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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials) [Paperback]

Philip Pullman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (397 customer reviews)

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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials) The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials) 4.4 out of 5 stars (397)
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Book Description

14 Sep 2001 His Dark Materials
Lyra lies sleeping in a cave near a rainbow, drugged into unconsciousness by her mother, Mrs Coulter, whose love for her daughter closely rivals her own ruthless ambition. Now, the latter threatens to overcome the former, as she strives to prevent the events which are dependent on the decisions Lyra is fated to make. Meanwhile, Will-scarred and traumatised after his last, fatal meeting with his father-seeks blindly for her, with only two of Lord Asriel's angels as companions on his dangerous search. The two are fated to meet once more, however, and begin their most treacherous journey. For Lyra owes a great debt, and she must repay it-she must rescue her friend from the Land of the Dead. Neither are prepared for the terrible sacrifice they must endure, or for the universal consequences of their actions. Lyra and Will must play their part in the war between the worlds and heaven...


Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Point; New edition edition (14 Sep 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 043999358X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439993586
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (397 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,125 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

Philip Pullman brings The Amber Spyglass to the spellbinding His Dark Materials sequence, which dazzles everyone who reads it, children and adults alike. After the original Northern Lights, he kept up the quality in The Subtle Knife, the second title in the trilogy. Now he brings the series to an extraordinary conclusion. Will and Lyra, the two children at the heart of the books, have become separated amidst great dangers. Can they find each other, and their friends? Then complete their mysterious quest before it's too late? The great rebellion against the dark powers that hold Lyra's world, and many others, in thrall is nearing its climax. She and Will have crucial parts to play, but they don't know what it is that they must do, and terrible powers are hunting them down.

The pace of the book is compelling, the writing powerful. Pullman's plotting is intricate and cunning, surprising the reader again and again. Perhaps what is most striking of all, however, is the depth of the characterisation. Lord Asriel, Mrs Coulter, Iorek Byrnison the king of the armoured bears, a host of minor characters, most of all Will and Lyra themselves: the book is a library of beautifully drawn, remarkably convincing characters walking in worlds of marvels.

In this volume the cosmic dimensions of the story become more prominent, as a great conflict across many universes comes to a head--how well the narrative sustains such immensely weighty resonances is a question critics may well disagree on. The author's beliefs also come more into the open, and with them a polemic anti-religious theme that will please some readers and alienate others.

Philip Pullman's writing commands immense respect; more than that, it is raising the profile of the best children's books among adults, as demanding critics of all ages fall in love with this remarkable trilogy. --David Pickering


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So ambitious 23 Jan 2003
By Tom
Format:Paperback
In the final volume of his excellent "His Dark Materials" trilogy Pullman's narrative opens on to sweeping vistas of his imagination which dwarf all that went before. This is both the main strength and the principal weakness of "The Amber Spyglass". Whereas the previous books were tightly controlled and focused with many unanswered questions this book, in attempting to answer those questions and more besides, is inevitably sprawling. The sheer daring of Pullman's prose is surely to be applauded and the whole section in the underworld is as darkly satisfying as anything I can remember though less sinister then the other books for being so explicit.
It is in this book that Pullman's true purpose in writing is revealed and the trilogy in many ways occupies the space of allegory rather than true fantasy. And is all the better for it. I myself am Catholic and found the anti-church diatribes a little wearing at times. However the moral heart of these books are secure and there is little doubt that theocracy, bigotry and fanaticism are indeed evils. What is curious for such an avowedly atheist book is that it is in many ways profoundly religious and much of the wonder of it lies in its theological and metaphysical speculation.
Although the conclusion of the books is itself highly acceptable the actual execution is unfortunately a little limp. It is when Pullman shifts from allegory to direct preaching that he falters and the narrative flags. That said this is one of the more thought provoking books I have read in a while and when so much adult fiction deals with such mindlessly superficial subjects it is always refreshing to read something that tackles matters of importance. It's a damn good read too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amber Spyglass 19 Mar 2004
By hannah
Format:Audio Cassette
The third part of this wonderful series "The Amber Spyglass" does not let the reader down.
The final part takes us through many worlds each being somewhat familiar...yet completely different to our own. The wonder of this series is the invitation you are given to think about life and the world on several different plains and not see evereything as black and white....encompassing contrasting genres of science and religion in a universe filled with metaphor. There is a coaxing to read between the lines if you can handle what you might find.
If you read the first two in the series you will have developed a sense of familiarity with the characters, the main being Lyra. Throughout the first two novels we witness this rebellious little girl suffer pain, fear and heartache which she battles through growing in strength, courage and intelligence. Part 3 heralds an older Lyra who, at the same time as continuing her battle for a safe world and essentially trying to get home, is experiencing new emotions and coping with the knowledge that her existence must shortly change for ever.
The Amber Spyglass offers more war, struggle, self discovery, growth and love. Ending the trilogy in a way that leaves the reader inspired, enlightened and a little bit afraid for the world we know and the possibilities of worlds we don't.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Northern Lights Audio 28 Dec 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The cover-to-cover audio books of the Northern Lights trilogy is outstanding. Philip Pullman narrates his own work and other parts are dramatised. None of the subtlety is lost in these books, unlike the BBC version. Indeed as they are narrated by Pullman himself, I found my enjoyment and understanding of these complex and compelling books increased ten-fold. The audio books were thrilling car journey listening for adults, a 12-year old, 9-year old and two 8-year old boys.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeper and deeper it goes. 19 July 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Amber Spyglass wraps up His Dark Materials in a headlong race to the final battle with the Hosts Of Heaven. I have enjoyed these books so much. They are exceptionally well written and I have really come to care about what happens to Lyra, Will, Iorek and all the others.
This book is the deepest out of the three with so much happening in different places, which makes it easy to read just a bit more as you want to know what's happening to everyone else.
The descriptions are terrific, as are the characterisations. The plot is just mind-blowing.
I've said in reviews of the earlier books that I don't agree with Pullman's world-view and even more so in this book. I don't see God as some whimpering, frightened, impotent old man; but that didn't stop me from enjoying this series. I think my theology and philosophy of life can take a little battering from time to time. That's what makes it real. If it fell down, I'd have to start re-evaluating. But it didn't.
Philip Pullman is one of the best contemporary writers of fantasy fiction and long may he continue to wow his readership with amazing worlds and characters!
A wonderful series of novels no matter what your beliefs are. It's fiction, Jim; but not as we've known it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 22 July 2005
By P. Ward
Format:Paperback
I started reading the first book of the trilogy after seeing it mentioned on Richard and Judy (the morning show!!) a good few years ago now. The first book was a well written enchanting story, immediately i couldnt wait to start the second which was again a brilliant piece of writing and a great book in its own right.
However both books as good as they were were only setting the scene for what can only be descibed as probably the best book i have ever read. Every step of the way you are with Will and Lyra you feel eveything they do and by the end the monumental decisions they make will make you beg for a different ending (to stop your own heartache!!)
The one thing that impressed me most however was how well presented his ideas about religion, free thought, and the after life were. They were all encompassed in a brilliant moving thought provoking story.
I would thoroughly recommend His Dark Materials Trilogy to everybody.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great item, fast delivery, A*
Published 14 days ago by Rach from Nottinghamshire
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good
Published 1 month ago by Sarah Slater
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great triolgy
Published 1 month ago by Helen Lennox
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good series
I really like the whole of the northern lights series, although the amber spyglass felt like it dragged on for longer than it possibly should, the first two were excellent reads -... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read !
Philip Pullman's 2nd in Trilogy His Dark Materials was a good read, a touch too descriptive in places where i just wanted to keep knowing the outcome and a few too many places for... Read more
Published 5 months ago by RoseMarie
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought as gift
I bought this last Christmas for a close friend to complete his collection and he seemed to enjoy it :)
Published 8 months ago by Joan Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars h
had a chance to read it as I was on holiday, great book as I expected, bla bla bla bla
Published 8 months ago by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting and thrilling end to a fantastic trilogy
Philip Pullman pulls out all the stops with `The Amber Spyglass'. Considerably longer than the other two novels, this thrilling and face-paced novel leaves you breathless with... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sarah Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing ending
Oh thank goodness i've finshed, this book seemed to take forever!

I loved pieces of this book hence the reason why i liked it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Anna-Louise
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amber Spyglass
This was a very well written book. I enjoyed it immensely. I look forward to the film when it comes.
Published 11 months ago by Val
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