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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So ambitious
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...
Published on 23 Jan. 2003 by Tom

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good bits, but just too much unneccesary info
The third part in the trilogy, again I had read this about 10 years ago and I remembered that I struggled with it a bit back then, didn't find it as interesting as the other 2 but still loved the series. I hoped since I have changed since reading that maybe I would appreciate this one more this time round.
I did not!
In fact I found it hard-work, tiresome and...
Published 23 months ago by Barmy_Bex


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - Just a gem!, 17 Aug. 2003
The Amber Spyglass is the best book in the trilogy, the characters intricate and perplexing, the ideas original and almost harrowing.
The problem is, obviously, that devout christians will be offended, well, I don't mind because I'm very anti-Christian anyway. The idea is that in a parallel world the Church (The Magnesium) is an all powerful body based in Geneva, intent on destroying "Dust" which they believe to be original sin. Actually. Dust is the particles of inquisitive nature, namely the intelligence adult human possess and children don't, and they possess Dust when they lose innocence. It is a compelling book on a grand scale, almost wondering if the church could become an all power body in our world, and perceive to destroy all.
Many Christians believe the ideas in this book are proposterous, and that Pullman's ego has run wild, but relentlessly, they will never come to the realisation that it is a warning in fiction. It is a masterpiece, which I may have implyed already, well worth the £6.99 I paid for it, and I would have paid much more for the book.
I wish not to make any plot spoilers, but simply to say that I highly recommend this book. It's well worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Response to criticism, 17 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
I won't just repeat what everyone else has said, although I'm glad to agree that the Amber Spyglass is the greatest book I've ever had the pleasure of reading. While doing so, I often had to pause and close my eyes to let the full genius of a specific moment sink in, or just to appreciate the awe-inspiring skill with which the story is assembled.
The point of this review, though, is to answer some of the criticisms I've read among the other reviews, namely from Christians accusing it of being a rally against Christianity. None of use are in the position to say whether or not it is meant to be such, but if you find yourself outraged while or after reading this book, try to think of it just as a story. Failing that, consider whether the God and heaven described in the book are anything like those in which you believe, and then just enjoy the book as the master work that it is.
I am not personally a Christian, but I fear that some people who are might miss the grace and beauty of this book, in which case it's not worth starting to read it, since you may just feel anger against it, instead of the joy and awe it clearly inspires in the rest of us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mostly dull, with shiny bits, 19 July 2013
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
The third and thankfully final book in the His Dark Materials trilogy completely failed to grip me, to the point where I had to give myself a reward of reading a chapter of another book after each chapter of this one. The Amber Spyglass sees Lyra and Will separated, as Will and the other diverse array of characters travel their separate routes towards a rather lackluster conclusion.

The writing style is awkward, with language that feels much more dated than I thought appropriate, and nothing that gave me an urge to continue. Similarly the plot seemed lost and wandering in circles for much of the book and it didn't feel like a self-contained narrative at all.

What I did enjoy was the world-building that Pullman does to create a world of diamond-shaped creatures, and particularly the society of the Mulefa. I previously found the worldbuilding to be the best elements of the first book in the series, and when creating another world here he is at his best.

Overall though I found it dry and tedious. My decision not to read the trilogy when it was originally popular was clearly the correct one, and I'm glad it's now over.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars vast ideas and an emotive personal story, 13 Aug. 2003
By A Customer
This book, quite simply, challenges all ideas of love, hatred, and religion. It forces the young reader to rethink the most controversial and important issues in society - what happens after we die? do we have a soul? are there 'other worlds' than the one in which we live? The reader is presented with new ideas and concepts which will not be easily forgotten.
This background of such vast ideas is told behind a story of two children. The reader sees Lyra and Will grow up, find themselves and find love, only to have it torn away. The final chapters of their story are written with absolutely heart-rending emotion. I find it one of the most emotive, and true, pieces of prose available to children today.
'The Amber Spyglass' is a beautiful, thought-provoking, brilliantly well-written book. Although the book deals with immense ideas and presents radical concepts to the reader, it remains accessible to the younger reader through the personal accounts of Will and Lyra.
I am a great admirer of Philip Pullman's work, and I count 'The Amber Spyglass' as a phenomenal conclusion to the best trilogy he has thus produced - 'His Dark Materials'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 3rd vol of the best trilogy ever written - Outstanding!, 11 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
It somehow doesn't seem fair for a writer to publish a masterpiece like this trilogy in three parts - I was hooked from the first page of Northern Lights. Luckily, I discovered it only a year ago, so I could read The Subtle Knife without waiting. But the wait for the third volume seemed so, so long. It was worth it - Mr Pullman doesn't put a foot wrong through the three books. If this doesn't go into the annals of history marked as a masterpiece, then there's something very, very wrong. It's rich, rewarding, complex, subtle, revealing, enlightening and challenging all at once, and oh, it's so full of hope! Philip Pullman draws his characters with precision and manages to make them completely remarkable without producing caracatures. Every one of them is completely believable, and he also manages to make the impossible completely plausible. Lose yourself between the worlds that he has created, love and hate the characters that he has conjured up. It's a rich and heady mixture that is enchanting. It says a great deal of his books that my 10 year old son and I have read them with equal enjoyment. Mr Pullman, I salute you and thank you.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent, 22 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
It's been a long wait for The Amber Spyglass, but it has been so worth it... It's the sort of book that when you're halfway through you begin to resent yourself and the author because while you know you'll read it again many times, it will never again feel quite how it feels to read it for the first time. What a marvellous end to the trilogy. Inspiring and heartbreaking and quite simply magical, with images and scenes that will live with you forever. The storytelling is precise, the characterisations complex and deeply satisfying, and the scope and clarity of the plot are breathtaking. His Dark Materials is going to be read by children and parents (and everyone else!) for generations to come for its intellectual power and awesome imagination. It ties quantum mechanics to high theology; it provides the reader with visions of the alien alongside the familiar personality types and more than anything it celebrates a sense of adventure. The only recent book that attempts and achieves something similar to this is The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It sounds like an exaggeration, (but I don't think it is) - this series will become a valuable part of our culture in this new century and The Amber Spyglass is a thing to treasure. You won't forget how it makes you feel. Nor will you want to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor - mars the trilogy, 24 April 2013
By 
Mr. J. M. Haines (Merseyside) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Amber Spyglass is the third and final part of the His Dark Materials trilogy. There are many many strands to the tale, too many to explain here and by not doing so I suppose prevents spoilers. We have young Lyra from another world, different yet similar to ours, who, along with her friend from our world, Will Parry, have to (after re-uniting after a time), emotionally and physically navigate a world, worlds even, of ever-changing alliances, as they battle to both save the dead, and, rather amazingly, attempt to reach the cold, uncaring sadistic Lord Asriel to help him overcome the might of the creator, and his earthly agents, the church. Sounds good, eh? The trouble is, there are simply too many strands to tie up and these are not done all that well, with much back-story explanations, characters which are just a bit too much, and indeed too many. All in all, a poor ending in my opinion, to the whole trilogy. If it was the complete set I was reviewing, then I think three stars would be about right, but this as a stand-alone, I think only merits two stars.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Touching End to a Wonderful Series, 9 Oct. 2004
This book captivated me and kept me guessing the whole way through. The series (not excluding this book) encompasses a lot of different lierary elements-- philosophy, religion, and human nature all play key roles in unraveling the true meaning of the masterful web of emotions and impulses Pullman weaves for readers. You will constantly stop and think about how much and how differnent the author's own view of civilization compares to his or her own. Watching the characters grow and mature through the first two books comes to a seemingly wonderful climax at the end, only to tear out the heart of the reader in the finish. Concluding this this self-testing series is a heartwrenching event that comes like a blow to the stomach to anyone with even a minute amount of empathy (don't be ashamed to cry your eyes out as I did). This book will come to enlighten anyone wavering on what they belive and how the world works (or should work depending on your standing) and what the meaning of true love is-- not what you do with a lover, but what you sacrafice for one. Turly a must-read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful book, sensitively 'adapted', 21 Oct. 2008
By 
Mr. I. M. Davis (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The gut-wrenchlingly beautiful, exciting, vividly epic finale to the trilogy 'His Dark Materials', this is the most complicated book to cope with in terms with its philosophical/fantastical logic, but it does indeed draw together the threads of the previous books and answer their mysteries in a way that is satisfying, emotionally and intellectually. Whether you view this purely as fantasy or take on board Pullman's atheist views as well as his anti-religious ones, this audiobook works incredibly well. There are just enough recurring character voices to avoid monotony but not so many as to confuse, although this is as much to do with the technique of the book as the audioplay's 'adaptation'. The result allows the story to build to climax, and the aftermath of the action play with just as much intensity. One loses little of the book's meaning and so I heartily recommend this as a substitute or refresher, even with the minor complaints that character voices are occasionally muffled and the (thankfully rare) music links utterly ruinous to the atmosphere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great dramatisation, 21 Oct. 2002
By 
kathryn "Kate" (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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IT's always nice to hear a writer reading his own work, but here there is the added bonus that PP is a great reader, and has a very listenable speaking-voice. The actors chosen for the characters are, on the whole, very fitting (I especially like Iorek) and the music isn't actually incomprahensibly bad like in The Subtle Knife, and there isn't so much of it. IT's quite disctracting when Archers characters keep popping up, but we can't have everything.
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The Amber Spyglass (BBC MP3 CD Audio)
The Amber Spyglass (BBC MP3 CD Audio) by Philip Pullman (Audio CD - 4 Nov. 2003)
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