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Northern Lights: His Dark Materials 1 Paperback – 3 Mar 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 990 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Age Range: 11 - 18 years
  • Publisher: Scholastic; 3 edition (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407130226
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407130224
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (990 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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."--"Publishers Weekly," Starred""
"Extraordinary storytelling at its very best."--"The Detroit Free Press"
"Superb . . . all-stops-out thrilling."--"The Washington Post"

" 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""
" Extraordinary storytelling at its very best." -- "The Detroit Free Press"
" Superb . . . all-stops-out thrilling." -- "The Washington Post"

"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" "
"Extraordinary storytelling at its very best."--"The Detroit Free Press "
"Superb . . . all-stops-out thrilling."--"The Washington Post" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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
As a massive Harry Potter fan and a student of theology and religious studies I have put off reading Philip Pullman for years. Firstly, on the grounds that surely nothing can compete with Harry potter and secondly because I didn't want to read some quasi-theological, anti-establishment piece of heresy, which is what several reviewers have portrayed 'Northern Lights' as being. Having just finished reading it however, my only regret is that I didn't do it years ago.
It's hard to escape the Harry Potter analogies as it is the seires of the moment, so let me do a quick comparison for you. Harry Potter is well written, with good dialogue, a realistic fantasy world and solid archetypes. It's of a good level for its target audience (lets say 8-12 year old kids) and offers enough escapism and wry humour to entertain adults as well. Compared to 'Northern Lights' however it is very lightweight.
Without giving away too much about either plot 'Northern Lights' is far tighter, its universe is much more plausible than Harry Potter's and there is a far greater sense of unity in Pullman's world and Lyra's purpose in it. J. K. Rowling's philosophy is by her own admission patchy and pilfered, Pullman presents an intelligent extrapolation of our history and theology and shows it working in the world, something on which Rowling has always been rather weak.
As for the theology, which one reviewer on this page has suggested is rather fantastical, I've read a lot of theologians and they frequently come up with suggestions about the world based on scripture that seem so bizzare that you would laugh at them if they came out of anyone else's mouth.
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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
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.
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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: Mass Market Paperback
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!
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