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The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials Paperback – May 22 2001


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The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials + The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials + The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Dgs edition (May 22 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440418321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440418320
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,092 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #78,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Some books improve with age--the age of the reader, that is. Such is certainly the case with Philip Pullman's heroic, at times heart-wrenching novel, The Golden Compass, a story ostensibly for children but one perhaps even better appreciated by adults. The protagonist of this complex fantasy is young Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Oxford University. But it quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own--nor is her world. For one thing, people there each have a personal daemon, the manifestation of their soul in animal form. For another, hers is a universe in which science, theology, and magic are closely allied:
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 daemons 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 daemon, 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 daemon, 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 the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy now appears in sophisticated trade paperback editions, each title embossed within a runic emblem of antiqued gold. The backdrop of The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book I sports a midnight blue map of the cosmos with the zodiacal ram at its center. The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass carry similarly intriguing cover art, and all three titles offer details not seen in the originals: in Compass and Knife, for example, Pullman's stamp-size b&w art introduces each chapter; Spyglass chapters open with literary quotes from Blake, the Bible, Dickinson and more.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Noverraz on June 28 2004
Format: Paperback
This is the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy (before The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass).
Set at the turn of the twentieth century in an alternate Europe where everyone is inseparable from their animal daemons, shape-changers that only settle at puberty, this is the story of Lyra Belacqua (and her daemon Pantalaimon), a teenage orphan girl living in Oxford College in charge of her powerful uncle, Lord Asriel.
Being a curious little girl, Lyra hears lots of gossip in the old halls. Some, about Dust, as well as pictures of a mysterious floating city in the aurora, make her dream of travelling North on one of her uncle's expeditions. But soon she also hears rumours of children, mainly from Gyptian families, who have started to mysteriously disappear, lured and captured by what people call the "Gobblers".
And when her playmate Roger the kitchen boy is kidnapped, she's desperate. But at the same time arrives Mrs. Coulter, an elegant and fascinatingly intelligent woman, who wants to take Lyra to her school in London. Believing that she'll learn more about Dust and maybe travel North with her, she soon becomes Mrs. Coulter's protégée. Until she realizes that the woman is none other than the head of the General Oblation Board of London, in other words the "Gobblers", and runs away.
The rest of the story tells how Lyra finally travels to Lapland, setting out in search of Roger and the other missing children with the help of the Gyptians, with whom she first takes refuge, of Panserborne (armoured bears) and witch-queens, and of the alethiometer, a strange compass-like device that reveals the truth to anyone who can read it, which the Master of Oxford College secretly gave her just before she left.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy (before The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass).
Set at the turn of the twentieth century in an alternate Europe where everyone is inseparable from their animal daemons, shape-changers that only settle at puberty, this is the story of Lyra Belacqua (and her daemon Pantalaimon), a teenage orphan girl living in Oxford College in charge of her powerful uncle, Lord Asriel.
Being a curious little girl, Lyra hears lots of gossip in the old halls. Some, about Dust, as well as pictures of a mysterious floating city in the aurora, make her dream of travelling North on one of her uncle's expeditions. But soon she also hears rumours of children, mainly from Gyptian families, who have started to mysteriously disappear, lured and captured by what people call the "Gobblers".
And when her playmate Roger the kitchen boy is kidnapped, she's desperate. But at the same time arrives Mrs. Coulter, an elegant and fascinatingly intelligent woman, who wants to take Lyra to her school in London. Believing that she'll learn more about Dust and maybe travel North with her, she soon becomes Mrs. Coulter's protégée. Until she realizes that the woman is none other than the head of the General Oblation Board of London, in other words the "Gobblers", and runs away.
The rest of the story tells how Lyra finally travels to Lapland, setting out in search of Roger and the other missing children with the help of the Gyptians, with whom she first takes refuge, of Panserborne (armoured bears) and witch-queens, and of the alethiometer, a strange compass-like device that reveals the truth to anyone who can read it, which the Master of Oxford College secretly gave her just before she left.
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Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Hardcover
I've been astounded to read some of the reviews on this book, The Golden Compass. I first read it when I was 12 years old, and now, at 16, I have read it many, many more times. Some of the reviews on here are so obviously from the point of view of a very small-minded christain. i am not christian, in fact I believe there really is no true religion. I embrace the world as it is. In accepting no religion, I have been able to remain a very open minded young woman.
The attacks on this book by religious fanactics are so out there, that it is easy to tell that religion has corrupted the minds of many, many people. This book, no matter what the content, is just a book. The beliefs of the author, Phillip Pullman are his own, and none of you religious types writing in reviews that blatently attack his beliefs, can change what he thinks. When you pick up a bhook keep one thing in mind- Read. Don't judge. Open your mind to something you normally would not accept. But don't attack a person's beliefs, for our beliefs and values are all we can really hold on to as a person- that we can call our own.
I believe there shoudl be no censorship. All of you parents who are saying you don't want your children to read this book are not sheltering them from anything. This book holds no information that they are not going to stumble across on the course of their lives. Please keep only one thing in mind and that is- Read. Don't judge. And especially don't allow your judgements and your views take over the minds of others. Let them read and see for themselves. It doesn't matter if you are tryingt to shelter someone from something you find appalling, something you find to be untrue., you can't hold it back from another person.
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