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Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman

Count Karlstein

by Philip Pullman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6431722,806 (3.36)19

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A nice retelling of a European folk tale. Gothic in tone, but primarily a farce. It’s pretty funny, with a moment of real terror near the end. With beautiful stylized silhouette illustrations. ( )
  Ling.Lass | Aug 19, 2017 |
The plot makes zero sense. Not even the meta references save it. ( )
  askajnaiman | Jun 14, 2016 |
I read this aloud, a chapter or two at a time, with my husband and young teen son. There were funny bits, and exciting bits, but somehow it just didn't grab us. Maybe it works better as a solo immersion. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
A good, thrilling children's adventure. ( )
  Laurochka | Feb 6, 2016 |
Excellent gothic novel for young adults. Told in the first person by several characters, the kind and resourceful maidservant, the endangered young nieces of the count, the charming young ex-coachman, the resolute schoolmistress and explorer. There are lots of excellent sound effects, crunching snow, sounding horns, and so forth and the individual performers are excellent. The plot seems to become nonsensical at the end, but it may be that this is just part of Philip Pullman's faithfulness to his inspiration, the gothic novels of the time period in which the book is set. Pullman manages to get humour out of every narrators individual voice. However, I felt that the pratfalls of the cops as described by other characters were a bit too broad, almost like he put them in to entertain the less intelligent section of his readership. ( )
  themulhern | Sep 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip Pullmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bryan, DianaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thurley, JoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Jamie, yet once more
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Peter crouched over the fire, stirring the embers so that the sparks swarmed up like imps on the rocky walls of hell.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375803483, Paperback)

"I might have occupied my mind usefully with Improving Thoughts, but the only improvement I could imagine then was a pair of wings, to enable me to fly to freedom. And, of course, a Head for Heights. I cleaned the dust from the window and peered out hopefully, but there was nothing but a Horrid Precipice, with jagged crags several thousands of feet below." Such are the woes of young Charlotte, locked in a tower room of her uncle's gloomy Castle Karlstein in 19th-century Switzerland. Escaping this predicament seems the least of her worries: in a solemn blood pact, her evil uncle, Count Karlstein, has promised to sacrifice his two orphaned nieces, Lucy and Charlotte, to Zamiel the Demon Huntsman--on midnight of All Souls' Eve--in return for his current riches.

First, however, the heartless Count and his "lip-licking, moist-handed, creeping, smarming" secretary, Herr Arturo Snivelwurst, will have to catch Lucy, too--and it is no small task with the headstrong, 14-year-old Hildi Kelmar; her 18-year-old, handsome-in-a-scowling-sort-of-way brother, Peter; and the intrepid English teacher Miss Augusta Davenport on the girls' side. As Miss Davenport herself points out, "an English gentlewoman can rise above any circumstances, given intelligence and a loaded pistol." The events in this delightful gothic farce unfold quickly in a variety of narrative voices, artfully building in suspense to a powerful, terrifying, deeply satisfying stand-off between the Count and the Demon Huntsman of Impenetrable Darkness himself. Subplots and loose ends are gracefully, happily, justly tied up in the light of day, finally allowing readers to exhale.

British novelist Philip Pullman, masterful storyteller and creator of the bestselling adventures The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife, mesmerizes us again with his playful, suspenseful thriller Count Karlstein, released in the United States 16 years after its appearance in the United Kingdom. Readers young and old will revel in every angle, twist, and turn of this breathlessly paced, very funny page-turner. (Ages 11 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:03 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In the mountains of Switzerland the wicked Count Karlstein plots to abandon his two orphaned nieces in a hunting lodge as prey for the Demon Huntsman and his ghostly hounds.

» see all 7 descriptions

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