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His Dark Materials Trilogy: "Northern Lights", "The Subtle Knife", "The Amber Spyglass" [Paperback]

Philip Pullman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1040 pages
  • Publisher: Retailer-exclusive titles; Exclusive to Waterstones edition (21 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439981824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439981828
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,844,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A luxury edition of all three books in the His Dark Materials trilogy in one volume. Contains 'Northern Lights', 'The Subtle Knife' and 'The Amber Spyglass'.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bewitching and heart breaking 27 Sep 2003
By Spuzie
These books were recommended to me and, with some trepidation, I started on "Northern Lights". Within a week, I had purchased the remaining two stories with huge anticpation. I was not dissapointed.
Philip Pullman has created a series of worlds which are rooted in reality, but contains many fantasical elements which the reader must grasp as everyday fact. For example, in the first world we are introduced to, every human being is born with a daemon, an animal or insect which acts as an outer part of their personalities. These creatures live with their human until their death, where apon both beings lives end simultaneously. It is also widely believed that other worlds do exist and many scientists strive to find a way to move between these worlds freely.
It is from this first world where the heroine of the story emerges. This heroine, Lyra, is a brilliant creation. She is neither sickly sweet and innocent, nor is she completely repulsive. She is a realistically laid out character with faults, weaknesses and passions like everyone else. Her adventures are both thrilling and horrific as she and her daemon strive to rescue her friend Roger from kidnappers, who have taken him to a mysterious place in the far north for a sinister purpose. The final chapter of book one is very much left open but thankfully there is no three year wait to endure in this case!
The following two books introduce new characters, as Lyra is joined on her ever expanding quest by Will, a boy who wanders out of his own world by mistake. Their crossed paths lead them into other worlds, where they eventually learn the terrifying task that fate has set out for them. A task which will test their strength more than they could ever have imagined.
Pullmans trilogy is a wonderful read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best books ever! 9 Oct 2004
I first read the trilogy when I was about 13 but I still love all three books now I'm 18 and have them with me a uni. I have never read such a wonderfully imaginative and beautiful set of books. Great for when you're worried about something and need to escape. It is hard to pick the best out of the three as the quality is so consistant. I probably enjoyed 'The Amber Spyglass' the most, purely because I was so enchanted by the utopian world that the mulefa lived in. The idea of being able to converse with your soul in the form of a daemon is also surely captivating to anyone with an imagination. Claims that the books are childish, over-rated, use limited vocabulary etc are false. Yes they don't have you reaching for the dictionary but they are meant to be accessable for children, and surely a book doesn't have to be hard to understand in order to be good. A book should be about enjoyment, not sitting there being smug that you understand it when other people might not. I saw the trilogy as dealing with some relatively complex themes, but in a way that the vast majority could appreciate. Everybody should read these books before they die, they are all modern classics and in my humble opinion knock 'Lord of the Rings' into a cocked hat! 10 stars and takes the top spot of my favourite book chart.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh good god the greatest book ever 21 Mar 2004
By D. Bell
(yes i'm drunk)
but it is the greatest trilogy ever made - no forget Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings (which is a VERY VERY close second) but HDM is the best. Witches, fighting bears, bizarre names, gypsies, daemons, deaths, harpies, gallevespians - what more could a book ask for? It deals in real life issues - not least religion (no i'm not a perfect christian!) but now i know i WANT to be cremated just purely because of this book - "took a step forward, turned back to look at lyra and laughed in suprise as he found himself turning into the night" - crying by this point on the train home and i'm blinking 22 years old!
Enough blethering, buy this book and make EVERYONE you know read it - accept both good and bad reviews but make sure they read it... looking forward to the film but hope its 3 films a la LOTR
enjoy it - the book of the century
dougie bell (scotland)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly greatest books ever 3 Feb 2004
Imagine lord of the rings, replace different lands with different worlds, add more characters, more scientific theory and the main characters as young children. That is a very simple way of describing HDM. The books follow the journeys of Lyra and Will, 2 young teenagers as they embark, not just on a comming of age but also on a journey to save existence itself.
The cast of characters is so variable and bizarre that when the films are eventually made, the sfx department is going to be pushed into new frontiers. Deamons, Armoured Bears, Spectres, Ghasts, Ghosts, Witches, Harpes and little people inhabit worlds of the living, dead and all inbetween.
The place this book excels is it's attack on the church. Fully justified and explained throughout the book, Pullman stalks and slash's the church with satire (for instance having an angel couple who are gay lovers)and outright rants (The churches horrific treatment towards 'sins').
Anyone will love this book. The only people who attack it are the people it attacks itself. Ignore them - this book rules.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the enigma begins 16 Feb 2004
There is a cunning plot afoot. The increasing trend of marketing children’s books as neo-adult. Even those esteemed reviewers from the daily press and trusted literary journals are in on the act. Suddenly it is de rigour for adults of all ages to be seen reading the latest kids blockbuster. Except of course it carries the grown-up cover substituted for the more whimsical original to hide any embarrassment. Well known with J K Rowling but Philip Pullman may be just about to wrest that crown.
Leaving cynicism behind for a moment, Northern Lights is a supremely well written, awe-inspiringly imaginative, gripping book. The stuff that not only legends are made of, but one that creates its very own special world. A tale of Lyra, twelve years old and borne into a destiny not of her making, setting out on a quest to save the world and her friends from magical parallel universes, hell-bent science benders, witch clans, ghosts, gouls and ghasts and altogether weird and wonderful, death defying, life affirming adventures.
Pullman has quite amazing skill to bring Lyra’s adventures to life and he often captures the moment with real emotion, wit, jocular sincerity and page turning slash and dash, Northern Lights deserves every five star review and plaudits shouting from the rooftops.
Yet and with no excuses, Pullman writes for children. Language, plot lines, re-occurring happenstance all point to his aim. Many have said this is story that can be read on many levels – hence the push to adult readers.
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