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As for what experimental theology was, Lyra had no more idea than the urchins. She had formed the notion that it was concerned with magic, with the movements of the stars and planets, with tiny particles of matter, but that was guesswork, really. Probably the stars had dæmons just as humans did, and experimental theology involved talking to them.Not that Lyra spends much time worrying about it; what she likes best is "clambering over the College roofs with Roger the kitchen boy who was her particular friend, to spit plum stones on the heads of passing Scholars or to hoot like owls outside a window where a tutorial was going on, or racing through the narrow streets, or stealing apples from the market, or waging war." But Lyra's carefree existence changes forever when she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, first prevent an assassination attempt against her uncle, the powerful Lord Asriel, and then overhear a secret discussion about a mysterious entity known as Dust. Soon she and Pan are swept up in a dangerous game involving disappearing children, a beautiful woman with a golden monkey dæmon, a trip to the far north, and a set of allies ranging from "gyptians" to witches to an armor-clad polar bear.
In The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman has written a masterpiece that transcends genre. It is a children's book that will appeal to adults, a fantasy novel that will charm even the most hardened realist. Best of all, the author doesn't speak down to his audience, nor does he pull his punches; there is genuine terror in this book, and heartbreak, betrayal, and loss. There is also love, loyalty, and an abiding morality that infuses the story but never overwhelms it. This is one of those rare novels that one wishes would never end. Fortunately, its sequel, The Subtle Knife, will help put off that inevitability for a while longer. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
I give Philip Pullman a standing ovation for the Golden Compass his dark materials. Both me and my husband loved the Golden Compass. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Cindy Beverly
Fascinating fantasy book for all ages. I have read this book 3 times and every time I learn more about Lyra's complex journey to understand why worlds can be shared and loves... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Debra
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. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Andres Consumer
Lower class children are disappearing and when Lyra finds that her friend is missing she wants to find him and get him back. Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2008 by Nicola Mansfield
There are many people who liked this book, but I for one am not that impressed. I'm not saying it's horrible because it's not. Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2008 by Momus
While I am just wrapping up book two, I have to say that The Golden Compass was, in itself, the more diluted book. Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2008 by Don Eglinski
It is not worth reviewing or reading the reviews of "The Golden Compass" (British title "The Northern Lights") until one has finished the complete story of "Dark Materials" by... Read morePublished on Dec 29 2007 by bernie
I can't believe how much I enjoyed this book, even though it's supposed to be part of a children's series. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2007 by Melanie