And, speaking of people screaming down the Murphometer, what the hell got into Philip Pullman? “The Lord of the Rings is not a serious book because it does not say anything interesting, or new, or truthful about the human condition,’ he told [author Jeanette] Winterson in an interview in the December issue of Harpers & Queen.” Hmm…really? Coulda fooled me. But, then again, I guess people have just found truth, meaning, and solace in Tolkien’s trilogy for fifty years now because it has elves and wizards and dragons and stuff. Look, LotR may not be Pullman’s cup of tea — Lord knows, the last book of His Dark Materials certainly wasn’t mine, what with all its Milton-wannabe sermonizing and anti-Narnia heavy-handedness — but I see no real need to badmouth Tolkien so emphatically (and indefensibly.) Pullman was probably just trying to gain some indy cred with the fantasy-dismissive Booker prize types, but from here his remarks just come off as sour grapes. I really liked The Golden Compass, but, come on now…What a prat.