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Lyra's Oxford (His Dark Materials) Paperback – 1 Nov 2007
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Attention all serious book collectors and fans of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. This undoubtedly beautiful package, cloth-bound in a classy red and adorned by numerous illustrations by master engraver and illustrator John Lawrence, is sure to be a must-purchase. A pint-sized pocket volume, Lyra's Oxford packages together a short story set in the same universe as his famous trilogy, a fold-out map of the alternate-reality city of Oxford which Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon inhabit, a short brochure for a cruise to The Levant aboard the SS Zenobia and a postcard from the inventor of the amber spyglass, Mary Malone. Pullman, in his introduction, suggests that the peripheral items within "might be connected with the story, or they might not; they might be connected to stories that haven't appeared yet. It's difficult to tell."
The story, "Lyra and the Birds", begins when Lyra and Pantalaimon spot a witch's daemon called Ragi being pursued over the rooftops of Oxford by a frenzied pack of birds. The daemon heads straight for Lyra and is given shelter. The creature was given Lyra's name as somebody who might help. The daemon is seeking one Sebastian Makepeace--an alchemist living in a part of Oxford known as Jericho. Together Lyra and Pan try to guide the daemon to the home of this man, but it is a journey fraught with more danger than they had at first anticipated.
Somehow, this is a book that puzzles and fascinates all at the same time. It's very sumptuous and lovingly crafted but tantalising brief. The fourth volume in Pullman's award-winning sequence is The Book of Dust and despite the author's reputation for taking his time in writing each of his longer works, it is now just too far away in the future to be funny anymore. (Age 10 and over)--John McLay --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"It is one of those grand narrative strokes that Pullman can sometimes pull off with such casual looking ease and faith. This book is that gift in miniature" (John Ezard Guardian)
"Grippingly funny and infused with the vitality of a master storyteller" (Amanda Craig The Times)
"Beautifully written . . . a welcome chance to revisit Lyra that many young readers will savour" (School Librarian)
"Exquisitely produced . . . Truly a collector's piece, this is a must" (The Good Book Guide)
"This is a book for all Pullman readers and is sufficiently intriguing to entice new readers into Lyra's world" (Child Education)
Top customer reviews
But if you have only read the first book (or seen the film), I would advise buying Once Upon A Time In The North - as that is a great standalone story of reasonable length - and not this one until you have read your way to the end of the His Dark Materials trilogy.
The story in Lyra's Oxford - Lyra and the Birds - is great if you want to find out more about Lyra Silvertongue's life after the end of The Amber Spyglass, but as a standalone story it is - I have to sadly admit - a bit boring. I think Philip Pullman definitely learned a lesson from this though, because the next short story - Once Upon A Time In The North (out now) - sees him return to form with a genuinely exciting short story that requires no prior knowledge of the series to enjoy.
This short story is poor, badly written and most inconclusive. I feel that I have been sadly ripped off, by this the smallest of volumes.
I would not recommend this book to anyone, it is a pointless piece of commercialism and is not worthy of having the author even associated with, that is assuming he actually wrote it!
Very bad show indeed!
Well... If you take a chance to read this book you will get some idea.
Here we look in on Lyra about two years after the end of the book "The Amber Spyglass".
Some people might describe this as a cheap money making ploy, but I think true fans (like myself) that were left at the end of the last book sobbing into their tissues, would enjoy this.
Yes, it might be a bit pricely, let us not forget that this short story is about the same length as a long chapter. But, we get the cool map and other paraphernalia that have fallen out between worlds into ours.
If the trilogy was nothing more than a story to you, you probably won't be all that excited about this, nor will you be very happy at paying a regular book price for a chapter long story. But, if it was more; if you fell in love with Lyra and Pan and all her friends then you should check this book out as it gives you that little bit more of a connection to that world and its magic.
It shows you that even though the trilogy is finished and all's right with the world(s), Lyra may be dealing with the aftermath for years to come!
It has now been a couple of years since Lyra had her adventures in the dark materials. She is now settled in the Oxford of her world. Lying on the roof with her daemon, Pantalaimon (From: Pine marten) Lyra speculates on the meaning of the random movements of birds. Little did Lyra realize that this would soon bring her to a new adventure in the search for a well known alchemist; and a new understanding of witches, and life in general.
This story can easily be a trial balloon for a new book.
The unabridged production on one compact disk may be a tad more expensive. However it is performed by the author and a full cast on top of this is not a well-designed case and a pamphlet tells a little bit about the beginning of the book also includes some of the materials that he describes the beginning it might've been lost between worlds. There are some pictures of Oxford that might be the real one might not. And a foldout map of Lyra's Oxford.
Bill Pullman sounds awful lot like Jim Dale as he begins his story with a quote from Oskar Baedecker's "The Coast of Bohemia."
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