From A&LD: An interview with Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass Trilogy. Though Pullman is essentially an atheist, (why is it that atheists always look like that?) the interview is interesting as an inside perspective on the story, and sheds some light on Pullman's inspirations and worldview. Obviously, his rejection of God is disturbing. Also, I really don't understand how he can say this:
The Lord of the Rings is essentially trivial. Narnia is essentially serious, though I don't like the answer Lewis comes up with. If I was doing it at all, I was arguing with Narnia. Tolkien is not worth arguing with.
I think he has grossly underestimated Tolkien's work. 'Trivial' is the last adjective I ever thought I'd hear applied to The Lord of the Rings.