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Northern Lights (His Dark Materials) [Paperback]

Philip Pullman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (821 customer reviews)

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Library Binding 9.67  
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Paperback, 16 Oct 1998 --  
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Northern Lights: His Dark Materials 1 Northern Lights: His Dark Materials 1 4.6 out of 5 stars (821)
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Book Description

16 Oct 1998 His Dark Materials
In this first part of the "Dark Materials" trilogy, Lyra's friend Roger disappears. She and her daemon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him. Their quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North where a team of scientists are conducting unspeakably horrible experiments.

Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Point; New edition edition (16 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590660543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590660549
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (821 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,150 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.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Lyra's life is already sufficiently interesting for a novel before she eavesdrops on a presentation by her uncle Lord Asriel to his colleagues in the Jordan College faculty, Oxford. The college, famed for its leadership in experimental theology, is funding Lord Asriel's research into the heretical possibility of the existence of worlds unlike Lyra's own, where everyone is born with a familiar animal companion, magic of a kind works, the Tartars are threatening to overrun Muscovy, and the Pope is a puritanical Protestant. Set in an England familiar and strange, Philip Pullman's lively, taut story is a must-read and re-read for fantasy lovers of all ages. The world-building is outstanding, from the subtle hints of the 1898 Tokay to odd quirks of language to the panserbjorne, while determined, clever Lyra is strongly reminiscent of Joan Aiken's Dido Twite.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
335 of 359 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Golden Compass AKA Northern Lights 29 Oct 2003
By mbogle VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Please be aware that this book was previously sold as 'Northern Lights' and is the first book of the trilogy and NOT a new book. I was very excited when I saw this as I had hoped that it was. I would recommend the trilogy to anyone as it has an easy reading style while at the same time appealing to adults. Something that is rare.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too gripping to listen to whilst driving! 17 Jan 2003
Format:Audio CD
Now that Philip Pullman's work is available in several audio versions, you may be wondering what makes each one distinctive, and, considering the large differences in price, which one to chose. This version is a complete and unabridged reading, the author himself is the narrator, but there is also a full cast to give voice to each character.
The plot: briefly, as this title has been thoroughly reviewed in its book form only a few mouse-clicks from where you are now:
In a parallel world to our own, feisty 12-year-old Lyra and her daemon live in a recognisable-yet-different Oxford, where they eavesdrop on a secret meeting of scholars and their charismatic visitor Lord Asriel. She hears mysterious tales of Dust, a city that hangs in the air above the Aurora Borealis, and an expedition that ended in a gruesome murder. Lyra's friend Roger disappears, stolen like many other children by the Gobblers, and then she herself is taken from Oxford to live with the sinister Mrs Coulter. Rescued by gyptians she learns who her true parents are, and that the stories and disappearance of her friend are connected. Travelling with the gyptians to the frozen North, Lyra is drawn into a savage struggle among the armoured bears and witch-clans of the Arctic. At the experimental research station of Bolvangar Lyra finds the lost children, where horrific experiments are being performed upon them. To fulfil a prophecy, Lyra's journey leads her to the ice-forts of Svalbard, the rescue of her father and eventually to the city behind the Northern Lights, but only after she has made a terrible betrayal.
What does this dramatised reading bring to the story? Philip Pullman narrates his own work well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an enigma begins 18 Feb 2004
There is a cunning plot afoot. The increasing trend of marketing children’s books as (neo) adult fiction. Even those esteemed reviewers from the daily press and trusted literary journals are in on the act. It just isn’t clear from some reviews who the target readership is. So it becomes de rigour for adults of all ages to be seen reading the latest kids’ blockbuster. We are eased by the grown-up cover substituted for the more whimsical original to hide any embarrassment. J K Rowling succumbed to the latter, Philip Pullman has not, but still is sure to take the crown of mass appeal.
Leaving cynicism behind for a moment, albeit with some slight misgivings that this is for those of a young age, 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, ghouls, 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 “considered” 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 art. Many have said this is a story that can be read on many levels – hence the push to adult readers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Masterpiece 8 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Northern Lights is an amazing book right down to the snazzy front cover. Philip Pullman is an extremely skilled author and has written this book in such a way that everything is described in great detail and crystal clarity but he still leaves enough out to keep you reading.
This book captivates you and hauls you in to the world of Gyptians, Tartars and shape shifing animals attached to everyone's soul.
I was impressed by his choice of characters and the way he explains their backgrounds, personalties and thier feelings and reactions.
I also liked the way he keeps the story going because you are always meeting a new character or entering a new place.
Something else I was pleased with was the fact that the book doesn't try to dumb itself down for younger or maybe less skilled readers. The friction between the characters and the ever-changing surroundings add to the reading enjoyment and always make you feel that there is something lurking around the next corner (which there very frequently is).
Throughout the story the plot unravels itself into complete disarray then comes together again to make perfect sense.
It is a book that reqires a good imagination and some patience.
This is definitely the best book I have ever read and it took some struggle to pull my mind out of strange world mode and put the book down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality. Very pleased
Arrived on time and per specification. Good quality. Very pleased.
Published 4 days ago by H
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
GREAT. will read again
Published 7 days ago by carolemery
5.0 out of 5 stars English edition not available for Kindle…
This is the first of a breathtaking trilogy, but come on Amazon, why is the English edition not available on Kindle? Read more
Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by inga Montvilaite
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Was a different cover than the pic I bought the whole set and this just doesn't match them now
Published 2 months ago by Lisa-Marie Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
Seriously I love this series. Read it as a teenager, wanted to read it again as it was so memorable.
Published 3 months ago by Mr. Stephen W. Ballard Ltd
5.0 out of 5 stars northern lights
I brought this book for an open university module so did exactly what I needed it for. Excellent value for money and in good condition. Read more
Published 5 months ago by jan
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FAVOURITE BOOK
This book is a classic and I would recommend that it become essential reading for anyone over the age of 16 years. It is an indictment of the society In which we live. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Alan Marston
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Club recommendation
This book was our book club choice, throughly enjoyed it eventhough it is classed as a childs book>
very different>
Published 9 months ago by cas
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this and be hooked
What an unusual, thought provoking story. I loved it. After reading this, you will be unable to resist the next two in the trilogy. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. S. M. McALPINE
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