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Count Karlstein - The Novel Hardcover – 4 Nov 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Childrens; New edition edition (4 Nov 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385605110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385605113
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.1 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,491,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on 19th October 1946. The early part of his life was spent travelling all over the world, because his father and then his stepfather were both in the Royal Air Force. He spent part of his childhood in Australia, where he first met the wonders of comics, and grew to love Superman and Batman in particular. From the age of 11, he lived in North Wales, having moved back to Britain. It was a time when children were allowed to roam anywhere, to play in the streets, to wander over the hills, and he took full advantage of it. His English teacher, Miss Enid Jones, was a big influence on him, and he still sends her copies of his books.

After he left school he went to Exeter College, Oxford, to read English. He did a number of odd jobs for a while, and then moved back to Oxford to become a teacher. He taught at various middle schools for twelve years, and then moved to Westminster College, Oxford, to be a part-time lecturer. He taught courses on the Victorian novel and on the folk tale, and also a course examining how words and pictures fit together. He eventually left teaching in order to write full-time.

His first published novel was for adults, but he began writing for children when he was a teacher. Some of his novels were based on plays he wrote for his school pupils, such as The Ruby In The Smoke. He is best known for the award winning His Dark Materials series, consisting of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

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Review

Philip Pullman has won the Smarties Prize Gold Award, for "The Firework-Maker's Daughter", the Guardian Fiction Award, the Carnegie Medal for "Northern Lights" and the Whitbread Prize for "The Amber Spyglass". His other books include "The Ruby in the Smoke", "Clockwork", "I Was a Rat" and "Spring-Heeled Jack". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A glorious Transylvanian spoof – spooky, witty and melodramatic!

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By George Eliot on 16 Nov 2005
Format: Hardcover
I warn you: this is not a book that children should read. It's a book that adults should read to children. The fact is that Philip Pullman does a beautiful job of spoofing Victorian "trash" novels and horror romances like Stokers "Count Dracula" whilst writing one himself - for children, supposedly, but I doubt that any child will find it half so funny as their parents will.
Count Karlstein owns a castle deep in the Swiss Alps (which bear a surprising resemblance to Transylvania at times) and has made a pact with the Demon Huntsman Zamiel that ensures Karlsteins continued good health and ownership of the castle. But the time has now come for him to pay his side of the bargain - a life. Fortunately his two orphaned English nieces are sent to live with him as their only remaining relative, and so he decides to sarifice them to Zamiel! But the girls (who have read far too many "horror" stories themselves and use various Victorian expressions in capitals) enlist the aid of their old Headmistress Augusta Davenport, the travelling magician Dr. Cadaverezzi, and, of course, the maidservant Hildi and her brother Peter. A Horrifing Tale ensuses...
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By M. G. Hatfield on 2 Oct 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This story is set in the past as like his Sally Lockhart series in Victoran London, but this takes place in the mountains of some other country in Europe.

The evil Count has made a deal with a demon from tales told in his village but the demon wants payment and time is running out for the Count to repay what he owes.

This year on All Hollows Eve (Holloween) he want humans or human competle with souls (Alive) But thanks to a death in the family he has two little innocent girls under his "care" and decides they would be perfect to repay his debt.

Now the race is on to save Charrlotte and Lucy (The Girls) from the grip of the demon can a maid and her brother save them with help maybe this story is wonderfully written and is great introduction to Pullman's stories.

This story is very long (5.5 hours)and is spread over 5 discs which makes it a pain changing the discs but the story will thrill Sally Lockhart fans and will be a good introduction as said above but I think younger children should be read it as there are a few words in the text that should be kept from thier ears until the leave middle school at least.

This is marked down as a childrens book but I think it means high school at least.

This book would make a great addition to you Pullman collection of stories (Sally Lockhart series and Lyra series)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Jan 2005
Format: Audio CD
I bought this audio book back in June to listen to during the summer. I am spending a year in France and cant always listen to the radio and it was only this week I started listening to the CDs, I was put off listening to them because being an HDM fan I didn't want (it sounds stupid) to be disloyal to Lyra, Lee Scorsby, Lord Asrial even Mrs Coulter and the rest of them by getting to know new characters. But within a few minutes of listening I was hooked and the style and prose is so Philip Pullman it is a joy to listen to. It is a dramatised version rather like HDM which I first came into contact with Jan 2002 when it was on the radio. I shall certainly be putting this in the car for 5.5hr car journey back to UK. It felt very comfortable and the characters immediately likeable if Hidl were to meet Lyra they would be best friends as would Max and Lee. Buy it, curl up on the sofa on a wet afternoon and immerse yourself in an imaginary parallel Switzerland
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Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of Philip Pullman's work, yes most notably his His Dark Materials trilogy, but his whole YA fiction in general surpasses most Author's attempts. He has a knack for coming up with brilliantly told, well structured and complex plots, filled with more twists and turns than you can shake your fist at. Now apparently, unbeknown to me, Count Karlstein (first published in 1982) was Pullman's very first children's and Young Adult novel. I was extremely eager to read it, as you can probably imagine.

Count Karlstein tells the story of Hildi, a maidservant to the Count. The story is set in a little Swiss village and right from the off, we are told of this awful sinister plot to sacrifice his nieces, Charlotte and Lucy. And so sets off an important string of events as Hildi helps the girls escape and go into hiding, for on All Souls Eve, the demon huntsman himself, will show his wrath and feed upon anyone he crosses.

The story itself is told in three parts. The first and third parts are told in Hildi's perspective, whereas part two is told from multiple characters' points of view. This is an interesting way to do things and actually it works quite well, because we can get to see alternate views about the goings on. You can see why originally, Count Karlstein was actually a play, first devised when Pullman was an English teacher.

Of course, every character in the story has their own story arc, not just about Count Karlstein's plan. For example, Hildi's exiled brother, Peter is on the run from the law and he's in hiding at the Jolly Huntsman, their mother's inn. Peter dreams of winning the shooting contest, where he will be declared a free man and no longer have to worry about the police catching up with him.
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