Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Fitbit



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 3 March 2017
A great kids / young teen detective novel set in Victorian times.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is a review for the audio version of the book read by Anton Lesser.

This is a wonderful book.
The story is simply terrific with a whole host of terrific characters and a fabulous setting of Victorian London.

Other reviewers will comment on the terrific story so I suggest you read them in addition to this..

I will focus on the audio book.
My word it is well performed by Anton Lesser his vocalisation of the characters particularly the females outstanding.
HE had me scrabbling to the Cd's box to check that other additional women actors were not performing he is that good.
No I'm wrong there he is BRILLIANT.

His vocal talents convey the menace and sheer terror of the evil enemies of Sally Lockhart so well.
Mrs Holland, Sally's nemesis is a wonderful creation full of malevolence evil from her use of her deceased husband's Ivory false teeth (plenty of wear in 'em yet) to her total disregard for using violence to extract what she wants- if someone's face needs to smashed in she will insist her crony does it with a knuckle duster to really be sure to smash the face in with as much pain as possible.

The story rattles along and I was totally amazed that this reading over 6 CDs was not abbridged Philip Pullman is a wonderful story teller who writes cracking novels. Each and every word is well crafted to the situation and character.
If this is a book just for children then I am a Dutchman!

So to sum up this reading and performing of the book is simply wonderful. Anton Lesser is outstanding.
What a brilliant vocal narrator he is.

One hundred per cent totally recommended.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is a review for the audio version of the book read by Anton Lesser.

This is a wonderful book.
The story is simply terrific with a whole host of terrific characters and a fabulous setting of Victorian London.

Other reviewers will comment on the terrific story so I suggest you read them in addition to this..

I will focus on the audio book.
My word it is well performed by Anton Lesser his vocalisation of the characters particularly the females outstanding.
HE had me scrabbling to the Cd's box to check that other additional women actors were not performing he is that good.
No I'm wrong there he is BRILLIANT.

His vocal talents convey the menace and sheer terror of the evil enemies of Sally Lockhart so well.
Mrs Holland, Sally's nemesis is a wonderful creation full of malevolence evil from her use of her deceased husband's Ivory false teeth (plenty of wear in 'em yet) to her total disregard for using violence to extract what she wants- if someone's face needs to smashed in she will insist her crony does it with a knuckle duster to really be sure to smash the face in with as much pain as possible.

The story rattles along and I was totally amazed that this reading over 6 CDs was not abbridged Philip Pullman is a wonderful story teller who writes cracking novels. Each and every word is well crafted to the situation and character.
If this is a book just for children then I am a Dutchman!

So to sum up this reading and performing of the book is simply wonderful. Anton Lesser is outstanding.
What a brilliant vocal narrator he is.

One hundred per cent totally recommended.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 March 2014
The usual Pullman skill and intrigue but content not suitable for under 14s in my opinion. The plot revolves largely around smoking opium, including the lead character doing so in order to solve the mystery. Add to that the smattering of colourful language and the murders and it's not a very wholesome read. It's for an older audience with the ability to take a step back and analyse I feel.
11 Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 January 2004
I ordered this book as an audiobook so i didn't have to turn pages and could just relax and listen to the story. Sally Lockhart is the heronie of the book she is left alone when her father dies but Sally starts a business in London and makes a number of freinds along the way. It is said this is a good follow on from Philip Pullman Dark Matrials but if you just look for a good story this is perfect and the two sequels are great also.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 April 2005
Having read "His Dark Materials", and been amazed by the vast scope of Pullman's ideas and entranced by his writing, I wondered if The Ruby could be so beguiling. After all the huge, multi-dimensional sets aren't available any more - Sally is confined to Victorian England - and His Dark Materials could have been a one-off.
No need to worry, gentle reader, this is a rare gem (sorry!) of a book.
The claustrophobic London of the day forms a perfect setting for a rich and gripping mystery. Sally is a courageous and likeable lead in this immersive thriller. The book is full of dark characters, believable acts of derring-do, and plenty of nasty turns.
I can't get over how much decent fiction has been written recently for the teenage market, and what a tragedy it would be if adults miss out.
If you like Holmes-esque thrillers, this is for you. Not as violent as some, but it doesn't hold back. Don't save it for the kids.
0Comment| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 November 2001
After reading the His Dark Materials trilogy and thouroughly enjoying it, I decided to check out some more of Philip Pullman's books. I found the Ruby in the Smoke in my local bookshop and decided to give it a go. I thought that the characters were really interesting and loved the way that so many different people from different backgrounds all ended up in the one house in Burton Street. Pullman's "baddies" always have a decent reason for their wrong doings, and we always get to know why they did what they did, or why they're doing what they're doing! I would advise anybody who likes Pullman's work to go out and buy this book, and anybody who's new to it to go out and do the same. But beware one thing, there are books that follow on from The Ruby In The Smoke, and you may never work out the correct order! But overall, an excellent read!
0Comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 October 2005
Philip Pullman is great. I read his dark materials trilogy and enjoyed it. But not that much. This book had that last bit in it to turn it from 4 to 5 stars. It is set in Victorian times, where a teenaged orphan has to unravel the mystery that her father sent her before he died. With the help of an abstract photographer, a page boy and a reverend, she must find out what "The Ruby" is, and why her father wanted her to have it.
This is told in a similar way to Sherlock Holmes, and is just as dark and mysterious. Full of Opium, sailors and dark streets. Very good read.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 May 2003
Phillip Pullman is the one and only author I know, who manages to be true to the ideals of the period he describes (the 1860s) and interesting to readers today at the same time!
The Sally Lockhart-books, sett in the 1860's and 70's, feature tragedy and romance in true Victorian style. But Sally herself is not typically Victorian. A good English girl of the 1860's was supposed to play the piano, do needle point and polite conversation. Sally rides horses, shoot, and does calculus and financial consulting!
In this first Sally Lockhart book, Sally arrives in England, after spending her childhood in India. But when she hears that her father has died in a shipwreck, she knows her life will never be the same again. The novel features more villains and more dangerous criminals than any Victorian penny-dreadfull!
History itself does not give a good novel. But this novel is great. And I reccomend it to any reader older than 12, and younger than their grandparents.
0Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 October 2001
Like many readers, I first encountered Philip Pullman through the Dark Materials trilogy. Enjoying those, I went on to read some of his older books too - and I wasn't disappointed!
The Ruby In The Smoke is set in the word of Victorian penny-dreadfuls, Sax Rohmer's world of opium dens and the evil Dr Fu Manchu. Heroes are square-jawed and clean-living, villians are evil twisted crones. Everything is as it should be, and the sun never sets on the British Empire.
It's not a complex book - simple virtues of honesty and loyalty to one's friends are rewarded. In the end, good triumphs over evil - but I'm sure we haven't seen the last of the evil An Lin...
4 1/2 stars, because it's not in the superlative category of The Subtle Knife, but it's still a rollicking good read.
0Comment| 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse