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Northern Lights (His Dark Materials) Paperback – 18 Oct 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 949 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Point; New edition edition (18 Oct. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590139614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590139618
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (949 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,006,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Lyra's life is already sufficiently interesting for a novel before she eavesdrops on a presentation by her uncle Lord Asriel to his colleagues in the Jordan College faculty, Oxford. The college, famed for its leadership in experimental theology, is funding Lord Asriel's research into the heretical possibility of the existence of worlds unlike Lyra's own, where everyone is born with a familiar animal companion, magic of a kind works, the Tartars are threatening to overrun Muscovy, and the Pope is a puritanical Protestant. Set in an England familiar and strange, Philip Pullman's lively, taut story is a must-read and re-read for fantasy lovers of all ages. The world-building is outstanding, from the subtle hints of the 1898 Tokay to odd quirks of language to the panserbjorne, while determined, clever Lyra is strongly reminiscent of Joan Aiken's Dido Twite.

Review

" As always, Pullman is a master at combining impeccable characterizations and seamless plotting, maintaining a crackling pace to create scene upon scene of almost unbearable tension. This glittering gem will leave readers of all ages eagerly awaiting the next installment of Lyra's adventures." --(starred review), "Publishers Weekly"

"From the Hardcover edition."

& quot; As always, Pullman is a master at combining impeccable characterizations and seamless plotting, maintaining a crackling pace to create scene upon scene of almost unbearable tension. This glittering gem will leave readers of all ages eagerly awaiting the next installment of Lyra's adventures.& quot; --(starred review), Publishers Weekly

From the Hardcover edition.

"As always, Pullman is a master at combining impeccable characterizations and seamless plotting, maintaining a crackling pace to create scene upon scene of almost unbearable tension. This glittering gem will leave readers of all ages eagerly awaiting the next installment of Lyra's adventures."--(starred review), "Publishers Weekly "

"From the Hardcover edition."

"Extraordinary storytelling at its very best." "--The Detroit Free Press"
"Superb . . . all-stops-out thrilling." "--The Washington Post"
"Very grand indeed." "--The New York Times"
"Powerful [...] a fantasy adventure that sparkles with childlike wonder." "--The Boston Sunday Globe"
"Marvelous [...] the writing is elegant and challenging." "--The New Yorker"
"Arguably the best juvenile fantasy novel of the past twenty years [...] If ["The Subtle Knife"] is as good as "The Golden Compass, " we'll be two thirds of the way to the completion of a modern fantasy classic."
"--The Washington Post Book World"
"Pullman is quite possibly a genius...using the lineaments of fantasy to tell the truth about the universal experience of growing up." --"Newsweek"
"Masterful storytelling [...] with a cast of instantly beguiling characters." "--The Dallas Morning News"
"The most magnificent fantasy series since Lord of the Rings." --"The Oregonian
"
"Pullman has created the last great fantasy masterpiece of the twentieth century. An astounding achievement." --"The Cincinnati Enquirer
"
"Once in a lifetime a children's author emerges who is so extraordinary that the imagination of generations is altered. Lewis Carroll, E. Nesbit, C.S. Lewis, and Tolkien were all of this cast. So, too, is Philip Pullman, whose Dark Materials trilogy will be devoured by anyone between eight and eighty. The most ambitious work since The Lord of the Rings, it is as intellectually thrilling as it is magnificently written." "-- New Statesman"
"Thrillingly paced and exotic [...] breathtaking." "-- Columbus Dispatch"
"[...] a rare few have minds capacious enough to engage in vast cosmos-making, imagining realms and inventing universes. I am thinking of Dante and Milton and Blake. We may now add Philip Pullman."""
"--Parents Choice (online)"
""The Golden Compass" is one of the best fantasy/adventure stories that I have read in years. This is a book no one should miss." --Terry Brooks, author of "The Sword of Shannara"
"As always, Pullman is a master at combining impeccable characterizations and seamless plotting, maintaining a crackling pace to create scene upon scene of almost unbearable tension. This glittering gem will leave readers of all ages eagerly awaiting the next installment of Lyra's adventures."
"--Publishers Weekly," Starred Review
"This first fantastic installment of the His Dark Materials trilogy propels readers along with horror and high adventure, a shattering tale that begins with a promise and delivers an entire universe." "- Kirkus Reviews, " Starred Review
"This first fantastic installment propels readers along with horror and high adventure [...] A shattering tale that begins with a promise and delivers an entire universe." "--Kirkus Reviews," Starred
"The characters of Lord Asriel, Mrs. Coutler, and Iorek Byrnison and the cold and beautiful Northern setting are captivating; the constantly twisting plot and escalating suspense are riveting; and Lyra and Pantalaimon are among the gutsiest and wiliest of adventurers. Touching, exciting, and mysterious by turns, this is a splendid work." --"The Horn Book Magazine, " Starred
"Glorious. And what an ending -- simply operatic." --"School Library Journal, " Top 100 Children's Novels (#28)
"This is a captivating fantasy, filled with excitement, suspense, and unusual characters." "--School Library Journal"
"A totally involving, intricately plotted fantasy that will leave readers clamoring for the sequels."
"--Booklist, Starred review"
"Glorious. . . . "The Golden Compass "is one of those lyrical suspensions like "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Lord of the Rings" that crosses all age lines and intertwines mythologies and legends with seamless beauty." --"BookPage "

"From the Hardcover edition."

Extraordinary storytelling at its very best. " The Detroit Free Press"
Superb . . . all-stops-out thrilling. " The Washington Post"
"Very grand indeed." " The New York Times"
"Powerful [ ] a fantasy adventure that sparkles with childlike wonder." " The Boston Sunday Globe"
"Marvelous [ ] the writing is elegant and challenging."" The New Yorker"
"Arguably the best juvenile fantasy novel of the past twenty years [ ] If ["The Subtle Knife"] is as good as "The Golden Compass, " we'll be two thirds of the way to the completion of a modern fantasy classic."
" The Washington Post Book World"
Pullman is quite possibly a genius using the lineaments of fantasy to tell the truth about the universal experience of growing up. "Newsweek"
"Masterful storytelling [ ] with a cast of instantly beguiling characters."" The Dallas Morning News"
The most magnificent fantasy series since Lord of the Rings. "The Oregonian
"
Pullman has created the last great fantasy masterpiece of the twentieth century. An astounding achievement. "The Cincinnati Enquirer
"
"Once in a lifetime a children's author emerges who is so extraordinary that the imagination of generations is altered. Lewis Carroll, E. Nesbit, C.S. Lewis, and Tolkien were all of this cast. So, too, is Philip Pullman, whose Dark Materials trilogy will be devoured by anyone between eight and eighty. The most ambitious work since The Lord of the Rings, it is as intellectually thrilling as it is magnificently written."" New Statesman"
"Thrillingly paced and exotic [ ] breathtaking."" Columbus Dispatch"
[ ] a rare few have minds capacious enough to engage in vast cosmos-making, imagining realms and inventing universes. I am thinking of Dante and Milton and Blake. We may now add Philip Pullman. " "
" Parents Choice (online)"
""The Golden Compass" is one of the best fantasy/adventure stories that I have read in years. This is a book no one should miss." Terry Brooks, author of "The Sword of Shannara"
"As always, Pullman is a master at combining impeccable characterizations and seamless plotting, maintaining a crackling pace to create scene upon scene of almost unbearable tension.This glittering gem will leave readers of all ages eagerly awaiting the next installment of Lyra's adventures."
" Publishers Weekly," Starred Review
This first fantastic installment of the His Dark Materials trilogy propels readers along with horror and high adventure, a shattering tale that begins with a promise and delivers an entire universe. " Kirkus Reviews, " Starred Review
"This first fantastic installment propels readers along with horror and high adventure [ ] A shattering tale that begins with a promise and delivers an entire universe."" Kirkus Reviews," Starred
The characters of Lord Asriel, Mrs. Coutler, and Iorek Byrnison and the cold and beautiful Northern setting are captivating; the constantly twisting plot and escalating suspense are riveting; and Lyra and Pantalaimon are among the gutsiest and wiliest of adventurers. Touching, exciting, and mysterious by turns, this is a splendid work. "The Horn Book Magazine, " Starred
Glorious. And what an ending simply operatic. "School Library Journal, " Top 100 Children s Novels (#28)
"This is a captivating fantasy, filled with excitement, suspense, and unusual characters."" School Library Journal"
"A totally involving, intricately plotted fantasy that will leave readers clamoring for the sequels."
" Booklist, Starred review"
Glorious. . . . "The Golden Compass "is one of those lyrical suspensions like "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Lord of the Rings" that crosses all age lines and intertwines mythologies and legends with seamless beauty. "BookPage "

"From the Hardcover edition.""

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 8 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
Northern Lights is an amazing book right down to the snazzy front cover. Philip Pullman is an extremely skilled author and has written this book in such a way that everything is described in great detail and crystal clarity but he still leaves enough out to keep you reading.
This book captivates you and hauls you in to the world of Gyptians, Tartars and shape shifing animals attached to everyone's soul.
I was impressed by his choice of characters and the way he explains their backgrounds, personalties and thier feelings and reactions.
I also liked the way he keeps the story going because you are always meeting a new character or entering a new place.
Something else I was pleased with was the fact that the book doesn't try to dumb itself down for younger or maybe less skilled readers. The friction between the characters and the ever-changing surroundings add to the reading enjoyment and always make you feel that there is something lurking around the next corner (which there very frequently is).
Throughout the story the plot unravels itself into complete disarray then comes together again to make perfect sense.
It is a book that reqires a good imagination and some patience.
This is definitely the best book I have ever read and it took some struggle to pull my mind out of strange world mode and put the book down.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
Significantly influenced by a hefty array of "canonical" English Literature (Milton, Marvell, C.S. Lewis, Blake and Byron, among others), this novel is posited in an alternate reality of earth; part Victorian and part steam-punk in its imagery and presentation.

The book casts as its heroine Lyra, a feisty and strong-willed twelve-year-old girl who lives with the scholars of the fictional Jordan College of Oxford University. Her ever-present, shape-shifting companion is Pantalaimon; an anthropomorphised externalisation of her soul. The amazingly strong bond between these two characters is expressed beautifully in Pullman's prose, and is truly unlike any fictional relationship I have ever encountered. The pair journey north through impressively original fantasy landscapes on a quest to reach Lord Asriel, an `experimental theologian' who has some mysterious, inter-dimensional and potentially dangerous research projects to do with the Northern Lights. The characters encountered in this novel are all strikingly memorable, if a tad clichéd in their portrayal; from sky cowboys to talking armoured bears and witches, Pullman draws on the whole fantasy zeitgeist in creating these individuals.

Setting the tone for the later books in the series, this story is deeply concerned with exploring the convergence of ostensibly dichotic ideas and principles: science and religion, youth and adulthood, free will and determinism, body and soul; all clash violently and spectacularly. Don't let the facile label of `children's fiction' put you off, this is as complex or simple a book as you want it to be.
Read more ›
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By A Customer on 25 Mar. 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a renamed version of Northern Lights!!!
Not a new book about Lyra.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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