Buy Used
£1.79
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book is eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK. Your order will be picked, packed and dispatched by Amazon. Buy with confidence!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Subtle Knife: Adult Edition (His Dark Materials) Paperback – 14 Sep 2001


See all 52 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, 14 Sep 2001
£1.25 £0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
£18.99

Trade In Promotion



Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; New Edition of Adult Edition edition (14 Sep 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439994136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439994132
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 397,678 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

At the end of The Northern Lights, Lyra Silvertongue watched in fear and fascination as her father, Lord Asriel, created a bridge between worlds. Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon are now lost in an alternate universe where they meet Will Parry, a fugitive from a third universe. Will has found a small window between Cittagazze--where children roam unchecked, but invisible Specters suck the spirit out of adults--and his Oxford, which, with its Burger Kings and cars, is frighteningly different from the Oxford Lyra knows. Will's father, an explorer, disappeared years ago, but some odd characters have started asking questions about him. Will has managed to accidentally kill one of them and is wanted by the police. Armed with the Subtle Knife, a tool that cuts any material (including that which separates universes) and Lyra's alethiometer, the children set out to find John Parry, with adults of various stripes in desperate pursuit.

Lyra's finest qualities are her courage and her quick mind. She finds she must use them constantly--not to put too fine a point on it, she must lie and steal to keep herself and Will out of danger. However, she must also know when to tell the truth and when to trust. She does not yet know--though her friends the witches do, and so does the reader--what a huge part she will have in the upcoming battle between Good and Evil. (Age 9 and over) - -Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Philip Pullman’s masterpiece continues in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By I. D. Miller on 7 Dec 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'm normally reluctant to give 5 stars as overusage makes truly classic books difficult to differentiate, particularly when the book is part of an all-too-common trilogy. However I had no qualms about doing it here.
The Subtle Knife develops the main character Lyra from her adventures and early path to maturity in the Northern Lights and introduces her key comrade Will, as they battle together against and with forces they do not understand.
The story line is tight, well structured and flows at a remarkable pace. The way in which Pullman brings modern theories of Physics into an adventure story is quite an achievement.
A wonderful read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tom on 7 Feb 2003
Format: Paperback
When the three parts of a trilogy form such a unity as in His Dark Materials it is perhaps a bit rash to compare them too closely but, like Star Wars, the middle is the best. Although perhaps lacking some of the darkness and sheer imaginative verve of the Amber Spyglass The Subtle Knife still delivers more overall. This is the most sinister book of the three and the most satisfying. The canvass is much more expansive then the Northern Lights but does not yet lose it self somewhat in the infinite splendour of the last book.
This is also our first introduction to Will, who provides an excellent foil for Lyra and is a wholly darker and more complex character. It is through Will and his discovery of the eponymous knife that the plot takes shape and that all the ideas of the whole trilogy finally come to be hung. The fact that Pullman's big ideas are still subsumed and mysterious also sets this book above its successor. The section in the Torre degli Angeli is the most gloriously sinister of the trilogy. The hatred of the children Paulo and Angelica, though almost incidental to the plot, gives a real bite to the central section of the book that is more disturbing then the metaphysical terrors of the Amber Spyglass.
Like Empire Strikes Back though the end is necessarily weak. I was lucky enough to have the next volume to hand and so could just plough straight on. Otherwise this leaves you hanging in mid air with many loose threads still flapping around. That said there is a denouement of sorts when Will finally meets his father, again just like Empire, but that doesn't go all together as expected.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
100 of 106 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Jun 2001
Format: Paperback
Let's just get this clear - I will read anything. I am never not in the middle of reading a book. Whenever I know I'm nearly at the end of one book, I go out and buy another. I can't stand not having a book to read. Let's get another thing clear - I'm only thirteen, so adults reading this might not want to read my opinion - that's fine by me. Ok.
I have all the Harry Potter books, and my friend recommended Northern Lights to me because she said it was like a girl power equivalent to Harry Potter. I thought that sounded pretty cool, so I gave it a go. I realised that it is nothing like Harry Potter at all! Harry Potter is a *normal* boy in *our* world doing *normal* stuff with a twist of magic. The "His Dark Materials" trilogy is set mainly in *fantasy* worlds, but I suppose that you could say Lyra is kind of normal. Apart from the fact that she has a little Daemon called Pantalaimon. In fact, to her a daemon is normal - apparently seeing somebody without a daemon is like seeing somebody without a head - that's the kind of thing that makes this trilogy good.
This particular book is better than Northern Lights, in my opinion. There's a boy and a girl (Lyra and Will). They both come from different worlds - but they're kind of like parallel universes - there is an Oxford in Lyra's world, but it has certain features that are different, such as the aforementioned daemons and a certain Jordan College, which is not at the *real* Oxford Uni. Then there's ANOTHER world which is totally different. Things called spectres haunt and drown the souls of the adults, but the kids are unaffected. How creepy? And you can hear angels - and there are witches... It's all very creepy, which is v. cool.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Clementine Vella on 19 Oct 2006
Format: Paperback
First of all, I'd like to say -- I ADORE Philip Pullman!! He is one of the best authors, especially when it comes to children's books....

Lyra has crossed the bridge leading to another world. She comes to Citagazze, a strange place where 'Specters' keep the adult inhabitants in constant fear of having the pleasure of life and your soul "eaten"

It is also about Will, with his scared beloved mother, and about his father, who has disappeared. Strange men searches for a map Will knows about, but hasn't found yet (it is hidden in his house) But when he does, he must flee. He meets Lyra in Citagazze, and they become companions.

In this new adventure about Lyra, and about Will, and about Dust, many new -- and old -- characters are involved. It is about Lord Asriel's war against The Athority - God - and about Mrs Coulter's many sides. But mostly, about Lyra and her adventures. I promise, this book, the whole trilogy, is many times WORTH its awards. Undoubtadly, this is the best book ever written suited for children.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Sep 2001
Format: Paperback
When I finished the prequel to this book, I knew that I must get this. I hoped that this would be as good as "Northern Lights". I was not let down. The end of Northern Lights finished at a real cliff-hanger... The book begins with an unknown character to us, Will taking his mother to see a neibour. Will as you will notice lives in a very different world to Lyra's. One that I think we will all be familyar with. Soon Will climbs trough a magic window and is taken to a different world... Soon he meets up with Lyra Silvertounge a girl with a destiny. Lyra is amazed when she steps into the Oxford that she doesnt know, and is amazed by all the cars and lorrys. They are soon launched into a thrilling quest against good and evil, and discover the mystery of the legendery subtle life. Like its prequel this ends at a real cliff hanger, but to find out what that cliff hanger is..... You will have to read the book yourself. This is why I award this astonishing book 5 stars.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback