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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > December 2017 > The daemon headmaster

The daemon headmaster

Philip Pullman can’t quite recreate the magic of His Dark Materials, says Frances Wilson

The Book of Dust: Volume One: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (Penguin Random House Children’s and David Fickling Books, £20)

Only those who live in an alternative universe will have missed the publication of La Belle Sauvage, the first volume of Philip Pullman’s new fantasy trilogy, The Book of Dust. An extension of the hugely successful His Dark Materials trilogy, La Belle Sauvage was announced, together with other major news items, on the Today programme. An entire Radio 4 Saturday afternoon slot was given over to a reading of the novel by actor Simon Russell Beale. The following week it was Book at Bedtime. To help us get through the day, the station also broadcast a series of afternoon lectures called Daemon Voices (collected in a new book published by David Fickling) in which Pullman reflected on the art of storytelling.

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In Prospect’s December issue: Adam Posen, Diane Coyle and Nicolas Véron examine the state of Britain’s economy with Brexit looming and suggest that with a large part of the City looking to move and with productivity remaining low the outlook is firmly negative. Posen suggests that the only thing capable of disciplining the Brexit economy is the reality that things are going to be worse. Coyle suggest that although Brexit will hamper Britain’s productivity, the problem is long-term. Véron argues that more than a tenth of the City’s business will disappear due to Brexit—a significant slice that will be difficult to cover off. Elsewhere in the issue: Steve Bloomfield uncovers what is going on at Dfid, the struggling government department that recently lost its Secretary of State. Nick Cohen looks at the rise of the Strong Man is Eastern Europe as Viktor Orbán clamps down on society and Lizzie Porter reports from Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, a region plagued by war and political instability.