His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman admits he didn’t like Harry Potter ‘enough to read a second book’

His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman has admitted he didn’t like reading Harry Potter enough to pick up a second book.

The writer behind the popular fantasy trilogy has sold over 22 million copies across 50 countries, inspiring a successful BBCTV adaptation.

He admitted he didn’t want to pick up a second JK Rowling novel after he was forced to read one for a children’s book prize.

In a new interview, Pullman revealed his favourite children’s authors, listing Rudyard Kipling, Tove Jansson and Leon Garfield.

He admitted he couldn’t stand The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe author CS Lewis and that Roald Dahl could be funny but “cruel and unpleasant”.

However, his most controversial position was potentially his stance on the children’s literary sensation, the Harry Potter series by Rowling.

In an interview with The Telegraph, he shared how he had been made to read one of the books as part of his role as a judge for a children’s book prize.

When asked if he liked it, he answered: “Not enough to read any of the others”.

The BBC adaptation of His Dark Materials was a huge success for the channel, becoming the most watched show in five years when it debuted in 2019.

Its release was watched by approximately 7.2m viewers making it the biggest new British series in over five years on any channel at the time in 2019. The last show prior to its release to earn the feat was BBC series The Musketeers, which was viewed by 7.4m in January 2014.

The 77-year-old admitted he hadn’t continued reading the series (AFP via Getty Images)
The 77-year-old admitted he hadn’t continued reading the series (AFP via Getty Images)

In 2021 Pullman defended JK Rowling as she shared death threats she had received for her gender-critical views on transgender people. He was accused of sending “mixed messages” to the trans community, promting him to assert on X/Twitter that he was a supporter of trans rights

“My views on this issue are not mixed. I am anti-bullying, anti-abuse of any kind, and also anti-transphobia. How dare you accuse me of sending mixed messages and sitting on the fence?” he said.

“How dare you assume that if I’m pro-trans I have to be anti-women?”

His Dark Materials follows the orphan Lyra as she searches for her missing friend. The show came to its “natural conclusion” according to creators, after three seasons.

Meanwhile Warner Bros has said it is eyeing a 2026 premiere date for its highly anticipated Harry Potter TV adaptation which follows the global success of the books and movies.