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The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – Mar 30 1997


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Ballantine Books ed edition (March 30 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345413350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345413352
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,089 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,072,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
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 Spyglass. The Golden Compass is the introduction to that series.

These books will take you on a fantastical journey through magical worlds with incredible object and even better characters. The story gets more complex as you move forward and you get more and more invested with the characters and story.
This is one of those series that we should all read. They are not a series just for children/teenager etc... They're for everyone.

Pullman wrote these books well and conveyed a solid story that had me trapped in it until I finished. You will feel empty when you're done, but you will have gained a lot in the process.

If you haven't gotten around to reading the series, you should. Now.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the first of three books by the author. This first effort describes the journey of an 11 year old girl, Lyra Belacqua. Although the story is somewhat typical, in that it is a journey of adventure and self-discovery, I have to give the author great credit for having a unique perspective and highly creative imagination.
This book is well worth the read because it is so well written. It is not another epic fantasy knock-off of J.R.R. Tolkien. I sense that the author has not created anything new, but has eclipsed his peers by the sheer lyricism and quality in the storytelling.
The purpose of this review is not to rehash the story. I could simply put you on notice that there are gypsies, armored bears, witches and the like. However, the much greater thing here is quality. This is why I will read the second book and why you should read the first.
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By R. Ludlow on April 26 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Despite it being the third part of a trilogy, The Golden Compass (or Northern Lights) is an amazing book on its own, and it will stand alone as one of the greatest books for scores to come!
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Format: Hardcover
Though at first glance The Golden Compass, the first of a trilogy, looks like a book made for younger audiences, Philip Pullman manages to interweave the separate worlds of childhood and adulthood in a breath-defying manner. Set in a world similar to the one we all know, but with drastic differences, the novel follows the journey of a young girl, Lyra, as she finds her way through adolescence, all the while trying to make new discoveries. There are twists and turns and jumps and leaps as she learns the story of her life and learns that things are not always what they seem.
Usually marketed to young adult readers, the novel helps bring forth the idea of growing up and finding one's self. One of the elements of the novel that caught my eye was that everyone had what was known as a daemon, which is a physical appearance of a person's soul. The dae-mons are there as consciences; and for young readers, it allows them to begin learning about the psyche of themselves. We learn that daemons are capable of changing forms until the stage of adolescence is reached and as is seen with Lyra's own daemon, Pantalaimon, the forms change to match its owner's mood and thoughts. This helps young adults and even children learn that for a good portion of their lives, they will be a mixture of emotions and nothing is ever set in stone. Only when a person is finally old enough to realize what they were meant to do does life begin to settle, which can begin to happen at an adolescent phase. And that is just one example of the way in which Pullman uses symbolism to appeal to his audience.
However, The Golden Compass also delves deeper for adults who pick up the book.
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Format: Paperback
This is my first review of anything, ever, and I'm proud to write it about one of the most astounding fantasy books that I've ever read!
The first thing that caught my attention about this book was the fact that it seemed so fresh. I avoided reading it for a long time, because I was afraid it would be a cheesy, run-of-the-mill fantasy. I couldn't have been further from the truth. To me, the most important thing about a fantasy book is it's ability to make the characters and world feel absolutely real, as if, perhaps, you were the one living in a fantasy world. Pullman's style plants you into his world as firmly as if you had been born in it. He doesn't fawn over his own creations, but gets down to the nitty-gritty, plunging right into the plot. You don't have time to worry about why humans have daemons, and how the heck bears can have armor. Ok, you do wonder, but it's written so beautifully, that you are swept away with it, allowing these mysteries to drift to the back of your mind, knowing that it will all be explained in good time. This, of course, only works if you are a patient person, like I am!
Pullman's realism extends into character development as well. Emotions are placed openly on the table, available for you to gasp in fear along with the heroine as she is anticipating being separated from a cherished companion, or to holler with joy as she escapes another daunting situation. There are much more complex situations as well, leading to feelings of guilt and confusion. The reader will also feel angry or confused, and sometimes hate the author for what he is doing.
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