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1. The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel
2. His Dark Materials Trilogy (The
3. Once Upon a Time in the North:
4. The Ruby in the Smoke: A Sally
5. Lyra's Oxford
6. Aladdin And The Enchanted Lamp
7. Northern Lights
8. The Science of Philip Pullman's
9. Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials:
11. The Golden Compass, Deluxe 10th
12. LA DAGA (Luces del Norte) (Spanish
13. The Subtle Knife, Deluxe 10th
14. Whodunit?: Utterly Baffling Detective
15. Philip Pullman, Master Storyteller:
16. The Scarecrow and His Servant
17. The Tiger in the Well: A Sally
18. The Subtle Knife
19. His Dark Materials
20. The Shadow in the North

1. The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (Myths)
by Philip Pullman
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2010-05-04)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$13.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 080212996X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ is the remarkable new piece of fiction from best-selling and famously atheistic author Philip Pullman. By challenging the events of the gospels, Pullman puts forward his own compelling and plausible version of the life of Jesus, and in so doing, does what all great books do: makes the reader ask questions.

In Pullman’s own words, “The story I tell comes out of the tension within the dual nature of Jesus Christ, but what I do with it is my responsibility alone. Parts of it read like a novel, parts like history, and parts like a fairy tale; I wanted it to be like that because it is, among other things, a story about how stories become stories.”

Written with unstinting authority, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ is a pithy, erudite, subtle, and powerful book by a controversial and beloved author. It is a text to be read and reread, studied and unpacked, much like the Good Book itself.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (83)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Very Earthy & Philosophical Gospel
If Chaucer were living today and were stuck in his most philosophical of moments, he might very well produce the kind of down-to-earth, thinking person's tale that we get in _The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ_. Angels become lusty young lads who've found just the right way to trick themselves into the windows and beds of beautiful damsels, for instance. But Pullman's miracle is taking things of the flesh and dust and showing how the lower road and its taking is, perhaps, the most miraculous and noble thing to be had in this world. I'm not going to argue theology, because anyone reading this should know Pullman's background by now, but, to be fair, Pullman's not really arguing theology here, either. He's arguing with the tale, with religious stories as literature and what fascinating puzzles and possibilities these stories hold if they are, indeed, divorced from religion and operating outside its dominance and control. This is a wonderful piece and something very much needed for our, at risk of sounding cliche, new age. Pullman brings newness to this tale in a respectable, literary manner that has even won over people from at-first dissenting camps.

1-0 out of 5 stars What kind of a 'story' is this?
I must disagree with the short 'product description' in the amazon-UK advertisement for this book. This book is not a "retelling of the life of Jesus" but a perversion of the historically-substantiated 'telling of the life of Jesus'; it does not "[throw] fresh light on who Jesus was", but totally confuses things;it is not a book "about how stories become stories",but only about how this particular story formed in Pullman's mind, in defiance of almost all the documented sources.It is not a 'Myth' (as the series title states).Pullman's book should perhaps go into the Fiction section, with apologies to the New Testament writers for those parts of it plagiarized by Pullman-his musings on the Sermon on the Mount largely reproduce the gospel texts.

It is inconceivable to me how any reader can consider this book to be worth serious consideration, on any other ground than that such a reader approves of Pullman's purpose to destroy Christianity.This book is hung on the peg that Jesus of Nazareth had a twin brother, Christ, and that the latter's name, 'Christ', was bestowed, as a name, on this twin at birth.This betrays such a ludicrous ignorance of Jewish/Christian language/history/theology as to destroy Pullman's credentials for writing this book.`Christ' is the Greek word meaning `the anointed one', translating the Hebrew/Aramaic word .'Messiah', which did not exist as a name, but described the function, the role, of the expected Jewish Saviour-figure.

The twins had quite different views of what God wanted of them.For Pullman, `Christ' wrote down accurately everything that his twin brother `Jesus' said and did, but then took his records and with various mysterious `helpers' twisted the story into the New Testament nonsense we now have, making the twin brothers `Jesus' and `Christ' into the one person 'Jesus Christ'.

This peg of the twin Jesus/Christ brotherhood is also crucially required to support Pullman's 'retelling' of the last days of Christ, as follows:
It was 'Christ', not Judas-one-of-the-twelve, who betrayed 'Jesus' to the Temple authorities in the garden of Gethsemane with a kiss.
It is 'Jesus' who dies on the cross (Pullman cannot decide whether 'Jesus'' knees were broken or not-all sorts of absurd 'might-be's are proposed by Pullman about this);Pullman is certain (totally contradicted by the biblical account) that it was the Roman soldier's lance that killed 'Jesus' (p. 235).
Things get still more unlikely and contrary to the New Testament.For Pullman, 'Jesus'' friends remove his dead (and never-resurrected) body from the tomb.When Mary Magdalene and the apostles think they see the 'risen 'Jesus', it is in fact his look-alike twin brother 'Christ' whom they see, 'Christ' having been persuaded to take on this lying role by a 'stranger' who was introduced earlier into the story out of nowhere, and who may be a Jewish priest, or a Gentile philosopher, or an 'angel'-Pullman doesn't ever tell us.'Christ' in fact from now on pretends to be the risen 'Jesus', and it is 'Christ' who is reverenced as the risen 'Jesus' by the disciples on the way to Emmaus and by `doubting Thomas' (very mixed-up episodes in Pullman), and at all further resurrection appearances of 'Jesus'.I do not know which is more astonishing, the bathetic story-telling of Pullman who tries to sell this story to his readers, or the intellectual make-up of any reader who buys this as a 'good story'.

Since Pullman does not believe that the resurrection of Jesus happened, in order to explain how the first Christians came to believe in it, Pullman has to introduce the most far-fetched possibilities, long dustbinned by serious scholars.For Pullman the first Christians could have been fooled, not by the twin-brother theory (which of course never became public knowledge), but in this way:Jesus didn't die on the cross, but merely swooned;so he was taken down alive, and though he was wrapped for burial and laid in the tomb, he came back to his senses in the tomb and was freed from the tomb by his friends.He must have healed rapidly enough (miraculously?) to appear as `risen' to his friends!

Another (im)possibility for explaining the gospel accounts of the resurrection, supported by Rudolf Bultmann and Geza Vermes,is that by some sudden inspiration in the minds of the Twelve (and the women?) Jesus (mangled, scourged, crowned with thorns, dead, pierced with a lance, unrisen, rotting in the tomb) nevertheless `rose in the hearts of the disciples' as the long-expected Jewish Messiah/Saviour without needing to rise physically from the dead.

Pullman's own fantastic story (`fantastic ridiculous', not `fantastic marvellous') of the not-killed twin `Christ' being mistaken for the killed-and-not-resurrected `Jesus' (and the view of Bultmann/Vermes) of course excludes the story of Jesus' Ascension and the whole Pentecost episode in the Acts of the Apostles (to which Pullman never refers), because `Christ' would have been still around (or never around, for Bultmann/Vermes) after the supposed ascension of `Jesus'.Pullman gets around this by saying that at some later stage "Christ was living under another name in a town on the sea-coast, a place where Jesus had never been" (p. 239), married to `Martha'.Well, if you are persuaded by that sort of thing ...

Almost everywhere, Pullman corrupts the gospel story of Jesus.Here are some examples.The conception of Jesus:was it miraculous, as announced by the angel in the gospel, or (for Pullman) the result of a young man's activity with Mary?The marriage feast at Cana:no miracle here, for Pullman:when the wine ran out, the chief steward thought again, and found some more.The feeding of the five thousand:no miracle here either;once Jesus asked about feeding the five thousand without having to go and buy food, everybody suddenly discovered that they had all brought plenty of food with them -they had merely been shy about sharing, until their consciences were jogged.All the miracles of healing by Jesus?Nothing more, for Pullman, than people feeling better after Jesus was nice to them.All of this means that, in every case, Pullman ignores that the miracles and `signs' that Jesus performed were part ofthe story of the fulfillment of the Old Testament.Jesus was indeed fulfilling the role of the Messiah, the Christ.He was Jesus the Messiah, Jesus Christ.But in the `retelling' of every gospel incident, Pullman the story-teller rejects the point for which the gospel story-teller told the story.Pullman betrays the story-telling brotherhood.

I conclude, for now, by quoting from a booklet by John Proctor ('Jesus is Lord - Why Early Christians Believed This and Why it Mattered', Grove Books, pp. 27, 2009). "What reason has the church got to think of Jesus in the special way that we do? Prophet, wise man, spiritual leader, friend of sinners - many good people have fitted these categories, in every age and culture. But the church says much more than this about Jesus. We rank him with God and as God, and we praise him accordingly. We pray in his name and sing to his glory ... the worship due to God, texts about God and the name of God [in the Old testament] were ascribed to Jesus ... A broad body of material - creed, liturgy, exegesis, reflection - talks of the supremacy, dignity, majesty and god-ness of the risen Jesus ... " (pages 3, 5).

Does Pullman's story match and clarify this picture, or destroy it?

3-0 out of 5 stars Jesus, a teacher; and Christ, a historian
Phillip Pullman's _The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ_ is another version of a story that most westerners are familiar with.It is important enough that the bible needs to tell it four times just to make sure the followers have everything straight.Pullman tells the story of the life of Jesus, a teacher, and Chris, a historian.He tells the story of these two twins and their impact on history.

I have a sense of what Pullman is doing here.He wants to explore the dual nature of the man so revered - he wants to explore the nature of how we tell ourselves stories.It is interesting to a point.I have no personal investment in the veracity of the story he reimagines.Neither does Pullman.I do not understand the impulse of all these British atheistic authors have in tearing down Christianity.I mean, for example, I do not believe in New Guinean Cargo Cults but I do not spend time tearing them down.Christianity though occupies a much larger place in our history and culture and society, so I understand that you have to reconcile yourself to the dominant cosmology.

The thing is, this kind of falls flat.Aside from the large structural tweak, no new ground is covered.Believers will be needlessly incensed, and those sympathetic to Pullman can just shrug. For my money, go find a copy of Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal or The Master and Margarita (Paperback).Pullman was a much sharper social critic when he was inhabiting the world of His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass).

5-0 out of 5 stars Another view
Having read Phillip Pullman's trilogy, "The Golden Compass",etc., I expected this to be a tome where he exacts his revenge on all those conservative Christians who railed against his fantasies as anti Catholic and atheistic. I found them fantasies and thought the critics must have forgotten books like "Animal Farm" and "Watership Down" which were in the same vein but "Compass" was much more interesting to me as an adventure.The fact was that I never would have guessed that Pullman wrote this book. It is very well written but so kind and logical in its tone that it comes off as a great story with vaguely familiar characters. It doesn't take fore knowledge for granted as one would find in religious books. I listened to it on CD and it really kept me involved and thinking while I did my multitasking on the farm. I never thought that I would recommend a book with this title but I do and the title might put some people off but perhaps that is the author's intent but a religious person or a spiritual person would not take offense and so do not let that dissuade you from looking at Jesus as a contemporary. Any book that makes you think about your beliefs and why you have them is a good read and this book is one of them.

3-0 out of 5 stars good audio book
The best part about this audiobook is the wonderful reading given.I enjoyed listening to it much more than I would have enjoyed reading it for myself.Since this book is a story about telling stories, it's particularly appropriate to hear it told.The point of Pullman's work is that the story of Jesus Christ was created and shaped for a particular end, not re-told exactly as it happened.Hearing the "voice" of the scoundrel as he justifies slanting the accounts (for the good of the church to come) of course, is a persuasive reading. ... Read more

2. His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass)
by Philip Pullman
Hardcover: 1312 Pages (2007-08-28)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$32.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375842381
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
FOR THE FIRST time, the hardcover editions of Philip Pullman's awardwinning His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) with the original, classic covers by Eric Rohmann, will be available in a boxed set.Amazon.com Review
In an epic trilogy, Philip Pullman unlocks the door to a world parallel to our own, but with a mysterious slant all its own. Dæmons and winged creatures live side by side with humans, and a mysterious entity called Dust just might have the power to unite the universes--if it isn't destroyed first. Here, the three paperback titles in Pullman's heroic fantasy series are united in one dazzling boxed set. Join Lyra, Pantalaimon, Will, and the rest as they embark on the most breathtaking, heartbreaking adventures of their lives. The fate of the universe is in their hands. The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass pit good against evil in a way no reader will ever forget. (Ages 13 and older) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1131)

5-0 out of 5 stars I love fantasy.
If you like fantasy then these stories are just the thing for you. Great writing and a story that keeps you turning the page. The spiritual twist is fascinating. Our young people may save our world and in this story the young girls is a powerful figure of just how brave we can be and do the right thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars If I could give it more than five stars, I would!
These books have to be some of my favorite books of all times. Those that gave it bad reviews likely had a negative reaction to the anti-Christian message of the trilogy. I have to admit that there are times when I almost felt bad reading it- essentially killing God is not on the list of things I would have thought I'd like to read about. However, in the end, I felt that it was actually a mind-opening experience. I would absolutely recommend these books to anyone who loves fantasy (especially those Harry Potter lovers!!). Plus, the books are pretty well written which is more than I can say for many other books on the market these days...

4-0 out of 5 stars great except for amber spyglass
Had picked up a paperback from Walmart when the movie was releasing. never touched it beyond the first 100 or so pages .... until last week. every book has an agenda. those who refuse to believe in it are either liars or idiots. the difference in Pullman's is that he has something against a very pervasive concept, namely, the religion of Christianity. The first 2 volumes are really very good. The part about the mulefa or whatever was really stretched beyond imagination. only in the negative sense. i fell asleep every night when I got to that part (i cannot afford more than a couple of hrs everyday) when he was in the mulefa world. the character building for Marisa, Asriel, Metatron etc were in my opinion very weak (even if this was intentional, I don't see the point of it). In comparison, even the gyptian characters were better. Gomez was a joke. That event with the tualapa or whatever and his night visit are a waste of the reader's time. Mary Malone, apart from doing the 'tempting' very well, didn't do much and i am angry that I have wasted so much time in that world that I cannot get back. Still, 4 stars because the first 2 volumes are excellent.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Golden Compass Trilogy
I did enjoy reading these three books and they kept my interest thruout.I read them one after the other in a span of about two weeks.The first book was really involved and had a complete feeling to it as did the second.But the final book just left me wondering and feeling as if it was hurredly done and not thought thru well.These are not children'sbooks in my estimation.I would not encourage a child under 11 to read them.They are quite dark and dramatic and scary at times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story, Worth your time.
Plenty of reviews showing their praise so I won't bother retelling what they've said. The series is great, and I can't wait to read the additional pieces Pullman has written.

My only negative comment was that I'm unhappy that the US version was censored in book three over something so absolutely small that I'm surprised anyone actually bothered. (Check Wikipedia, it's a small paragraph in the Marzipan chapter).

It really doesn't affect the read, but I'm adamant that censorship is not for some outside entity to decide and impose. Especially in a country so proud of their "freedom".

... Read more

3. Once Upon a Time in the North: His Dark Materials (David Fickling Books)
by Philip Pullman
Hardcover: 112 Pages (2008-04-08)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$7.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375845100
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this new prequel episode from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials universe, Lee Scoresby--Texan aeronaut and future friend to Lyra Belacqua--is just 24 years old, and he's recently won his hot-air balloon in a poker game. He finds himself floating North to the windswept Arctic island of Novy Odense, where he and his hare daemon Hester are quickly tangled in a deadly plot involving oil magnate Larsen Manganese, corrupt mayoral candidate Ivan Poliakov, and Lee's longtime nemesis from the Dakota Country: Pierre McConville, a hired killer with at least twenty murders to his name.

It's only after Lee forms an alliance with one of the island's reviled armored bears that he can fight to break up the conspiracy in a gun-twirling classic western shoot out--and battle of wits. This exquisite clothbound volume features the illustrations of John Lawrence, a removable board game—Peril of the Pole—on the inside back cover, and a glimpse for Pullman fans into the first friendship of two of the most beloved characters in the His Dark Materials trilogy: Lee Scoresby and armored bear Iorek Byrnison. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Really a Prequel to Pullman's Trilogy
"Once Upon a Time in the North" is nominally/alledgedly a prequel to Pullman's "Dark Materials" trilogy (Golden Compass, Subtle Knife, and Amber Spyglass), but other than the "other world" setting and a single character, really has nothing to do with the Trilogy.Moreover, it lacks the richness of imagination of the Trilogy

"Once Upon a Time..." is a long short story or short novel set in the "other world" of Pullman's Trilogy---except that the "other world" nature is never stated, nor are "demons" ("animal companions") or talking bears ever explained.Another way to describe this strange novelette is:A "Western" set about 1900 somewhere in the European high Artic.

The plot is simple and peculiar.In a mini-state in which the "Customs Service" is the only law, a mining company is extorting a ship owner--refusing him access to his good in a warehouse.(I can imagine the all-powerful Custom's Service doing such, but a mining company???)Cowboy hot-air ballonist Lee Scoresby comes the Captain's rescue, killing dozens of mining company henchmen.That the whole story.

As simple and short as it is, you might think this a good children's story, yet it is filled with very foul language and unnecessary explicit violence.

Lightly entertaining, but adds nothing to the Trilogy.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Well Thought of Prequel to an Epic Series
"Once Upon a Time in the North" is a prequel to the "His Dark materials" trilogy and takes place some fifty years before the events described in "The Golden Compass. The narrative follows the exploits of the young Aeronaut Lee Scoresby whom is just starting out in the balloon trade and gets caught up in a quarrel between two warring factions of a Northern Arctic town. The story introduces other characters whom will have important roles to play in the future, as well as highlights the early life of a well liked character in the series.
I thought the novel was well done given the short length that it was written and a feeling of rushed progression towards the end of the story. Still I am a big fan of Mr. Pullman's "His Dark Materials" group of novels and have nothing but praise for him taking the time and effort to add to our understanding of these wondrous works.

2-0 out of 5 stars Reporting on My Obsessions Continues
I've been grateful for these additions to His Dark Materials, packaged as hardbound, bite-size treats intended for a child. They are a way for Pullman to let his obsessed fans continue on journeys with characters they have come to know and love so well.

Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrenison both play leading roles in Once Upon a Tim in the North. The timing of their meeting and adventure is appropriately vague. Did this occur before the adventures spoken of in His Dark Materials? Afterwards? In another world? Doesn't matter, so don't get hung up on it.

I'll admit that I found the story a little confusing. Both man and bear find themselves in a land in the far frozen Arctic amidst corruption. Being both noble souls, they try to do what they think is right and get into a heap of trouble along the way. The full story is short, exciting and a nice rainy-day read. Maybe get the book from the library or borrow it from a friend, though. Regardless of it's painfully cute exterior and board game (see below), the book doesn't stand up to Pullman's others and isn't a necessary part of your library.

Once Upon a Tim in the North shares similar illustrations throughout the story that Lyra's Oxford had, but instead of a pull-out map, this one has a board game. A board game! I'll admit to being too scared to opening the board game packaging. Right now it is so sweet and pristine. If I (wo)man up and give the game a go, I'll let you know if it's any good. I read the instructions and it sounds wonderful.

4-0 out of 5 stars For Pullman/Dark Mateials fans.
A physically lovely little book. It matches Lyra's Oxford. Dark Materials fans need both to supplement the trilogy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into the past, with substance
Pullman does a fabulous job with this short story and his focus; Lee Scoresby. Pullman takes us back to a time when Lee and Hester are much younger and hungry for adventure. The read is quick but does not leave the reader burning with questions.
Pullman takes care to show the development of the character we already admire. This story attests to Lee's honor-centric character with a well developed plot and lively support characters.
Pullman, unlike many other successful series authors, actually satisfies the reader's yearning for a follow-up with substance. ... Read more

4. The Ruby in the Smoke: A Sally Lockhart Mystery
by Philip Pullman
Paperback: 230 Pages (2008-09-09)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 037584516X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
“BEWARE THE SEVEN blessings . . . ” When she first utters these words, 16-year-old Sally Lockhart doesn’t know their meaning. But when an employee of her late father hears them, he dies of fear. Thus begins Sally’s terrifying journey into the seamy underworld of Victorian London, in search of clues to her father’s mysterious death.Amazon.com Review
"Her name was Sally Lockhart; and within fifteen minutes, she was going to kill a man." Philip Pullman begins his Sally Lockhart trilogy with a bang in The Ruby in the Smoke--a fast-paced, finely crafted thriller set in a rogue- and scalawag-ridden Victorian London. His 16-year-old heroine has no time for the usual trials of adolescence: her father has been murdered, and she needs to find out how and why. But everywhere she turns, she encounters new scoundrels and secrets. Why do the mere words "seven blessings" cause one man to keel over and die at their utterance? Who has possession of the rare, stolen ruby? And what does the opium trade have to do with it?

As our determined and intelligent sleuth sets her mind to unraveling these dark mysteries, she learns how embroiled she is in the whole affair. As riveting and witty as the sensational "penny dreadfuls" of Victorian England (but thousands of times better written), Pullman's trilogy (including The Shadow in the North and The Tiger in the Well) will have readers on the edges of their seats. Ruby is an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (165)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Gift
The Sally Lockhart Mysteries - novel one - The Ruby in the Smoke.

I rented the first three books (Ruby in the Smoke, Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well and The Tin Princess) on audio from the library and purchased from amazon "The Tin Princess" brilliant series! Someone I know loves audio books and we have been talking about what books we have listened to on cd for a while. I only in passes mentioned to the Sally Lockhart Mysteries to her. I purchased this book as a gift to her and I hope she enjoys it. Phillip Pullman is a fantastic story teller. I recommend the series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Victorian Thriller
With the important exception of a 20th century style female protagonist, this book is a Victorian young adult mystery through and through.The story is replete with Dickensian characters placed in Dickensian London: the tough but charming cockney street-urchin sidekick, the deeply evil quiet old lady, the courageous military father raising the daughter on his own--it's all here, together with the showdown on a foggy, London night on a bridge over the Thames.Pullam has a strong reputation in young adult literature, and some of the reasons are on display here.The vaguely magical, occasionally humorous, weighty plot unspools in a gradual, indirect way, and the book never condescends.The use of language is outstanding.In short, one feels throughout that this is a "good" book and that something exciting will happen.It is literary in this old-world fashion.At the same time, it also old-fashioned (and English) in its values (stiff-upper lip, courage, duty), and pacing (slow), characterization (familiar), and story-line (predictable).There is no innovation here, and at least two 21st century readers (my 14-year old son and I) were simply bored at times.Still, good enough for us that we are on to the sequel.

3-0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read but I expected more.
`On a fretful afternoon in October 1872, sixteen year old Sally Lockhart stepped out of a hansom cab, and within fifteen minutes she was going to kill a man.' A priceless ruby, lives ruined by smoke (opium), good guys and contemptible villains, a determined feminist heroine and a crush of enigmas make for an exceptionally affecting story. Although Pullman overdoses on circumstantial descriptions of Victorian London, this first book in the Sally Lockhart Mysteries is a fine read. It's a bit overdone with modern conventionalism--the willful and orphaned heroine straightaway proceeds to uncover the obscurities that surround her father's death, her strange dreams and the malicious strangers who want to see her dead. She disdains the guardianship of her aunt in favor of living with a group of newfound (parentless) friends. She's really not likeable, she's spoiled, headstrong and temperamental, but readers will enjoy a good Holmesian traipse around Victorian London, albeit in a rather redundant plagiaristic Dickensian style. This is Nancy Drew for older readers, but that tag is due only to the violence incurred. The characters are too flat and the story too clichéd to make an enduring impression on savvy young adult readers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Angieville: THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE
I remember buying my copy of THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE at a B. Dalton bookstore in San Antonio, Texas. I liked the cover with the young girl in the cape holding something mysterious in a white handkerchief for a slightly creepy old woman to inspect. But, in the end, this was yet another example of a book I bought for the opening lines alone.

"On a cold, fretful afternoon in early October, 1872, a hansom cab drew up outside the offices of Lockhart and Selby, Shipping Agents, in the financial heart of London, and a young girl got out and paid the driver.

She was a person of sixteen or so--alone, and uncommonly pretty. She was slender and pale, and dressed in mourning, with a black bonnet under which she tucked back a straying twist of blond hair that the wind had teased loose. She had unusually dark brown eyes for one so fair. Her name was Sally Lockhart; and within fifteen minutes, she was going to kill a man."

Yeah, there was sort of no way my 12-year-old self wasn't going to make a beeline to the cash register with that one. All I knew was that it was set in Victorian London, it was a mystery, and it clearly featured a girl I wanted to get to know better. I had no idea it was the first in a trilogy, or how involved I would become in the incredibly intricate plot that stretches out over all three books. It should be noted that Pullman published a fourth volume almost ten years after THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE, but it is less of a direct sequel and more a companion novel to the original trilogy.

Sally Lockhart is so very far from your average 16-year-old. Even your average 16-year-old in 19th century London. Her father has recently been murdered and she is intent on uncovering the identity of his killer and bringing the villain to justice. As such, she comes to his offices in London to meet with his partner and find out if he knows anything about Mr. Lockhart's demise or the phrase, "Beware the seven blessings," which she came across in a fragment of a letter sent to her from Singapore. Shortly after her arrival she becomes embroiled in another murder, the vagaries of the opium trade, and the mystery of the disappearance of the fabled Ruby of Agrapur. Along the way she encounters a few associates who become true friends, including a young scarecrow of an errand boy named Jim Taylor and an amiable photographer by the name of Frederick Garland. She will have need of her friends before the game is played out and she races against the clock to make sense of her convoluted past and discover just who is behind the strange web of betrayal and deceit that has taken over her life.

Everyone is familiar with Philip Pullman's much more famous His Dark Materials Trilogy. I snatched up the first book when it came out because I was already a huge Pullman fan because of the Sally Lockhart books. And I enjoyed The Golden Compass just fine. But I got halfway through The Subtle Knife and the whole thing just...petered out for me. I'm still not exactly sure what happened except that I kept wishing the entire time I was reading about Sally instead. But in my experience few people have read this set of excellent mysteries. They are dark, dire, and grim, to be sure. But they are also absolutely delightful. And bite-your-nails-to-the-quick intense. Sally herself is such a strong character--a perfect blend of independence, diffidence, integrity, and intelligence. Following her growth and development over the course of the trilogy is an absolutely moving experience. Each book matures in both subject matter and length. THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE reads like Dickens meets Arthur Conan Doyle meets Lloyd Alexander and that combination proved too charming for me to resist. I could not put it down until I finished it and I immediately went out and bought the next two books. They did not disappoint, but rather ratcheted up the stakes with each passing page. Pullman somehow manages to create the atmosphere of a vintage penny dreadful, while peopling it with fully fleshed out characters who work their way seamlessly into the reader's heart and affections. In fact, I vividly remember breaking down sobbing while reading a certain scene in the second book--The Shadow in the North. It is one of my very first memories of connecting with a set of characters so much it was physically painful to me to watch them suffer. An engrossing series highly recommended, particularly for fans of Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle Trilogy and Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series.
Reading order: THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE, The Shadow in the North, and The Tiger in the Well. Companion novel: The Tin Princess.

3-0 out of 5 stars Close but no cigar for Pullman
I have an unnatural love of Philip Pullman. I have his words inked into my skin, I've written term papers on his books, I've read and absorbed his "His Dark Materials" trilogy so many times that my books are falling apart (well loved! well loved, I say!).

And yet, for some reason, I've never read his Sally Lockhart series. I think this is for two main reasons; one, because the books don't have the same fantastical and mythological element that the HDM books do, and two, because I was pretty certain that nothing could live up to the sheer perfection of the HDM trilogy.

I wasn't wrong; the novel contains only the slightest inkling of fantasy, and it pales in comparison with The Golden Compass. But it's still an amazing novel, wrought with the kind of plot twists and interesting characters that only Pullman can pull of.

Still, I feel kind of let down... there are so many striking similarities between Ruby and The Golden Compass that it was all too deja vu at times. Young, strong and witty female protagonist, striking young boy who is her friend, side-kick, and has a crush on her; the father who is never there and the mysterious mother; even the Garland family bears a resemblence to the Gyptians.

But the book was still a lot of fun, and Pullman has a way with words that just sucks you in. I started reading this on the train this morning, and finished once I got home. It's short, but I just couldn't put it down.

I think I'll start the second one soon. Unlike HDM, this is several separate plots in several books, while HDM is one big arc in three parts. That gives me hope for Book #2! ... Read more

5. Lyra's Oxford
by Philip Pullman
Paperback: 64 Pages (2007-09-25)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375843698
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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An exciting new tale set in the world of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials saga. This collectible hardcover volume includes a short story by Mr. Pullman, plus a fold-out map of Oxford and various "souvenirs" from the past. The book is illustrated throughout with woodcut illustrations by John Lawrence.

From the Hardcover edition.Amazon.com Review
Attention all serious book collectors and fans ofPhilip Pullman'sHis Dark Materials. This undoubtedly beautiful package--cloth-bound in a classy red and adorned by numerous illustrations by master engraver and illustrator John Lawrence--is a must-purchase. A pint-sized pocket volume, Lyra's Oxford packages together a short story set in the same universe as his famous trilogy, a fold-out map of the alternate-reality city of Oxford, a short brochure for a cruise to The Levant aboard the S.S. Zenobia, and a postcard from the inventor of the amber spyglass, Mary Malone. Pullman, in his introduction, suggests that the peripheral items within "might be connected with the story, or they might not; they might be connected to stories that haven’t appeared yet. It's difficult to tell."

A very sumptuous and lovingly crafted but tantalizingly brief book ,Lyra's Oxford begins when Lyra and Pantalaimon spot a witch's daemon called Ragi being pursued over the rooftops of Oxford by a frenzied pack of birds. The daemon heads straight for Lyra (the creature was given Lyra’s name as somebody who might help) and is given shelter. Together Lyra and Pan try to guide the daemon to the home of Sebastian Makepeace—an alchemist living in a part of Oxford known as Jericho--but it is a journey fraught with more danger than they had at first anticipated.(Age 10 and over) --John McLay ... Read more

Customer Reviews (101)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Addition to Mr. Pullman's Famous Saga
"Lyra's Oxford" represented the glimmer of hope within my depressed and hungry mind following the completion of "The Amber Spyglass." With great respect for Mr. Pullman's writing ability as shown in his previous three books of the "His Dark Materials" saga I thought that he would do what many great authors have done in the past and end the series after the sad but understandable conclusion to Lyra and Will's quest in "The Amber Spyglass." That early judgment was dashed when I happened to discover that Mr. Pullman is indeed continuing the story but through a number of companion novels which have and will continue to be written and released as time goes on. With my spirits raised and my mind hungry I quickly dove into "Lyra's" Oxford without a moment's hesitation.
The Short Story within the book titled "Lyra and the Birds" takes place two years after the conclusion of the events in "The Amber Spyglass" and details the efforts of a now older Lyra to help a lost witch's daemon find its way back to its host. What the story lacks in length it makes up for in the same action oriented, informative storytelling which made the original trilogy so appealing. With a map of Lyra's alternate Oxford, and other clues pointing to the possible future of the characters the author Philip Pullman has never ceased to amaze me with his allegiance to the series and to his many fans.
The only problem I encountered is that the Kindle version does not display the map in a manner which much detail can be composed of in a knowledgeable manner. Unless you have a Kindle DX or don't mind a squished indistinguishable map I would get this wonderful read as a printed book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Trying to Shake a Fabulous Character
When I finish a good book, it can take ages for me to stop thinking about a character, a scene, a feeling I got from the book.After consuming the His Dark Materials trilogy in the span of only a few weeks, I was a little fixated on Lyra.

Lyra had courage and an adventurous spirit that I admired. My husband is reading The Golden Compass now and I am truly jealous of him as he gets to meet Lyra for the first time. And if I haven't been able to shake Lyra, what of the author, Philip Pullman?

When an author writes a book, or a series, or even a short story, he or she lives with the character for some period of time. Perhaps the idea of the character ruminates in their head for years before being expressed on paper. And so it seems obvious that publication would not cause an end to that relationship. In my mind, Lyra's Oxford is one little scene that Pullman kept replaying and felt he need to get down on paper. Loyal readers, wanting for more, would of course buy it.

Pullman published Lyra's Oxford after His Dark Materials and it is nothing more the endearingly sweet. My copy of the story is hardbound and no more than 4 inches by six inches. There are illustrations on the pages and a fold-out map. The 49 pages detailing Lyra's adventure with a witch are a quick read. While in no way as satisfying as any part of His Dark Materials, Lyra's Oxford does quench a little of your thirst thirst for more of Pullman's creation.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very tasty chocolate mint after dinner!
It's true that this book is short beyond even what I had assumed reading some of the negative reviews.It is indeed more like a "teaser".However, it is deliciously and luxuriously written and gives us a tiny taste of Lyra's world.This to me is worth it.Like after a large, savory feast, a tasty chocolate mint to delight and perhaps cleanse the palate for the next course... A quick read that reminds us why we love His Dark Materials so much.Recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Cliff Hanger
It is a very short story that leaves you with more questions instead of answers; despite this, the inserts are interesting.

3-0 out of 5 stars So plain and simple.
I'm a fan of Phillip Pullman, specially with his Northern Lights Trilogy. That was the reason why I bought this. I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting more from the story, I was hoping more adventure that Lyra would be tackling and alot of mysteries, but it was just like that, so simple, like reading the whole thing in an hour. I would want to wonder more and stay long like what Phillip Pullman had done with his Trilogy, where you will be so tantalize with the stories, but with this one, its just like a scratch story, so plain, and I guess its just mainly for kids, but I know, kids who loved the trilogy would also ask for more. ... Read more

6. Aladdin And The Enchanted Lamp
by Philip Pullman
Hardcover: 64 Pages (2005-04-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$1.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0439692555
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Philip Pullman garnered every accolade around with the breathtaking His Dark Materials trilogy. Now he turns his storytelling gifts to one of the most famous of the Arabian Nights tales, "Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp." Aladdin is a shiftless good-for-nothing boy until he unwittingly acquires a magic lamp inhabited by a genie -- and the adventure that follows both makes his fortune and makes him a man. Pullman tells the tale with his trademark crisp writing and fast-paced action, while Sophy Williams's pastels shimmer with the heat and beauty of the Far East. Terrific for reading aloud!
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures, easy to read
Really gorgeous hard cover book with lovely colour pictures.I was very pleased.Excellent price on sale.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice story, but no special interest for Pullman lovers
While I can certainly recommend this book for children (it is a great story, and the pictures are quite beautiful), it is of limited interest for the Philip Pullman junkie.The story is retold well, but you'd never know Pullman wrote it, as opposed to anyone else.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice version - previous review wrong
If you're looking for a non-Disney version of this classic tale, this is a nice re-telling of the Aladdin story, with captivating illustrations for kids ages 6-10.

The previous reviewer wrote that this version of the classic Aladdin tale was in error - that it mistakenly took place in China, not the Middle East as it should be.The truth is that this story has ALWAYS taken place in China, from the earliest existing versions of the story from the 16th century.Disney got it wrong, no surprise. Although these stories originated in the Middle East, they were often fantasies about far away and fabulous places, such as China.(It may also interest people to know that the earliest versions of many of these stories are in French, not Arabic, and many scholars believe that the versions which we know were created by Europeans out of bits and fragments of local Arabic and Persian sources, emphasizing the "oriental" exoticism which Europeans saw therein.In other words, there is no existing "authentic" Middle Eastern version.)

For grown ups, I recommend the highly readable two volumes of Arabian Nights tales translated into English by Husain Haddawy.It's the definitive version, IMHO.Avoid Sir Richard Burton's translation like the plague.Enough said.

For kids ages 7-11, I also strongly recommend Brian Alderson's colorfully illistrated retelling of the Arabian Nights (ISBN 0-688-14219-2). Another excellent illustrated version is The Arabian Nights retold by Neil Philip (ISBN 0-531-06868-4), which has fewer butfunkier illustrations.Both story collections contain over a dozen tales, sutable for reading over many days, including the stories of Aladdin and Ali-Baba and the Forty Thieves.Alderson's version also has the Story of Sinbad, and is the children's version which comes closest to mirroring the full extent of the original tales.

For slightly older kids (ages 9-14) I would recommend Geraldine McCaughrean's version of the One Thousand and One Arabian Nights (ISBN 0-19-274500), which has the best version of the stories-within-story framework.

If Middle Eastern exoticism is your interest, another good picture book for kids ages 5-7 is Tomie DePaola's Legend of the Persian Carpet (ISBN 0-399-22415-7).

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but with a major flaw ....
This book is excellently written and illustrated, but I was really surprised to read the first sentence, "Once upon a time in China ..." The story and illustrations indicate the settings in the Middle East and the currency used for all transactions in the story is the "dinar" !!!! ... Read more

7. Northern Lights
by Philip Pullman
Hardcover: 399 Pages (1995-01)
list price: US$29.98 -- used & new: US$115.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0590541781
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This is the first in a trilogy in which a new universe has been created. A world where daemons swoop and scuttle along the streets of Oxford and London, where the mysterious Dust swirls invisibly through the air, and where one child knows secrets the adults would kill for. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best
Adult fans of young-adult fiction have had something of a Garden of Eden lately, with such wonderful novels as the Harry Potter series, Artemis Fowl etc. crossing the line between the genres of young adult and adult. Somewhat less well-known (and, in my opinion, more deserving of credit and praise than either Harry or Artemis) is this series of books by hitherto-unknown Philip Pullman - the 'His Dark Materials Trilogy', the first book of which is this, 'The Northern Lights'.

To synopsise: Lyra is a strange orphan girl living in a version of London not-unlike our own. She accidentally uncovers a plot to rid people of their Daemons (spirit-like creatures that accompany everyone everywhere, like an extension of one's soul) and sets out to rescue her friends from the clutches of a sinister church-based organisation. Along the way she makes some unusual friends and discovers that her ultimate goal will take her far beyond the reaches of her own world.

What I can't praise enough about this book is the imagination and originality with which it is written. A comparable revalation in terms of ingenuity would have been the original release of the JRR Tolkien novels. However, unlike Tolkien, Pullman has imbued his characters and worlds with such a lack of pretension and sense of dry wit that we can't help but become totally enthralled by the events that shape their lives. For the first fifty pages you won't understand what's happening, so different is Lyra's world from our own - but then all becomes much, much clearer, and quite unapologetically, Pullman uses insanely clever puns and vivid imaginative descriptions to force us to draw our own conclusions about the strange world occupying this book.

His characters are wonderfully-realised. Lyra is a tough, spare little thing, but the clever inclusion of Daemons is Pullman's unique way of illustrating her humanity and little-girlness to us. Mrs. Coulter is menacing and terribly cold, the Gyptians are a beautifully-concieved and su[erbly-executed race of people. It's impossible to touch on each amazing character, suffice it to say that Pullman's imagination is given free reign, tempered with his uncanny knack to edit his own ramblings into something convincing and captivating.

The first in a trilogy of books, I can only advise you to buy all three together, as each one finishes rather abruptly, leaving you gasping for more. You won't be able to escape Pullman's imagination, and more importantly, you won't want to. 'Harry Potter' is the paste-jewelry, 'Northern Lights' is the Hope Diamond. I can't recommend this highly enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nothern lights- a book for stary-eyed readers
I read Northern lights, because my aunty who is a school librarian told me how good the book was. She certainly was not wrong. This book offers drama, action, love, hate and a gripping storyline.
The book is all about Lyra, a 12-year-old girl who goes on an amazing adventure up in the north to rescue her friend Rodger and her uncle Lord Asriel. I think this book has a brilliant story line, because as the book goes on new adventures unfold for Lyra that keeps any reader with an imagination involved in this delightful fantasy book.
Throughout the book you join Lyra through her adventures to save the world from original sin. I thought that the clever twist in the book really makes it interesting and an enjoyable race against time to see whether the world shall be destroyed or saved. You will have to read the book to find out, because I am not going to tell you!
Phillip Pullman is a very clever and talented writer and deserves much appreciation from his readers that have discovered a whole new universe inside a little book.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good fantasy read and something to stimulate your imagination.

5-0 out of 5 stars Northern Lights review!!
I don't think i will tell you what actually happens because you should try reading it first! It is a bit strange/different at fist but once you have read at least the second chapter you certainly won't put it down! I love the way its so in depth in all the different worlds and Phillp Pullman has put in every thing from his imagination to make this happen. It is a wonder and a sheer class of excellence. How its described and followed in detail is brilliant. I loved it and the follow on in HIS DARK MATERIALS. WELL DONE PHILLIP PULLMAN! YOUR DA MAN!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow! What a book!
One of my friends sent me this saying it was brill. I read it in two days. I love the way it opens with a very good start. Lyra is trying to spy in a room where she's not allowed to go but she has to hide in the wardrobe because someone comes in. There's never too much description or dialogue. Lyra sets out on an adventure with her little daemon Pantalaimon and they come across so many dangers and adventures. Another sign that it is very well written is that when Lyra felt scared or hurt l felt it too. I thought because she saved her fathers life that he might want to get to know her better and ask her to come with him in the other world. But did he? No. He asked the women who kind of betrayed him and also used Lyra's friend's life to get into the new universe.
Iorek Brynisonis my favourite character(but i like Lyra too). Lord Asriel and Mrs Coulter are my least favourite characters.
I would recommendthis to adults as well as kids. I kept pestering mam to read it but she said she was too busy but that she would when she had time. This is a book you pick up and can't put down!! IT'S BRILLIANT, MINDBOGGLING AND FANTASTIC!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Northern Lights
"Northern Lights" by Phillip Pullman is thankfully the first of the Dark Materials trilogy. Within the first five pages its adventurous plot captured me totally. This book combines elements of fantasy, thriller and an adventure story into a novel that can be enjoyed on many levels.
This book is set in a parallel universe where the idea of human is to have a "daemon". Daemons take the form of animals, they and their human are intimately, including telepathically, linked. Human and daemon can never be more than a few feet apart, but can both think and act independently. The daemons of children can change themselves to and from any animal whilst those of adults are fixed at puberty into a permanent form.
Northern Lights takes the classic form of a quest where our heroine, 12 year old Lyra, as always accompanied by her daemon Pantalaimon, must battle overwhelming odds to save her world.
Lyra is a wild, spirited girl who charges through this book on a foolhardy mission to rescue her friend Roger, the kitchen boy. She delights in mischief and lies like a champion. Lyra is helped on her mission by many different characters. Amongst these characters is the Master of Jordan- torn between his genuine love for Lyra and his priority of preserving the college against a background of serious political and religious intrigue. Another major part of the plot is Lord Asriel a proud, arrogant man set on achieving nothing but his own goals which will change Lyra's world irrevocably. Lyra's chief supporters are Lord John Faa, the king of the Gypsies, a people who were once her enemies, and a solid good man.
Starting from an alternative Oxford College, the fictional Jordan college, the plot moves us through London to the frozen wastes of the Arctic.
This book grips you from beginning to end and leaves you desperate for the next book in the series. Although it is set in a parallel world unlike our own it is astonishingly convincing and strangely moving. Reading this book leaves readers, of all ages, eagerly awaiting book two. ... Read more

8. The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials
by Mary Gribbin, John Gribbin
Mass Market Paperback: 224 Pages (2007-07-10)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$1.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375831460
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is renowned for its mystery and magic. What’s the truth behind it all? Is the golden compass actually based in science?How does the subtle knife cut through anything? Could there be a bomb like the one made with Lyra’s hair? How do the Gallivespians’ lodestone resonators really work? And, of course, what are the Dark Materials? Drawing on string theory and spacetime, quantum physics and chaos theory, award-winning science writers Mary and John Gribbin reveal the real science behind Philip Pullman’s bestselling fantasy trilogy in entertaining and crystal-clear prose.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not what I had hoped
I can see how this book would be interesting to some people, but for me it was just not worth struggling through. There are two problems with this book for me: 1) I'm not that into Philip Pullman and 2) I'm not that into science. I suppose I shouldn't have bothered to pick this book because of those two reasons, but it came highly recommended by friends. I found that if you are not thoroughly into Philip Pullman then you tend to be a little lost at times. There are parts that you have to know from reading his books. They don't give you much of explaining the book parts that they are using when talking about the science. The science part was very interesting. The theories were talked about in depth. It would be fascinating to someone that cared about that sort of thing. I'm just not that type of person.

5-0 out of 5 stars A little slanted, but good
I really enjoyed the writing and the explanations offered in this book, which break down some of the happenings in The Golden Compass into an understandable reality, such as the Subtle Knife and how it is based in the 'String Theory.' All if this is fine. The authors go awry, however, in chapter four when they decided to trash my favorite occult pastime (Tarot card reading) by declaring that an experienced card reader can not read cards as well as Lyra naturally reads the Golden Compass. Of course she can read it well - neither SHE nor the Golden Compass exist! She's a fictional character! And the Golden Compass - based in I Ching as it were - doesn't exist either! I found this aspect and criticism to be totally unwarrented and totally out-of-place in a book that otherwise is very entertaining and informative. IMHO, that section needs to be tossed out!

4-0 out of 5 stars Unlocks What Otherwise is Magical Fantasy
Fantasy for the sake of escapism is wonderful.Explanation of the same may become problematic.To the reader who enjoys escaping reality for fantasy, explanation for what otherwise has no reason is as inviting as the many hurtful "growing up"moments: e.g. when we learn that there is no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny or Tooth Afairy.

One of Great Britain's greatest fantasies is the Dark Materials' trilogy - where little children take on magical odysseys to cure what adults ruin.Similar to "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" or any of the J.K. Rowling "Harry Potter" books, Philip Pullman's fantasy has been the torch which lit many of a certain generation's children's dreams.A contemporary to Rowling, his writinghas been the source of discussion and movie material.

And, so it is this book that makes it so unlike interpretations of many of its peer novels.Harry Potter novels are decried as the source for the intense growth of devil worshiping satanic cults. To the contrary, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" has been accused of being a Christian lesson in mythic tale. Narnia - the land of "The Lion . . . " - is separate from our own. It is heaven or the "other world." Potter's world coexists with our own - he is different, he is the devil incarnate. Or, so critics tells us.

Pullman's world is both "other" as well as part of our own.He has Lyra and Will meet, even though they are from different worlds.With magic knife, Will cuts his way into our world.How, the authors ask, can this be?

Metaphysics. This book teaches us about the fourth dimension, string theory, dust, dark materials, quantum physics and more - and how each relates to what we thought was a children's novel. Peeling away at the layers of plot in the Pullman books, the authors of this book teach us more science than we probablyhave learned in decades.At times I wondered whether I was learning more science in this book than I had forgotten in a lifetime.

And, so the authors explain that our childlike imaginations are actually rooted in truths - scientific truths.That our fantasy is actually reality. That our escape is merely a change in direction to what we otherwise do not know. In short, science is as magical as it is logical.Science can be as much fun as . . . dare I say it. . . Rowling or Pullman or C.S. Lewis.

I learned a lot from this book.And, although it awakened me to learn something that I may have otherwise been just as comfortable as not knowing, I have no regrets.To the contrary, I regret having been so ignorant.I enjoyed reading this book which unlocked many mysteries which have been hidden from me for years. And, I only wish that science could have been taught in a similar manner.

4-0 out of 5 stars inconsistant
This is a brilliant concept, and was executed relatively well. My main complaint is that the tone of writing is not consistent. I felt 'talked down to' in some chapters and then unexplained terms, concepts and/or examples were used that went over my head in other chapters. For example, the authors give a detailed definition of what "experiments" are, but then assume readers know what "polarized lenses" are. I don't know about others, but I knew what an 'experiment' was about a decade before I had any experience with polarized lenses, and I'm still not 100% sure I'm thinking of the right thing. Particularly toward the end of the book the authors seemed to have jumped ship on breaking concepts down with the same voracity as in the beginning.
Obviously, this is a companion to the trilogy. Although I felt the editing should've been better for this book, it really is an invaluable addition to the His Dark Materials experience.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials
Mary & John Gribbin have created a well organized and eaily understood science guide to the authentic physics behind Philip Pullman's epic work.The Gribbins combine good, clear writing with a thurough understanding of phyisics that leads to simple explanations a layman can understand.With out this valualbe work, Mr. Pullman's fantastic tale would remain simply a 'story' underpinned by fanciful and extremely complex and difficult science that might or might not be real for our world.As it happens, much of it is real for our world. ... Read more

9. Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials: A Multiple Allegory: Attacking Religious Superstition in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Paradise Lost
by Leonard F. Wheat
Paperback: 338 Pages (2007-09-30)
list price: US$21.98 -- used & new: US$6.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591025893
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Philip Pullman's His Dark Materialstrilogy is one of the most popular fantasy works of our time. Both the trilogy and a new movie based on it are being marketed chiefly as YA (young adult) fare. But Leonard F. Wheat shows in this fascinating analysis that His Dark Materials is far more than a YA tale. At a deeper level it is a complex triple allegory--a surface story that uses 231 symbols to tell three hidden stories. As such, it is among the most profound, intellectually challenging, and thoroughly adult works ever written. Wheat brings the hidden stories to light. He demonstrates how Pullman retells two prominent works of British literature--C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and John Milton's Paradise Lost.Pullman's aim is to counter Lewis's pro-Christian allegory with his own anti-Christian allegory. Pullman does this in his second allegory by turning Paradise Lost upside down. Satan and his daughter, Sin, along with Adam's murderous son Cain, become heroes; God and Jesus become villains. This retold story depicts our society's warfare between knowledge (symbolized by Dust) and religious superstitions (symbolized by Specters). Pullman adds an original third hidden story featuring Christian missionaries, Charles Darwin, agnostics, and atheists. Wheat's intriguing interpretation of Pullman's work is the first to point out the many allegorical features of His Dark Materials and to highlight the ingenious ways in which Pullman subtly attacks religious institutions and superstitions.Pullman fans as well as readers interested in fantasy or concerned about religious coercion will find Wheat's book not only stimulating but overflowing with surprises. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars People Who Don't Understand Literature Shouldn't Write Books About Literature
This is a book about allegory by someone who does not understand allegory.From a literary perspective, it is naive and virtually unreadable.It is thesis ridden in the worst possible way.Were one of my freshman composition students to have written something like this, I would give them a "F". Terrible book with an ignorant, untenable thesis. I write this not because I disagree with him (I do), but because the book offends me with its simplistic analysis and simple ignorance.While the title is promising; the execution is execrable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful and revealing
Philip Pullman's HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy is a modern fantasy hit, so any college-level collection strong in science fiction analysis will find Leonard Wheat's title the perfect analytical companion piece to the series. Readers will find discussions of symbolism and allegory - as well as religion and British literature as a whole - to be insightful and revealing, lending to classroom discussion at either the high school or college levels.

4-0 out of 5 stars Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials"
I saw and enjoyed the movie "The Golden Compass."Later, I learned from a relative that it was anti Christian.Not sensing this from the movie, and wishing to understand the issue, I purchased this book and "Discovering the Golden Compass" by George Beahm. My overall impression after reading Leonardo Wheat's book is either he has a very active imagination or is compulsively dedicated to making every combination an allegory.Not withstanding, many of his "allegories" were worth consideration.I recommend both books to the interested reader.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting exploration
This book is to be read AFTER you have finished all 3 books of the trilogy.The author has obviously done a ton of research into this book and relates it to Paradise Lost and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Narnia).The symbols and allegories are outlined, sometimes they seem a stretch, but you after reading this book are have much more depth about the driving force of His Dark Materials (Pullman's books).This book has lots of footnotes and reads more like a textbook, which is ok for me becaue I am a PhD type, but general audiences may find it someone cumbersome.It went from a 4 to a 3 partially because in the first chapters, the author will ask a question, and never provide the answer, e.g. "and what character in Will's world is similar to the Snake in the garden of Eden".But doesn't answer it, and the questions weren't no-brainers for the reader - that is why we are reading this.However, in later chapters these questions are answered, but I found the first portion of the book annoying by not providing information, but instead using teaser questions with no footnote of the correct answer.If you are eruditic you will enjoy this book as I did, and come away more knowledgeable about Milton's Paradise Lost, Lewis' Narnia and organized religion/bible. ... Read more

Mass Market Paperback: 499 Pages (2007-11-13)
-- used & new: US$34.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 2070615022
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11. The Golden Compass, Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition (His Dark Materials, Book 1)(Rough-cut)
by Philip Pullman
Hardcover: 432 Pages (2006-10-24)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$7.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375838309
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Published in 40 countries, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy--The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass--has graced the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Book Sense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. In 1996, The Golden Compass changed the face of fantasy publishing, and 2006 marks its 10 Year Anniversary--and an opportunity to celebrate with a deluxe hardcover. Pullman created new material just for this edition (archival documents, scientific notes and "found" letters of Lord Asriel) which has been illustrated and handlettered by renowned British artist Ian Beck and will be included in the back matter. The deluxe edition also features Pullman's own chapter opening spot art. A quality collectible--with the enticement of never-before-seen new material--for Pullman fans.Amazon.com Review
Some books improve with age--the age of the reader, thatis. Such is certainly the case with Philip Pullman's heroic, at timesheart-wrenching novel, The Golden Compass, a story ostensiblyfor children but one perhaps even better appreciated by adults. Theprotagonist of this complex fantasy is young Lyra Belacqua, aprecocious orphan growing up within the precincts of OxfordUniversity. But it quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is notprecisely like our own--nor is her world. For one thing, people thereeach have a personal daemon, the manifestation of their soulsin animal form. For another, hers is a universe in which science,theology, and magic are closely allied:

As for whatexperimental theology was, Lyra had no more idea than the urchins. Shehad formed the notion that it was concerned with magic, with themovements of the stars and planets, with tiny particles of matter, butthat was guesswork, really. Probably the stars had daemons just ashumans did, and experimental theology involved talking to them.
Not that Lyra spends much time worrying about it; whatshe likes best is "clambering over the College roofs with Roger thekitchen boy who was her particular friend, to spit plum stones on theheads of passing Scholars or to hoot like owls outside a window wherea tutorial was going on, or racing through the narrow streets, orstealing apples from the market, or waging war." But Lyra's carefreeexistence changes forever when she and her daemon, Pantalaimon, firstprevent an assassination attempt against her uncle, the powerful LordAsriel, and then overhear a secret discussion about a mysteriousentity known as Dust. Soon she and Pan are swept up in a dangerousgame involving disappearing children, a beautiful woman with a goldenmonkey daemon, a trip to the far north, and a set of allies rangingfrom "gyptians" to witches to an armor-clad polar bear.

In The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman has written a masterpiecethat transcends genre. It is a children's book that will appeal toadults, a fantasy novel that will charm even the most hardenedrealist. 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, andan abiding morality that infuses the story but never overwhelmsit. This is one of those rare novels that one wishes would neverend. Fortunately, its sequel, The Subtle Knife,will help put off that inevitability for a while longer. --AlixWilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1489)

3-0 out of 5 stars "You cannot change what you are, only what you do"
"You cannot change what you are, only what you do"
Lyra Belacquais an orphan in the care of the scholars at Jordan College.Gradually, she begins to learn more and more about her surroundings: her Uncle Asriel, the mysterious "Up North", a substance called "Dust".But when her friend, Roger, is abducted by "Gobblers", Lyra joins up with gypsies, "Gyptians", to rescue the boy.

I Liked:
So much controversy over a book!
Pullman's part alternate universe, part steampunk, part fantasy world is most assuredly breath-taking.I am not big on the whole steampunk thing, for whatever reason, but I felt Pullman did a great job making me interested.He took time and care into creating his new world and it is vivid and real.I love the anbaric lights, the balloons and zeppelins, the experimental theology, the lights, and all the other subtle differences (or maybe not so subtle!) to our world.
By far, my favorite part was the concept of the daemon.This was particularly well thought out and imaginative.I liked how daemons were companions, souls, advisors.I liked how a child's daemon would change while an adult's would not.I love how the daemon's form and actions represent the person's character and inner feelings.And I love the care with which Pullman creates a relationship between Lyra and Pantalaimon.When they were nearly forcibly separated, I was on the edge of my seat, mentally screaming, "NO!Don't do that!"
Slap me around and tell me I'm mad, but I really liked Mrs. Coulter.Sure, she was a "bad guy", but I felt that she did an exceedingly cunning job hiding it behind a façade of niceness and concern.She was truly more menacing than, for instance, the King of the Bears.And her monkey...that guy gave me shudders!
I was impressed with Iorek the Bear.In fact, Pullman using bears was interesting.I've noticed that a lot of fantasy either relies on Greek/Roman mythology (centaurs and satyrs and the like) or Tolkien-esque fantasy (elves, orcs, dwarves) or Gothic/urban fantasy (vampires, werewolves, witches).Having sentient bears was a nice departure from the Narnia-esque talking animals (honestly, I never really did like Mr. and Mrs. Beaver).
After a slow start, the book really picks up and I found myself more and more interested in what would happen next.This, for me, started once the Gyptians began their trip up North.It was a great "adventure" yarn, and gave Lyra the chance to succeed based on quick-thinking (like when she was captured and placed in Bolvangar) and her wits.
There is also a whole lot of subtext that makes the book interesting.Almost everything is a symbol for something else--a theme of sorts, as I see it.In some ways, I can almost see Pullman telling us we need to be like Lyra, to pull out our alethiometers and decipher the symbols to our questions.Questions like: What is fate and destiny?Who am I and what will I grow up to be?Is there a power (such as the Church in the book) that has too much control over me, holding me back, forcing its own beliefs on me?

I Didn't Like:
It took me half the book to actually get around to liking Lyra, our protagonist.When we are first introduced to her, she's a mean little "liar", rude, uncivilized, unrestrained, and unlikeable.It took her quite some time (and many pages) for her to be a character that I could partially relate to--an even then, she was far from my favorite character in the novel.Now, I don't expect all protagonists to be perfect, admirable, loving--basically, little Pollyanna copycats.And part of what Lyra was makes sense for her background--and for what many kids are like.But still, she was a little too selfish and mean for me to really care about her.
As I really got into the story, I noticed that more and more of the characters were "evil"--maybe not Mrs. Coulter evil, but definitely selfish, lying, cheating, self-seeking evil.Lord Asriel, for example, is an arrogant, haughty man who, instead of raising Lyra himself, throws her at the mercy of Jordan College.How are we supposed to want to see him rescued?How are we supposed to side along with Lyra, in her quest to save him?Maybe some could, but I wasn't one of them.
Other characters are rather sketchy, particularly Roger, the kitchen boy and Lyra's friend.He is barely in the novel, barely has anything to say.It would be a compliment to call him a 2D character; there really is nothing about him remarkable or noteworthy.If I had to describe him, I'd be at a loss.For a story that somewhat hinges on his disappearance, you would hope that he would at least make an impression, make you want to find him again, to be reunited with Lyra.Unfortunately, I didn't feel anything about him at all.I was more interested with Lyra's second mission, to free Lord Asriel, than her primary one to save Roger.
As I mentioned above, the beginning is really slow and kinda confusing.Pullman doesn't spend a lot of time with exposition (which isn't necessarily bad--I hate it when there is too much time spent on backstory) and instead leaps head first into the story.But the story takes quite a long time to move anywhere, and it would be easy to become confused and give up or to get bored and give up.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
I spotted a few instances of @ss and he**.
Serafina had an intimate relationship with the Gyptian King.She also mentions how witches take lovers.Lyra's mother had a relationship with her father when her mother was married to another man.
Iorek fights the Bear King.It gets quite violent at the end.Also, a young boy is found after his daemon has been removed.Lyra gets captured quite frequently.

The Golden Compass is a unique fantasy novel.Even though the protagonist is only eleven, it's not exactly a child's novel (though I could easily see pre-teens and teenagers being interested in it).There are a lot of messages, dark and serious, that may appeal better to adults.But this deeper, darker message only helps it stand out amongst its counterparts, like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Narnia.
While it was slow in parts, and it took me a long time to like Lyra, I did find the book interesting and, yes, even enjoyable.There is excitement, adventure, a deeper meaning--everything one can ask for in a fantasy setting.As it is a completed trilogy (and not a never-ending series of doorstoppers) with somewhat of a sequel hook, I might even check out book two.A slightly above average novel, 3.5 stars rounded to 3 stars.

Brought to you by:
*C.S. Light*

3-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Fantasy (with some flaws)
***spoilers ahead***
You could view this story on many, many levels. On one level, it's a charming little fairy tale about a child who gets sucked into events bigger than herself and finds herself fighting for people she loves only to run into tragedy in the end.
On another level, it's a negative commentary about the pervasiveness of religious views.

Some Flaws:
Don't know what to do? Ask the little compass, it'll have all your answers.
Need to face off against an evil armored bear? Call in your own as backup, just make sure his armor is truly his soul because it's flawed if not.
Find out your best friend's been kidnapped? Vow to save him. Then you'll get sucked into one event after another, oh, don't forget your customary hero training courtesy of a picture-perfect woman of culture, who happens to be your evil mother.
Find out your father's being held captive way up north? Run until you get rescued by gyptians who also are missing a few kids and are preparing an expedition north. Hitch ride.
Etc. etc. etc.

In short, the whole story is one convenient event after another sucking our young heroine along for the ride. She doesn't really do much besides ask the darn compass for directions.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Top Quality Adventure of Epic Proportions!
"The Golden Compass" is an outstanding read and one of the most thought provoking book's I have ever read. The story takes place in an alternate universe where people's souls are external from their bodies in the form of animal companions called daemons. Lyra an orphan under the care of Jordan College in an alternate Oxford, England is thrust into the adventure of her life in order to save her world and countless others, as well as fulfill her destiny among the very fabric of time and space. Of course this is unknown to her at the time.
I barely ever took a break while reading this novel and loved every bit of it, the characters were very believable, the plot well thought up and interesting enough to cause you to not want to go to bed (I had this problem a lot), and the ability for the material within the story (alternate universes, souls, religion, etc) to force you to continuously reeducate yourself to matters you may think you already know. Out of the many books, and novels I have read so far in my lifetime this one definitely comes out among the top ten. I strongly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars title
I fell in love with this whole series. Every pain Lyra felt, every smile she smiled, I felt with her. If I have ever read a better series, I would be surprised. amd trust me, I have read a lot of books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshing departure from the "Harry Potter" vein
This book blew me away. I found it remarkably and refreshingly different from Harry Potter and the Giant Book Business, which seemingly took me 17 years to complete. Not that HP wasn't grand and marvelous and earth-shattering in its magnitude, but I found "The Golden Compass" so rich in detail and so brimming with provocative themes that I'm shocked that it's sometimes marketed as juvenile fiction. Superb! ... Read more

12. LA DAGA (Luces del Norte) (Spanish Edition)
by Philip Pullman
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2007-09-24)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$8.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8466636242
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Cuando el camino de Will se cruza con el de Lyra, el rumbo de sus vidas cambia para siempre. Will necesita descubrir la verdad sobre la desaparición de su padre. Para ello, iniciará un sorprendente viaje en le que se trasladará a una nueva dimensión, y conocerá a una extraña niña, Lyra. / The Subtle Knife offers everything we could have wished for, and more. For a start, there's a young hero--from our world--who is a match for Lyra Silvertongue and whose destiny is every bit as shattering. Like Lyra, Will Parry has spent his childhood playing games. Unlike hers, though, his have been deadly serious. This 12-year-old long ago learned the art of invisibility: if he could erase himself, no one would discover his mother's increasing instability and separate them. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Decepcionado
Tuve mala suerte!... compre mi libro, pero este tenía varios errores de fábrica, algunas páginas estaban repetidas, otras faltaban. Decepcionante en verdad.

4-0 out of 5 stars La bisagra de la trilogía
La Daga (The Subtle Knife) es el segundo libro de la trilogía "La Materia Oscura". Es probablemente el más débil de los tres títulos, pero es también la piedra angular para entender la tercera parte.

En La Daga, conoceremos a Will, un nuevo co-protagonista que acompañará a Lyra en su aventura. La importancia de este muchacho, que en principio parece simple comparsa a là Roger, va creciendo conforme avanza la novela. ... Read more

13. The Subtle Knife, Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition (His Dark Materials, Book 2)(Rough-cut)
by Philip Pullman
Hardcover: 368 Pages (2007-08-28)
list price: US$22.99 -- used & new: US$13.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375846727
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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PUBLISHED IN 40 COUNTRIES, with over 5 million copies in print in North America alone, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy -The
Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass - has graced the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Book Sense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. For these deluxe editions, Philip Pullman has created new material: papers of Colonel John Parry for the 10-year anniversary of The Subtle Knife (15 new pages), and letters of Mary Malone from secret Magisterium files for The Amber Spyglass (10 new pages). In each book, the new material has been illustrated and handlettered by renowned artist Ian Beck and will be included in the backmatter.

Each deluxe edition also features a ribbon bookmark, rough-edged pages, and Pullman's own chapter-opening spot art. These two volumes join the 2006 deluxe edition of The Golden Compass to form a gorgeous collectible set of the trilogy - a perfect gift for loyal Pullman readers and new fans alike. The Golden Compass debuts as a New Line major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman in December 2007.Amazon.com Review
With The GoldenCompass Philip Pullman garnered every accolade under the sun.Critics lobbed around such superlatives as "elegant," "awe-inspiring,""grand," and "glittering," and used "magnificent" with gay abandon. Eachreader had a favorite chapter--or, more likely, several--from the openingtour de force to Lyra's close call at Bolvangar to the great armored-bearbattle. And Pullman was no less profligate when it came to intellectualfirepower or singular characters. The dæmons alone grant him a place inworld literature. Could the second installment of his trilogy keep up thispitch, or had his heroine and her too, too sullied parents consumed him?And what of the belief system that pervaded his alternate universe, not tomention the mystery of Dust? More revelations and an equal number ofwonders and new players were definitely in order.

The Subtle Knife offers everything we could have wished for, and more. Fora start, there's a young hero--from our world--who is a match for LyraSilvertongue and whose destiny is every bit as shattering. Like Lyra, WillParry has spent his childhood playing games. Unlike hers, though, his havebeen deadly serious. This 12-year-old long ago learned the art ofinvisibility: if he could erase himself, no one would discover his mother'sincreasing instability and separate them.

As the novel opens, Will's enemies will do anything for information about hismissing father, a soldier and Arctic explorer who has been very muchairbrushed from the official picture. Now Will must get his mother intosafe seclusion and make his way toward Oxford, which may hold the key toJohn Parry's disappearance. But en route and on the lam from both thepolice and his family's tormentors, he comes upon a cat with more than amouse on her mind: "She reached out a paw to pat something in the air infront of her, something quite invisible to Will." What seems to him a patchof everyday Oxford conceals far more: "The cat stepped forward andvanished." Will, too, scrambles through and into another oddly desertedlandscape--one in which children rule and adults (and felines) are verymuch at risk. Here in this deathly silent city by the sea, he will soonhave a dustup with a fierce, flinty little girl: "Her expression was amixture of the very young--when she first tasted the cola--and a kind ofdeep, sad wariness." Soon Will and Lyra (and, of course, her dæmon,Pantalaimon) uneasily embark on a great adventure and head into greatertragedy.

As Pullman moves between his young warriors and the witch Serafina Pekkala,the magnetic, ever-manipulative Mrs. Coulter, and Lee Scoresby and his haredæmon, Hester, there are clear signs of approaching war and earthly chaos.There are new faces as well. The author introduces Oxford dark-matterresearcher Mary Malone; the Latvian witch queen Ruta Skadi, who "hadtrafficked with spirits, and it showed"; Stanislaus Grumman, a shaman insearch of a weapon crucial to the cause of Lord Asriel, Lyra's father; anda serpentine old man whom Lyra and Pan can't quite place. Also onhand are the Specters, beings that make cliff-ghasts look like rankamateurs.

Throughout, Pullman is in absolute control of his several worlds, his plotand pace equal to his inspiration. Any number of astonishing scenes--small- andlarge-scale--will have readers on edge, and many are cause for tears. "Youthink things have to be possible," Will demands. "Things have to betrue!" It is Philip Pullman's gift to turn what quotidian mindswould term the impossible into a reality that is both heartbreaking andbeautiful. --Kerry Fried ... Read more

Customer Reviews (666)

4-0 out of 5 stars the title
I thought The Subtle Knife was a good read. I liked how the story began when Will was being chased by the police it drew me in on the first chapter. The book was filled with lots of action. I don't normally like reading but this book I thought was good. When I read it I felt like I was in the book, there with Will and Lyra. My favorite part in the book is when Will and Lyra use the subtle knife to get back Lyra'salethiometer from Sir Charles, because I thought it was smart to use the knife to get back the alethiometer than trade the knife for it. I also enjoyed the part when will find out that his father is Grumman because Will was searching for his father this whole time. My favorite character is Grumman because he help out Will and Lyra throughout the book and u find out he's Will's father. Sadly Grumman dies by a witch that loves him.another charater I liked was Scoresby because he was very brave he fended off a bunch of soldiers but died during the battle. Mrs. Coulter was one of the antagonists. She tricked Sir Charles into revealing the secrets of the knife and then murdered him. Sir Charles was also an antagonist he stole Lyra's alethiometer. The Subtle Knife was a good book. It had lots of action and suspense; it kept me wanting to read more. I would recommend this book to any fantasy lovers.

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay but not a patch on the first book
I found the second installment of His Dark Materials a reasonably enjoyable read but it doesn't compare to the majesty, mystery and beauty of "The Golden Compass." I'm also not so keen on the religious direction it's heading in. Apparently the overarching story line of the trilogy is the reversal of Milton's "Paradise Lost" - which I read in high school but don't feel like revisiting. To me, anti-religion is still focusing on religion. With the first book I felt like I was reading something totally new and imaginative which was thrilling. That said, I'll read the final book at some point. I'm just not in a rush.

5-0 out of 5 stars Remarkably and refreshingly different from Harry Potter
Wow. Even better than the first installment! So far, the books have been so remarkably and refreshingly different from the Harry Potter series that if I'm not careful, Lyra and Will Parry may replace Mr. Potter as my current favorite young literary heroes (apologies to Huck Finn, but I did say "current"). Come to think of it, comparing HDM with HP really isn't fair; their only similarity is that they're both categorized as juvenile fiction. In fact, with J.K. Rowling deliberately avoiding any mention of anything remotely religious or even scientific, her series pales in comparison to "His Dark Materials" and the themes addressed therein: faith, religion, spirituality, quantum physics, reality theory, the Church's relationship with and influence on society, individualism, the power of human potential, to name only a few. I'm actually pleasantly reminded once again of the breadth and scope of Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings."

4-0 out of 5 stars not just for YA readers; conceptually brilliant
The Subtle Knife is the second installment in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. While the first one, The Golden Compass, was set in a world parallel to ours, this sequel brings a new protagonist to the story set in our own world. A young boy, Will Perry, who is Lyra Belacqua's age joins this incredible story. Somewhat similar to The Lord of the Rings solely because the entire series is a journey to uncovering the mysteries, secrets, and the truth, the sequel definitely does not disappoint.

Philip Pullman's talent shines in this sequel, as he captivates me with his prose and pace. This book (including The Golden Compass) shows memorable characters, exciting plot developments, and unexpected twists and turns.

Conceptually brilliant, I think this will not only get praise from young adults but will captivate adults as well. I could not wait to read the last book in the trilogy, which I will write a review on too, for sure.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Inter-Dimensional Saga Continues...
I have to say that "The Subtle Knife" is another fantastic novel by Mr. Pullman in the "His Dark Materials" series. I couldn't put the book down and found the plot thoroughly entertaining and engrossing as it shifted from character to character, motive to motive, saga to saga. There was always a reason to continue reading as surprises and astounding revelations sharpened my focus and always kept me guessing. I can't wait to move on to the next book "The Amber Spyglass" as Mr. Pullman has done a splendid job crafting his first two books of the series (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife) and has earned another loyal fan through his efforts. ... Read more

14. Whodunit?: Utterly Baffling Detective Stories
by Philip Pullman
Paperback: 224 Pages (2007-11-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0753461420
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Unexplained disappearances, daring thefts, perplexing mysteries, and the greatest sleuths of all time combine in this page-turning read. From Sherlock Holmes to Hercule Poirot, famous detectives puzzle their way through a maze of alibis and motives in this superb selection of classic and contemporary crime fiction.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful trip down memory lane
It is always a pleasure to see what the authors we love read.Most of the short stories in this compilation were not new to me, but what a joy to read them again.The few stories I had not yet read were also enjoyable and introduced me to a few new authors.This is the sort of book to keep in your car, or on hand for those times when a short story is just the thing to keep your mind working and prevent boredom. ... Read more

15. Philip Pullman, Master Storyteller: A Guide to the Worlds of His Dark Materials
by Claire Squires
Paperback: 256 Pages (2006-10-20)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0826417167
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Philip Pullman's bestselling and critically acclaimed His Dark Materials trilogy has been an international success, eliciting rapturous responses from fans and critics, but also provoking critical debate and controversy.

Philip Pullman, Master Storyteller is a major study of Pullman's writing. Claire Squires, one of Pullman's most acclaimed critics, assesses the trilogy's thematic treatment of politics and science, as well as the religious controversy caused by its publication. She considers in depth Pullman's development of storytelling both as a theme and as a form of morality in the trilogy, and examines His Dark Materials' intertextuality and the ways in which it plays with genre. A lengthy biographical section develops links between Pullman the man and his writing.

The book also discusses Pullman's other books, including his two early adult novels, and the various audio, stage and film adaptations of the trilogy. In addition, it offers a survey of the reception of His Dark Materials in the media, and a comprehensive bibliography and further resources section.

Philip Pullman, Master Storyteller is an authoritative and beautifully written study that will enable fans, students and scholars alike of His Dark Materials to engage in the debate surrounding Pullman's masterwork. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book about Pullman and his work
Although this has been out for a year and there are now many other guides to Pullman and the His Dark Materials trilogy, I would say this is still the best one. Mrs Squires has done some great research into Pullman's background and early work as a writer, which means that what she says about Lyra, Will, Mrs Coulter, and everything else in the world of the trilogy is genuinely smart and well-informed. She looks at the symbolism of the books, their take on religion (Squires is not biased either way, which is a breath of fresh air), and Pullman's use of poets like Milton and Blake in his writings. You will learn a lot from this book - plus, the cover is an amazing piece of fan art, so it looks amazing on your bookshelf or bedside table!

4-0 out of 5 stars "If Squires Don't Know It, It's Not to Be Known"
While she never explicitly claims inside knowledge, it's plain that Claire Squires has the true gen about Philip Pullman and probably knows more about him than anybody else in the world.How did she acquire all this expertise?For in addition she is the author of a wellregarded book on Zadie Smith the author of WHITE TEETH.She answers the questions that have perplexed Pullman's readers for years, such as, why are the genders of the daemons usually the opposite of the gender of the human who owns one?And the famous question that a fan posed to Pullman in person, Squires must have been there to hear the jaws dropping, the question about, when a human baby is born, does its daemon come out of the birth opening of the human mother, like a placenta?Pullman is quoted as saying, "Don't ask me, but it's a good question."

In addition to knowing everything about HIS DARK MATERIALS, Squires has read many of Pullman's other books and is always ready to summarize when necessary and to show how, for example, Pullman's interest in image isn;'t just a trendy "graphic novel" flourish but in fact it has been a part of his writing makeup even from the beginning.

She goes past the tabloid's interest in the mysterious death of Pullman Senior, killed in Africa and then his death neatened up to give his widow a pension, the death that disturbed little Philip and caused him to question his belief in an ordered Universe.As to the various controversies that have roiled Pullman's reputation, Squires is relatively sympathetic to his role as children's literature's biggest big mouth, always ready to pitch in and try to demolish C S Lewis on the one hand but to say a good work for education on the other.She shows that Pullman is uncannily in control of the way he wants to be read, and that he has a savvy understanding of mass media.

It's a one of a kind guide to an uneven trilogy and a larger than life architect of other worlds. ... Read more

16. The Scarecrow and His Servant
by Philip Pullman
Paperback: 96 Pages (2009-09-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$8.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1840028998
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Outrageously zany and filled with non-stop surprises, Simon Reade’s theatrical adaptation of The Scarecrow and His Servant (a children’s tale by renowned author Philip Pullman), is an enchanting play for young readers and performers.

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Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful story, delightfully performed (Audiobook)
This review is for the audio book read by Graeme Malcolm.

When I first checked out the book I thought it might be too scary for my children (ages 9, 6, and 4) and told the children that we would try it out but might stop listening early.For comparison's sake, May Bird was too scary for them, A Drowned Maiden's Hair was not.To my pleasure, this story is not scary at all.It was actually very charming!

The language in the book is wonderful with lots of unusual words and plenty of different accents.Mr. Malcolm does a wonderful job with the voices and it was a great vocabulary builder.We enjoyed all of the puns and the twists and turns of the story.

The audio book is in five discs so I felt it was a good value.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Pullman's best work
Good enough tale for young'ens with morals aplenty. Just not at the level of the "Dark Materials" novels which entertain not only young people, but provoke thought in adultsas well in a superb way.

1-0 out of 5 stars Beware! This is not the book described in the reviews.
The book described in the editorial and readers' reviews is not the book being sold here. The book I received is not the novel described by the reviewers; it is an adaptation in the form of a play. Clicking on the illustration to get a look inside shows the paperback novel, not this adaptation. The novel itself seems to be available only through Amazon Marketplace sellers.

Amazon's practice of concatenating all reviews of all editions of a book often makes it difficult to determine what reviewers think about the particular edition one is looking at, but to show only reviews pertaining to other editions and none pertaining to the quite different book being sold goes beyond laziness.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fun book for kids and adults
This is a funny and light hearted adventure that parents and kids could enjoy reading together (or separately, for that matter).

5-0 out of 5 stars the scarecrow and his servant
A delightful, laugh-out-loud read, for children and adults alike. From the wonderful Phillip Pullman .

The scarecrow, lovingly constructed by the ailing farmer - and complete with turnip head - comes to life when struck by lightening. Then his travels start. He meets young Jack - all alone in the world - and says to him :" Here you are, an honest and willing youth and here am I, a Scarecrow of enterprise and talent. What would you say if I offered you the position of my personal servant ? "

Jack accepts - and their adventures begin. A rollicking tale complete with military skirmishes, pirates, lost treasure. A wonderful cast of birds, led by Granny Raven. And the villianous Buffalonis, intent on destroying all that is beautiful in the Scarecrow's true home, Spring Valley.

The story comes to its climactic finale in the courtroom where the Buffalonis plot to deprive the noble scarecrow of Spring Valley. The final chapter will leave you laughing with joy. And renewed appreciation of Phillip Pullman's exceptional talent.

Read the book with an open mind. Do not compare this with the famous Dark Materials trilogy, as some readers inevitably will do. Enjoy it purely as a story. A multi-layered story. Children will enjoy this story on their level. The astute adult reader will gain something more : The courtroom scene with its costumed pomposity and legal terminology " non independentem judgi nogoodi " is a clever broadside at the theatre of the court.

Pullman's use of the English language - and a lexicon of names as rich as J.K.Rowling's - will leave the reader wanting more from this author. I loved the Dark Materials trilogy and all its complexities. This is different - funny for the children and for the adult a clever, escapist and wholly enjoyable delight.

And where oh where is some clever film maker to bring Pullman's stories to life ? And to bring children the richness of story telling that is so important to them ? The Golden Compass, with its pivotal plot change, fell far short of the mark. Thank goodness the Harry Potter films did not err in this direction, but remained true to what J.K.Rowling intended. And in so doing, opened the door on a complex and wonderful world. The same could be achieved with the Phillip Pullman stories - the work of a master storyteller . ... Read more

17. The Tiger in the Well: A Sally Lockhart Mystery
by Philip Pullman
Paperback: 432 Pages (2008-09-09)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375845178
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
UNLIKE MOST VICTORIAN women, Sally is completely independent, with her own successful business and a comfortable home for her young daughter, Harriet. But Sally’s whole world is about to collapse. A stranger emerges, claiming to be both her husband and Harriet’s father and threatening all that she has. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (54)

2-0 out of 5 stars Frustrating
What a disappointment. Sally goes from being the hard-as-nails bad girl of the first book to the fluttery, distracted, doting mother of a worthless brat of a little girl. I was baffled by page after page of people treating Sally's baby like she was the swellest thing since canned peaches, when, frankly, one of Neal Stephenson's Rat Things (Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)) is more cuddly and personable. Reading the first book had all the guilty pleasure of a true penny dreadful-- this one had merely dread. Instead of eagerness to see what would happen next, there was just a sort of irritated anxiety. How WILL Sally forcibly blind herself to the truth staring her in this face this time? What terrible foes will she face next-- her own lack of spunkiness, or (dun dun dunnn!) UNAIRED BEDDING?

I'm sure this book had one or two redeeming qualities... but I'm hard pressed to think of them just now.

What really peeves me is that Pullman would waste time writing a fourth book in this series instead of getting down to business writing something as mind-blowing as (or perhaps even a continuation of!) the His Dark Materials trilogy.

2-0 out of 5 stars weakest of the set
There are great things about this book.I really liked the non stero typical Jews in the book, from the Jewish Gangster with hopes of being in the Cabinet, to stary eyed Zioniests with everyone in between.However, I do not understand the actions of main character at the end, would she not have tried to help people she wants to help through world of investment that she understands.Also there is a whole inter marrage question not even delt with. Plus page after page is wasted on the kid having an accident, and whole chapter which does nothing to move the story should have been left out. What is worst disappoment is some of it seems to have been recycled from the second book.

5-0 out of 5 stars More than a simple who-dun-it mystery
"Tiger in the Well" has been perhaps my favorite book thus far of the Sally Lockhart series.One of the best aspects of this series is that Sally continues to grow and change.In fact, the majority of characters, even minor ones, get a chance to develop as the story progresses.An interesting aspect of this book is Sally's reaction to the spreading of socialist ideas in England.This is where Pullman's politics start to come into play.His personal politics have a strong, identifiable influence in the His Dark Materials trilogy, so it's not terribly surprising to see that influence in these books, as well.While I don't necessarily buy into Sally's warming to socialism strictly because she sees the slums of London, Pullman doesn't really completely convert her from her capitalist ways either.Instead, you see her simply grow to become more accepting of other ideas, and understand that there is a need for change in how things are being run.For those of you who just want a good historical mystery, don't worry, the underlying politics won't spoil your fun.But for readers who enjoy a more critical analysis, The Tiger in the Well holds up as something you can sink your teeth into, while thoroughly enjoying the ride.

5-0 out of 5 stars No fainting Victorian damsels here!``````
Well, our heroine does faint at the very end of the book, but at that point it's fully justified. This romp through the sinister side of Victorian England is a thoroughly enjoyable read. I wouldn't insult this book by categorizing it as a "mystery," which makes me think with a shudder of rehased plots and two-dimensional characters and dull prose. Nor would I call this book a work for juveniles by any stretch of the imagination, any more than Orwell's 1984 is a juvenile book. While this novel may well be appropriate for and appreciated by some mature high school students, I would not lightly share it with any pre-teens. There are veiled references to child sexual abuse, and some references to prostitution. Set in gritty times, the novel reflects its era. Any reference to sex or adult themes in the book is tasteful and plot-driven, but an adult considering buying this book for a child based on its "juvenile" status should be aware, and be wary. It is certainly not appropriate for your average 9-12 year old, as the Amazon listing suggests.

Happily for those of us over age 12, it is written to enchant readers of every age. Whether you love it for its clever plot, its "in the trenches" view of the people and places of Victorian London, its subtle criticism of social mores of the time, its gentle flagwaving for socialism, its weaving of Judaic lore into the tale, or its simply fearless and fear-inspiring heroine, you WILL love it!

Now, when can I expect to see the movie version of this gem?...

4-0 out of 5 stars Almost, but not quite...
"The Tiger in the Well" begins almost three years after the events of "The Shadow in the North". (Note: if you haven't read "Shadow", skip this review; it gives away important plot details.) Sally, still unmarried and living in London with her 2 year old daughter (by the deceased Frederick), Harriet, is occupied with a successful financial advisory business. Her friends Jim Taylor and Webster Garland are out of the country, exploring South America. This intricately plotted novel is set in motion when a process server arrives at Sally's home to deliver a notice of divorce. Initially dismissive (for she has neither seen nor heard of the man purporting to be her husband), Sally discovers that she is the target of an insidious plot to rob her of everything she holds dear, including her daughter. Driven out of her home, a fugitive from the police, Sally learns that her enemy is as dangerous as any she has faced. Pushed to the brink of total surrender, Sally receives help from an unexpected quarter, and she begins to fight back.

"The Tiger in the Well" is an engrossing journey through Victorian London. Much of the story is devoted to frank and disturbing descriptions of the depraved condition of London's poor, and to Sally's discovery of the injustices inherent in the system from which she had gained such a comfortable living. Her fugitive existence brings Sally face to face with these harsh and unsettling realities. In this sense, Pullman writes in the tradition of Charles Dickens, who famously used his serialized novels to protest the injustices of his time and suggest many progressive reforms. Yet, as one might expect from a modern writer, Pullman is more explicit (and much angrier) in his criticism, and he rails at length against the system as a whole. Social and political criticism are not a new feature to the series. "The Ruby in the Smoke" revolved around the British Empire's active participation in the opium trade, an indisputably true and shameful episode in its history. "The Shadow in the North" was somewhat less historical (with its bullet-spewing locomotive), yet Axel Bellman was a sort of personification of every scientist who ever worked on a weapon, and the book (written when the Cold War was still on) is clearly critical of the role of technology in improving the welfare of society. Thus, the socialist criticism that underscores "The Tiger in the Well" is neither good nor bad... it frames the story and provides some historical perspective. At least we know where Pullman stands, politically. I am no socialist, but the fact that he is makes me no less appreciative of his writing... for the most part.

The problem is, Pullman lets his political agenda get the best of his sense of the story and the unfolding drama, and his sermonizing ultimately intrudes upon the novel's true climax, when Sally defiantly confronts her tormentor, the man who has attempted to steal her daughter and brought her to near-total despair. As I read the novel, I was totally caught up by Pullman's narrative. Yet in this scene, when I should have been in the author's power, Pullman strikes a brutally discordant note. Sally, courageous as ever, does not inveigh against her enemy's total immorality. Instead, she starts jabbering on about how he's not really evil, how the system is evil, and through her agony she has discovered that she has herself been a part of that evil. Pullman is using Sally's speech to state explicitly, for the benefit of the reader, what has already been made completely apparent in the narrative itself. It's akin to those "gee Dad I sure learned that X is bad for Y" moments at the end of episodes of old sitcoms--totally unnecessary and condescending. An excerpt from Sally's speech gives the sense of the problem: "...Just as I made that family starve and put those men out of work and drove that man mad with misery and despair so that he tortured his child with a red-hot poker. I did it, without knowing it. So I'm guilty, me and all the other shareholders and speculators and capitalists. You know where evil is? It's not just in you. It's in... pretending not to know things when once you've seen them. Seeing something bad and shutting your eyes, turning away."

The speech is totally implausible and somewhat ridiculous. A passage with the same tenor would have been mildly annoying at any point in the narrative, but its timing proves to be particularly poor and quite damaging to the book. What human being, in such a moment, would take the opportunity to inform her enemy (as loathsome a man as ever drew breath) that she has, in effect, discovered that Marx is right. I was half expecting her to go on about how the workers need to seize the means of production. Even if one concedes that these books are meant for adolescents (and I submit that they're fit for adults as well), Pullman is guilty of grossly underestimating the intelligence of his audience. He would have benefitted from a more courageous editor, someone to point out that Sally's speechifying was bringing the plot to a screetching halt. It's truly unfortunate, because this is almost a great book. As a mystery, it is better (and darker) in most respects than the previous two in the series. For moments of pure pathos, it is rivaled only by Frederick's death in "Shadow". As usual, Pullman's characters are wonderfully written, particularly the supporting cast. So it is almost great. But, as my father is fond of saying, "Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." What we are left with is a great story and a poorly executed finale. ... Read more

18. The Subtle Knife
by Philip Pullman
 Paperback: Pages (2007)

Isbn: 0439994144
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (923)

1-0 out of 5 stars One Star, But on the Basis of the Writing, Not the Theology
There are certain promises you make as an author, a sort of implied contract between you and the reader. Basically, you set up a story, and then, you finish the story.

You do not, two thirds of the way through the story develop an entirely new plot, a whole mess of new characters, and shunt the original story you set up to the sidelines and just about ignore that story until you decide to take three pages to end it shoddily.

The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife were brimming with fantastic promises.The Amber Spyglass not only didn't deliver on those promises, it seemed to forgot they had been made in the first place.

I was expecting to see the great conflict between Lord Asriel and God. I wanted to see the conflict between Mrs. Coulter and Lord Asriel. I wanted to see the Church fall, the angels fight, and Lyra save the day. I wanted a climax to the story.

What did I get? A depressingly awful ending. Some of the weakest theological thinking I've seen in a long time. (By which I do not mean his general anti-god stance.That was fine.The position of Dr. Mary Malone, on the other hand, had the theological sophistication of a-ten-year-old.A slow ten-year-old.) Brand new critters which didn't seem to add anything to the plot. And a remarkably unromantic romance. It felt like he got to the point in the story where he had to put up or shut up, and realized he didn't have anything to put up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Moving and Beautiful
I was hesitant to pick up the series because of how it seemed aimed at children and young adults, but I regret that now. I am a huge fan of the Fantasy genre, and have read quite a bit, and I have to say I have never been so moved by any Fantasy series before. Pullman has a talent for portraying sweetness, love, and innocence...a talent you might not expect if you listen to some Christians. I cried several times during and after listening to this audiobook, and I rarely cry at movies or books. You will come to love Will and Lyra, if you hadn't already from the first two books, and your heart will break for them.

One thing I especially enjoyed was the full cast, including the author himself as Narrator. I'm used to one or two readers doing every voice, some of them with great skill, but they just can't compare to a full group of talented actors breathing life into every role. I don't think I'll ever forget Lyra's voice, and Philip Pullman's gentle description of her thoughts and feelings.

Put aside your feelings on Christianity and open your mind. This is not a scheming, malicious corruptor of youth at work here. It is an author with a gift for descriptions of joy, love, beauty, innocence, and life such as I have never seen before.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I enjoyed both the first and second books. By comparison, the "Amber Spyglass" is inferior - almost amateurish in its storytelling. There are several story lines that are not resolved satisfactorily. The conclusion is hardly as epic as the earlier story hyped it up to be. The connections to Eve and rebirth are tenuous at best. One can sort of see what Pullman was attempting, but it just did not work out. It's almost as if a different author wrote this book.

If this had been the first book, I would have given up reading the rest of the trilogy on the spot.

4-0 out of 5 stars An action-packed end to the trilogy
Whew! This was an exhilarating conclusion to the trilogy "His Dark Materials"! Talk about action-packed. Let me preface this review by saying I liked "The Golden Compass" and "The Subtle Knife" very much (and the second book a bit more so than the first actually). In this third and final book in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, Pullman has impressed me yet again with his ability to deftly weave together so many moving parts--storylines, characters, themes/motifs (yes, including the theological ones, which are very prominent by the way)--and create a thrilling and cohesive fantasy novel. I very much enjoyed his development of all the central characters, especially Will and Lyra. The reason I cannot give this one five stars is two-fold. First, I thought the pacing or the first third or so of the book was 'off-kilter' somehow, and I didn't really get 'grabbed' by the story until about page 200 (and from then on, I could hardly put the book down!). Second (and warning: slight spoiler alert ahead if you read into it), I am just enough of a romantic that the end of the book really did bother me! But overall, I really did enjoy this novel. I would recommend it to young adults and adults who have already read and liked the first two books in the series and are yearning for more of Lyra and Will's adventures and discoveries!

5-0 out of 5 stars Brimming with memorable, inventive landscapes
Though this third and final volume garners 4 stars, my rating here is really for the entire series. To be honest, finishing the series left me somewhat bereft, like when you were a kid during the Thanksgiving holiday and the last group of relatives has just departed for home. At the risk of sounding sappy, I read the last page and just sat there with a lump in my throat. The ending was absolutely heart-breaking! The novel brimmed with memorable, inventive landscapes: the land of the dead, the world of the "mulefa," the apocalyptic battleground of the Heavens. This series will stick with me for a very long time. I have to admit to being a little troubled by reviewers who give the series a low rating simply for its anti-Christian slant. Isn't a trait of great fiction the ability to challenge the status quo without resorting to didacticism? Perhaps faith that is so easily shaken by a story of fiction ought to be reassessed. ... Read more

19. His Dark Materials
by Philip Pullman
Audio CD: Pages (2003-01-01)
-- used & new: US$34.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0563529288
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20. The Shadow in the North
by Philip Pullman
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (2004)

Asin: B003T3YM3Q
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (82)

5-0 out of 5 stars a really good read!
Like all of Phillip Pullman's books "The Shadow in the North" takes you back in time and into the lives of the vivid, and interestingly compelling characters that he creates. Although it is another time, Pullman draws you in and you feel as if you were there and can totally realte the circumstances. The Sally Lockhart mysteries are wonderful books for all ages; quite similar in it's appeal to adults as in the works of J.K. Rawling.

3-0 out of 5 stars Must be read as part of itsTrilogy
`One morning in the spring of 1878 a steamship, the pride of the Anglo-Baltic shipping line, vanished in the Baltic Sea.' Sally Lockhart, financial advisor, now in her own business (we've met her in book one of the Sally Lockhart Mysteries), investigates the situation when one of her clients loses a pension investment due to the subsequent collapse of the shipping firm. What a concept, a financial advisor who diligently and personally investigates possible fraud concerning a client's money! This story like it's predecessor is overdone with modern conventionalism, particularly with regard to this 20th Century feminist heroine, who is still not really likeable. She disdains the romantic advances of her companion Fred, for no reason at all except her own selfishness. Again, there's a mindboggling panoply of Holmesian mystery revealed in Dickensian style. Maybe Pullman uses this effect to characterize Victorian London, but it takes modern readers on a tedious trudge through the story's enfoldment. Returning readers are glad to have further kinship with former favorite characters. New cast members of potential enduring interest are introduced. Too bad for them; an appallingly sad ending is perhaps meant to make the reader grab book three ASAP to gain some closure.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Shadow in the North:A Sally Lockhart Mystery
Just like the DVD version, but with that little extra that keeps a person coming back to it!Recommend it to everyone young and old!A good book to read on a rainy day or snowy day!I'm still in the process of finishing it, and looking forward to each and every part.You feel like you are right there, and understand why the characters think the way they do.Love this book and can't wait to finish it!

4-0 out of 5 stars I Think This Might've Been Censored
I'll save a review of the book for others, but suffice it to say that I really liked it.As a narrator, Anton Lesser is superb.I've listened to a lot of audiobooks, and he is one of the best.

However... it was when I was referencing my place in the story in a paper copy that I noticed that a paragraph in a certain physical scene between two characters has been entirely omitted.Later, when the male is asking the female whether their encounter was painful, the dialogue has been altered.I don't know if the audiobook producers are responsible, or if this represents a rewrite by the author, but I was annoyed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, better than the first!
This book is so good! i love how dark and sophisticated it is. Sally really comes into her own and it leads perfectly into the next in the series. fantastic! ... Read more

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