The Guardian reports that Philip Pullman felt “glee” on hearing that his novel Northern Lights, marketed as The Golden Compass in North America, is near the top of the “most challenged” list issued by the American Library Association, behind three other books. Apparently 420 written complaints about the book’s content have been received by the Association.
He is quoted as saying: “”Firstly, I had obviously annoyed a lot of censorious people, and secondly, any ban would provoke interested readers to move from the library, where they couldn’t get hold of my novel, to the bookshops, where they could…Religion grants its adherents malign, intoxicating and morally corrosive sensations. Destroying intellectual freedom is always evil, but only religion makes doing evil feel quite so good,”
He credits religious objections to the film, The Golden Compass with increasing sales of his first novel.
Meanwhile the film continues to defy expectations. Despite a disappointing domestic performance, The Golden Compass has a worldwide gross of $372 million on production costs of $180 million. The 2004 hit, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events made £209 million on production costs of $140 million. Both films were rated PG in the home market.