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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Epic Trilogy in one Epic Volume
Philip Pullman's trilogy is a spectacular achievement, and you only have to look at the hundreds of reviews around the Internet to get a flavour of the positive feeling towards these stories. From my point of view, they are probably the best stories I have ever read, and fill your mind with the most amazing pictures, the most intense emotions and the most spectacular...
Published on 1 Feb 2008 by Robbie Swale

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Small print, heavy, all one volume. Great books though!
I love these books which are definitely 5 stars. However don't buy this edition: it's 3 books printed in one volume which makes it irritatingly small print and heavy.
Published 11 months ago by xyz


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Epic Trilogy in one Epic Volume, 1 Feb 2008
By 
Robbie Swale - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Philip Pullman's trilogy is a spectacular achievement, and you only have to look at the hundreds of reviews around the Internet to get a flavour of the positive feeling towards these stories. From my point of view, they are probably the best stories I have ever read, and fill your mind with the most amazing pictures, the most intense emotions and the most spectacular twists and turns you are ever likely to come across.

This edition is a three-in-one hard back, which could easily sit on your shelf alongside Lord of the Rings. It's a re-issue of the edition I own (which has a black cover, not the blue one shown in this picture), and I must admit that my romanticism leaves me really liking big, hard back books. This volume wouldn't be out of place on a story-teller's knee in front of a fire, and is a lovely way of giving someone these wonderful stories.

Also, it puts the books together as one story which, in all honesty, is what they are. One long, brilliant story.
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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great gift set of the great books, 18 Jan 2008
By 
Robbie Swale - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Enough has been said about how wonderful these books are. In my opinion they are the most brilliant and life-affirming books I have ever read. The important thing about this product, though, is it is the best gift-set I could find of the books.

It's three paperbacks, with the best covers available, in a box. If you want to give His Dark Materials as a gift, then for me it's either this, or the all-in-one hard back.
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197 of 207 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect an easy ride..., 2 Aug 2002
By 
D. O'Brien "D.O'Brien" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
In Philip Pullman's epic His Dark Materials trilogy, the author presents us with alternate worlds, strange characters, corrupt theology, and theoretical physics, all woven together into a gripping whole.
For those readers who have completed the Harry Potter books, and are looking for something of the same kind (as I was when I began reading this trilogy), I'd advise you to drop any pre-conceived notions about how 'young adult' fiction is written - these books have bite. Main characters are subject to questionable morals, the plots are trully labrynthine, the whole Christian notion of the nature of the Universe is picked apart almost in disgust, and characters that you find yourself caring about do die.
To compare this trilogy to Harry Potter (which I enjoyed) is to compare wine to fruit juice.
As the author himself admits, the three books are really all one book, in much the same way as The Lord Of The Rings. I defy anyone to read the first story and not want to immediately start on the second, then the third.
The tale focuses on a girl called Lyra, raised as an orphan, but with a great destiny. Her adventures begin with a struggle against the all-powerful Christian church in her world, which is parallel to our own, but with many subtle differences.
This struggle leads to a greater one, and a greater one, until her final destiny is revealed - one that has implications for all the parallel worlds in the Universe.
Bringing together cosmology, physics, and christian theology, the trilogy presents a unified theory of the Universe, one in which even God himself may not be everything he seems (please be aware from the outset that Christians may find many of the aspects of this Universal theory uncomfortable, but also remember, it's only a story).
Even on a scale as grand as this, you can't help being drawn into the minutae of Lyra's world, her struggles, her emotions, and the realities of her burgeoning adolesence.
Be prepared for an emotional involvement in this trilogy. Whether you agree with it's somewhat grey-area moral stance, you won't fail to be impressed by it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Then I saw her face, Now I'm a believer" Neil Diamond, 15 Jan 2008
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: His Dark Materials (Paperback)
Someone once described "His Dark Materials" by Philip Pullman as she gets caught, she escapes, she gets caught again, she escapes again, then she gets caught, then she escapes. This may be true but the real substance of the epic is the how and why.

It is the "how" that holds the story together. We are intrigued with Lyra's ability to plan and lie her way out of trouble. Eventually it is the truth that sets her free.

The "why" she is being sought and the "why" she must go on brings us many conundrums that we not only face in the tale but also in our real life.

Lyra must fulfill a prophecy; however if she becomes aware of her destiny, that destiny may never happen. For those readers who have read Josef Campbell you will recognize the classic Hero's Journey where a person coming of age must sacrifice the apron strings and face the challenge of adulthood. This includes going into a dark place and confronting an unknown which usually is ones own fears and ego. From there they are reborn to become a fully functional person in society.

Oh, did I forget to tell you that this is a fun read.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it., 18 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: His Dark Materials (Hardcover)
I don't have Pullman's way with words, so I can't express how good this trilogy is. I can't describe how intricately it's plotted, how widely it's imagined or how deeply it's felt. I can't conjure the dazzling array of characters that Pullman has created - all of them complex, all of them with their flaws and their contradictions - nor can I convey how intelligent this story is, or how truthful, how moving.
But it is all these things and more.
If you want to read something that will change the way you look at the world, that will move you to laughter and to tears, and that will keep you awake long into the night shaking with wonder and with fear, then read this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take this from your children and read it yourself!, 19 May 2006
By 
I bought this set not knowing what to expect, but hearing good things about it, I was not disappointed.

For me Northern Lights is the best fiction book I have read for about 5 years, even beating such luminaries as 1984. Buy it for your children and read it for yourself. After the first chapter I was hooked, and by the end of the series I felt like one of the characters who loved Lyra like a daughter.

Lyra's world is more convincing than Narnia or Potter's world, and will certainly make you think more than either of those series. It deals with so many ideas and themes I question how a child could fully appreciate these books.

My only criticism was that I was never fully convinced by Mrs Coulter, but that's just me trying to pick faults with a master piece.

Read it and love it.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening - one to re-read again and again, 5 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: His Dark Materials (Hardcover)
I saw these books appearing in shops as they came out but it wasn't until i went to university and a friend lent them to me that i read them. I'm sorry i waited, i could have re-read them several times by now! I got into the story almost immediately, finding that the way Philip Pullman writes just makes you feel like you are in the world he has created. I found the story gripping and complex, at the end of each book I couldnt wait for the next one and was glad that they had all been written by the time I discovered them. The books are multi-faceted, there's a lot to get your head around but it's definitely worth it. I particularly enjoyed the exploration, not usually found in 'children's' books, of the connection between body and soul. I want my own daemon! The story is very sad in places and there are some surprising plot twists but it all adds to a fantastic and (unexpectedly) realistic trilogy which I will definitely be reading again, as soon as I've finished all the other Philip Pullman books I can lay my hands on. I wouldn't class these books as children's books just because the main characters are children, they appeal to all ages because of how well written they are and the subjects they discuss are not the normal reading material of children. However, if I'd have discovered these when I was twelve I would have enjoyed them almost as much as I did when I was 18. These are definitely for older readers, from about 12 but anyone who enjoys a good story with real issues about life and who we are will not regret reading this.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 24 Jan 2004
This review is from: His Dark Materials (Paperback)
I read this trilogy after seeing it plugged on the BBC's Big Read. Well what can I say. It is quite simply breathtaking. Reading His Dark Materials really takes you off to the world with Lyra and it's hard to come back. It is witout a doubt the best read I have had for as long as I can remember.
The most wonderful thing about it is it's relevance to the real world mixed with such fantastical storytelling with it's twists and turns. You won't be able to put it down!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, 28 Oct 2003
This review is from: His Dark Materials (Hardcover)
I never even knew of philip pullman until i saw the northern lights glint in my eye. I have never looked back. I read all three amazing books in succession and colud not bare to put the book down. This is no childrens book but a sophisticated book which unravels its meaning as you step through its pages. one to buy and read over and over again.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a children's book, 25 Jan 2006
By 
MrShev "mrshev" (Gloucestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: His Dark Materials (Hardcover)
I picked up this trilogy because it featured in The Big Read (the BBC book push) and I was intrigued. I have to admit that I don't really like fantasy (I found - gasp! - Lord of The Rings tiresome) and found the Harry Potter books a little too simplistic for me and felt that they really were children's literature. His Dark Materials are, however, in a different league. I have recommended and lent these books to so many people that I feel a bit like a literary crack dealer, but I have known no one who has not been utterly spellbound by them: reading them on the loo, walking down the street reading them and reading them until four in the morning.
Northern Lights
In some ways confusing as you spend a lot of time head scratching wondering what an earth is going on? What are Daemons? What is Dust? It is an introduction, really, to a huge cast of characters and a different, alternate world.
The Subtle Knife
Another world and more characters and I felt a bridge between Northern Lights and...
The Amber Spyglass
The best in the trilogy and a panovision, wide-screen, Technicolor experience detailing a lot of concepts, worlds, creatures, characters - where to start?
I thought that His Dark Materials was one of the best books I have ever read and have no hesitation in recommending this to anyone.
My only criticism is that the cover artwork on the originals is sourced 20th century painting - ranging from realism to surrealism - and they were marvelous covers. Now some schmuck in the publishing house has commissioned a bunch of airbrushed 'fantasy' coves that are simply awful and really do not convey what is contained within which I thought the old covers did wonderfully.
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His Dark Materials Trilogy: Northern Lights, Subtle Knife, Amber Spyglass
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