Customer Reviews


815 Reviews
5 star:
 (652)
4 star:
 (92)
3 star:
 (33)
2 star:
 (18)
1 star:
 (20)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


334 of 358 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Golden Compass AKA Northern Lights
WARNING
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.
Published on 29 Oct 2003 by mbogle

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Show and tell...
After years of hype about this novel I finally got round to reading it as I have to teach it to Year 8 in the coming year. Much of this book is amazing and wonderful and well imagined. But in the end [once the Dust has settled] the overall impression is that it is just too much telling and not enough showing as another reviewer has mentioned - which is the First Law of...
Published on 18 Aug 2011 by Gmt Barnes


‹ Previous | 1 282 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

334 of 358 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Golden Compass AKA Northern Lights, 29 Oct 2003
By 
mbogle (ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
WARNING
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
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. Many of the actors are recognisable from BBC Radio 4 dramas - Sean Barrett (as Lord Asriel & Iorek Byrnison); Garrick Hagon (as Lee Scorseby); Stephen Thorne (as the Master of Jordan College & Farder Coram). Mrs Coulter is voiced by Alison Dowling, best known for playing Radio 4's Elizabeth Archer for many years! She is a revelation here; giving real ice and menace to the part. You almost want to boo and hiss when you hear her incisive, cut-glass accent. If you're not a Radio 4 listener and don't know what I'm talking about: don't worry, these are masters of the medium, with rich, expressive voices that bring the text to life. Even where one actor voices two characters you would *never notice*! As Lyra, Joanna Wyatt's Oxfordshire accent wobbles considerably over time, but this is only a small criticism.
On a technical point, the 9 CDs are badly indexed - the 5 minute intervals are inaudible but don't necessarily coincide with chapter starts, making it hard to find your place after a break. Unforgivably, there is a change from one CD to the next right in the *middle* of the climactic armoured bear fight.
If you aren't inclined to read the book, but don't want to miss out on the full text, this is a fine substitute, although the poor arrangement onto CD may well be irritating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No comparison, so don't try, 25 Oct 2007
By 
A Heaver - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Firstly, I am tired of reviewers 'comparing' this trilogy to JK Rowlings Potter Series. Secondly, There is no comparison. Meaning you may as well compare Chocolate with Steak. Both have their place at a well planned dinner table! We need to be reading a balanced meal.
I love The HP books equally as I do the 'His dark Materials' Trilogy.If you're looking to replace the 'Potter' rush with the Pullman books, it won't happen, this is a deeper and darker league. You will find yourself drawn into places and plots, lives and ideas almost impossible for many an imagination. Perfectly written and a great main course after the 'Potter' starter, however, I will be returning to the be-specticaled one for dessert. (The lighter option) Again, I say... No Comparison, maybe complimentary.
Enjoy your time with His Dark Materials,lose yourself in the questions the books will awaken and be prepared to miss your stop if you read it on the bus! I just hope the up-coming film does Pullman justice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


113 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALSO KNOWN AS: Northern Lights!!!, 21 April 2004
By 
Chrestomanci (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
If, like myself, you think you've just discovered a hitherto unheard of book in the Dark Materials Saga. Sorry ... you haven't. This is in fact'Northern Lights' with an alternate title. So, why has this book been called something else?
Well, when overseas publishers buy publication/distribution rights, they occasionally change a book's title if they feel this will work better for their target audience. Remember how 'Harry Potter & the Philosopher'sStone' became 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' when released in America. This particular edition of 'Northern Lights' is the same kind of thing.
That being said ... if you haven't read 'Northern Lights' A.K.A. 'The Golden Compass' ... then why not? It's a jolly exciting read! The first part of a hugely successful trilogy, the adventure starts on page one and never lets up. However, if you're new to Pullman's books, and intend to start reading them, begin with 'Northern Lights;' or better still, why not chose one of the compilation editions containing all three books together.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Golden Compass - Phillip Pullman, 28 Nov 2003
By A Customer
If you are a Phillip Pullman fan you will not be disappointed. This is a very exciting read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
But you will be disappointed if you think this is a brand new book, it is actually The Northern Lights - I assume given a different name for the American/Canadian market.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


85 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE BEWARE, 25 Mar 2004
This is a renamed version of Northern Lights!!!
Not a new book about Lyra.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Also Known as Northern Lights - Why Change the Title?, 13 Feb 2005
By 
Chrestomanci (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The Golden Compass
If you've already got a copy of 'Northern Lights,' then you needn't buy a copy of 'The Golden Compass,' as they are the same book with alternate titles.
The question you may be asking is: why has this book been called something else? Is this some ploy to prise hard-earned cash out of the unwary public?
Well, when overseas publishers buy publication/distribution rights, they occasionally change a book's title if they feel this will work better for their target audience. Remember how J K Rowling's 'Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone' became 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' when released in America? Another example is 'Charlie Bone and the Blue Boa' also published as 'Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy.' This particular edition of 'Northern Lights' is precisely the same kind of thing.
That being said ... if you haven't read 'Northern Lights' A.K.A. 'The Golden Compass' ... then why not? It's a jolly exciting read! The first part of a hugely successful trilogy, the adventure starts on page one and never lets up. However, if you're new to Pullman's books, and intend to start reading them, begin with 'Northern Lights;' or better still, why not chose one of the compilation editions containing all three books together. They're great value ... and after reading the first instalment, you'd simply have to read the other two!
Alternate titles can be very confusing - but hopefully, by reading the Amazon reviews carefully, you should be able to avoid buying the same book twice!
Enjoy your reading!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Show and tell..., 18 Aug 2011
By 
Gmt Barnes (Bracknell, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
After years of hype about this novel I finally got round to reading it as I have to teach it to Year 8 in the coming year. Much of this book is amazing and wonderful and well imagined. But in the end [once the Dust has settled] the overall impression is that it is just too much telling and not enough showing as another reviewer has mentioned - which is the First Law of novel writing. The poor reader is bludgeoned by 'Science' until he just has to surrender and accept it. Lyra is supposed to have little imagination but her non existent reaction to the revelations about her real parents is not believable. A pity. I liked the daemons with the humans - a master stroke but in the end there was just too much lecturing - as at any University!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Goal Accomplished, 27 Jan 2008
By 
Mr. Ct Kent "clintyK" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Yes, I was secretly looking for a book to fill the gap that Harry Potter had left, I must admit. But it IS unfair to compare Phillip Pullman to JK Rowling - for each have their own inimitable style and creative vision.

The story of Lyra hooks you in, right from the start. Though the world she lives in is a different one to ours, half the fun comes from exploring it with her as she begins her adventures.

I Have yet to see the film, but I have a feeling Nicole Kidman as the sinister yet glamourous Mrs Coulter and Daniel Craig as galant Lord Asriel are perfect for the roles - reading the book with them in mind made it all the more enjoyable. (Also I have no doubt that the film will not do the book justice - as is always the case !)

A gripping read - sometimes a bit technical / political in places - yet if you can bear with it, it all makes itself clearer the deeper you go. It is a magical page turner, one you want to read as quickly as you can, but would regret if you did. It would be a shame not savour the exciting journey every page takes you on.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As bright as the lights themselves, 3 Aug 2007
I thought I would read "His Dark Materials" books before they start churning the movies out, and I have just finished the first installment.

"Northern Lights" is an original, well written and fairly addictive book. It manages to compensate for the obvious limitations by being a children's book by introducing new ideas and the plot is strong and develops well into the climax. As a story, it is much better written than many other children-adult books like Harry Potter.

Criticisms are that this book was slow to begin with, and required a little effort to get into; I nearly put it down in its early pages because it was a bit slow, but once it gets going, it gathers momentum wonderfully.

Read it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 282 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa20e8a5c)

This product

Northern Lights: His Dark Materials 1
Northern Lights: His Dark Materials 1 by Philip Pullman (Paperback - 3 Mar 2011)
5.03
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews