials
- Whether more children's books should be in contention for The Booker Prize
- The Booker Clinic: Books to rediscover the joys of reading
Books discussed in this episode:
- Paradise Lost by John Milton
- Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
- Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
- A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
- The books of Agatha Christie
- The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman
- The books of Raymond Chandler
- Four Bare Legs in a Bed by Helen Simpson
- The Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn
A full transcript of the episode is available on our website here.
If you've got a problem you'd like some literary help with, email us at email@example.com using the subject line “The Booker Clinic”.
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