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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials III) Tenth Anniversary 1995-2005 [Hardcover]

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (711 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more than a children's book April 28 2004
This is one of the greatest books I have ever read. In some magical way, this is a book that, through the stories of several very original characters is able to address God, love, maturity, humanity's history and meaning, and countless other wonderful topics. This was more than just a novel to me; it has shaped my philosophy and way of looking at the world. Thos who say that this is a children's book a la "Harry Potter" are wrong. Maybe to the young readers, that's how it is, but I'm 14 and I was able to see that this is more than an easy, pleasurable fantasy like Harry Potter. This is a novel but also a manuscript of Pullman's philosophies and views. It is an extraordinary book that operates on a truly incredible, epic scale. From the first book, things just built up and built up, and here it all comes together in a brilliant, and very sad, climax. Read the series. You'll be enlightened.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Temptation of Lyra *SPOILER* Jan. 6 2008
I thought I agreed with everyone that this last book in the series was a complete disappointment. BUT....hear me out, I'm sure I'm not the only one that put down the book in order to really think for a moment(or threw it, as seems to be the case in many reviews since it seems to abrubtly stop without a hint of resolution). Perhaps the last book is so subtle compared to the first two and Pullman actually has a point that isn't spelled out and repeated over and over as many of his ideas in the writing are (the diamond shaped bodice of the mulefa....seriously, did any of you NOT miss that point? <sarcasm>). So, here is what I have deciphered as a coherent meaning to the end of The Amber Spyglass:

Mary Malone's role with the Mulefa IS important because it helps her to regain that feeling that she once had as a child falling in love (through her experimentation and understanding of Dust). She is led to the opening for the dead and is reminded to "tell them stories" which leads her to share this notion with Lyra. Lyra in turn has a "door open inside of her that she never knew existed" which causes her to acknowledge her love for will. That moment becomes the pebble that changes the course of the river (or whatever metaphor you prefer) and Dust, as a concious substance, uses that moment in time as a foothold to save itself. Shaky, yea...but it works. As for the whole "fall" comparison....Just as Adam and Eve are cast out of Eden at the realization of themselves to a life committed to finding a way back into Heaven, Will and Lyra are unable to stay in their "Eden" (being together) after their realization of love and are cast back into their worlds to a life committed to building the Republic of Heaven.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Twisted and Unpleasant March 8 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
I am a great reader of fantasy books and had heard so much about this series... it was a huge disappointment and I hope parents will read the series before they let their kids read it. (Yes, I am a parent, but NO I do not believe in censorship - just common sense.) Then the parents can decide if it is appropriate. I thought it was garbled, depressing, with a poor story line and plot. Then the end... well that is another story in itself! This author was trying to teach his readers his own belief on death, -and that the judeo-christian belief in the afterlife is one big conspiracy and lie and that the truth is the merging of all things into one at the end of ones life. That is fine, but parents should be forewarned.
On a literary scale, however, the book is part of the worst of the fantasy genre - one of those books that does not have a clear story line or plot, and just seems to jump all over the place. Again, that is fine if you like those kinds of books. I prefer well written sagas like Lord of the Rings, Amber Chronicles, Harry Potter, etc... Those are nice and tight with clear story lines. The only good thing I can say is that the author does create characters with whom you can empathize. Anyway, good luck. I am sure many people disagree with me on this. But I would highly recommend that adults read these before turning kids loose with them, especially anyone under the age of 13.
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By M. B. Alcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"The amber spyglass" is the third and last book in Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" triology. It is good, but not nearly as engaging as the previous two books in the series, "Northern lights" (or "The golden compass", the name given to that book in USA) and "The subtle knife". I must say that I didn't love "The amber spyglass", but I'm glad I read it.

The books in "His Dark Materials" are the kind of books that make you happy someone taught you how to read. They are full of magic, interesting characters and weird events. In a nutshell, they make you dream, and awake your imagination, whether you are extremely young or already an adult.

From my point of view, that is extremely important, and that is the reason why I recommend "The amber spyglass" to you, even though I only give it 3 stars. Truth to be told, the real value of this book is not to be found as a standalone, but rather as the conclusion of an outstanding triology that is already a classic. Recommended!

Belen Alcat
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5.0 out of 5 stars Online book report April 25 2004
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman is another great book. It continues the story of Lyra and Will that is told in The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife. At the end of the second book, The Subtle Knife, Will finally finds his father after a long search, only to see a witch kill him before will's very eyes. After the witch kills herself, two angels appear to tell Will that he must come with them to Lord Asriel, Lyra's father, who is leading the rebellion against The Authority. Will comes to get Lyra, and finds her gone. At the beginning of the book, we have no idea what is going to happen, but the ending surprises you.
The beginning of The Amber Spyglass is set in the beautiful Himalaya valley with a small village near a cave where Mrs. Coulter, Lyra's mother, is hiding her. Pullman elaborates the setting very well. "In a valley shaded with rhododendrons, close to the snow line, where a stream milky with meltwater splashed and where doves and linnets flew among the immense pines, lay a cave, half-hidden by the crag above and the stiff heavy leaves that clustered below" (Pullman 1). It is one of those books that you don't want to stop reading. He [Pullman] has created many completely different worlds, and an interesting way to travel between them. Some parts are completely unbelievable. Pullman even creates non-humans that have understanding the way we do. " Atal said, Yes. All the mulefa have this. You have, too. That is why we knew you were like us and not like the grazers, who don't have it" (Pullman 222).
When I first got this book, it was because of its two preqels. It must have been close to two years ago, when my mom was looking on reviews for a good book for me.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book, but I hate that it was the last one. This is a...
I remember reading these books as a kid. I still remember every bit of my journey through the universes and how Crushed I was when I flipped the last page of the Amber... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andres Consumer
5.0 out of 5 stars The amber spyglass
A beautiful and heart wrenching ending to an amazing series. I didn't want it to end but i couldn't put it down.
Published 12 months ago by Becca Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars An end to a series I didn't want to stop
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed His Dark Materials trilogy - the Amber Spyglass, in fact, was a book that kept me on edge almost the entire time I was reading it. Read more
Published on July 4 2010 by A. Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and disappointing
This book, the last of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, was disappointing in that it didn't, to me, show the big picture clearly. Read more
Published on May 9 2008 by Chris
1.0 out of 5 stars A huge disappointment
I loved the Golden Compass and the Subtle Knife but this book disappointed me terribly. I was outraged. Read more
Published on Dec 22 2007 by Andy
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable.
This is the third and last book in the His Dark Materials trilogy (after Northern Lights, or The Golden Compass in the US, and The Subtle Knife). Read more
Published on July 30 2004 by Stephanie Noverraz
1.0 out of 5 stars soppy and nonsensical
I'm sorry to say that Pullman's main achievement in this last book is to create yet another soppy paean to adolescence. Read more
Published on July 15 2004 by theskeptic
1.0 out of 5 stars Riveted.....and then sooooo disappointed!!!!
The first two books of this series were wonderfully written, fast paced marvels that held me riveted by the hour - I couldn't put them down. Read more
Published on July 14 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD-but terribly SAD
Ok, this was a GREAT book, but I happened to find one MAJOR flaw in it. The ending. Not that it did not make sense, only that, it sucked. Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by Lee Ann Million
1.0 out of 5 stars There be Yoghurt in them there pages.
(...)That's better. Sorry about that. Just taking out the theological shovel the Reverend Pullman had jabbed into my mouth. Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by Mr. Sa Fyfe
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