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His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
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His Dark Materials

by Philip Pullman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: His Dark Materials (1-3), His Dark Materials (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,013183349 (4.28)307
Lyra Belacqua tries to prevent kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments, helps Will Parry search for his father, and finds that she and Will are caught in a battle between the forces of the Authority and those gathered by her uncle, Lord Asriel.
  1. 131
    The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (guurtjesboekenkast, BrileyOC)
    BrileyOC: Both series provide excellent fantastical escapism as well as profound (though different) religious viewpoints.
  2. 72
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (guurtjesboekenkast)
  3. 62
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1) by J. K. Rowling (guurtjesboekenkast)
  4. 20
    Paradise Lost by John Milton (Jannes)
    Jannes: Not for your average young reader of Pullman, I would imagine, but Milton is a great read if you want to get to the stuff that inspired His Dark Materials. It's not as difficult a read as you would imagine, either, if you just give yourself some time to adjust to the style.… (more)
  5. 10
    Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 1: Foundling by D. M. Cornish (Bitter_Grace)
  6. 00
    Titus Alone / Gormenghast / Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake (Lirmac)
    Lirmac: The gothic world of Lyra's Oxford shares a certain similarity with the miles of mouldering masonry that is Gormenghast.
  7. 00
    Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace (wosret)
    wosret: Take a journey through through the underworld; there's more to reality than you know.
  8. 00
    Dust City by Robert Paul Weston (kaledrina)
  9. 00
    Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (thenothing)
    thenothing: Hollow City could easy be fan fiction of His Dark Materials
  10. 01
    Nation by Terry Pratchett (JonTheNiceGuy)
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» See also 307 mentions

English (175)  French (3)  German (3)  Vietnamese (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (183)
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
I meant this as a re-read of a childhood favorite only to realize that I never made it past the Golden Compass as a kid. I cannot express how much I disliked The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. From this moment on I choose to believe they were never written, Philip Pullman having sworn off writing after an editor dared tell him that just because Tolkien and Lewis were friends, this didn't mean you should try to write cross over fan fiction. ( )
  sarcher | May 31, 2020 |
I somehow missed this trilogy when the first book (The Golden Compass) came out in 1995, but was so immediately beguiled by the HBO-BBC series that I read the entire trilogy without stopping. Fascinating, engaging, and made more compelling by daemons and their humans fighting an evil theocratic government obsessed with power. Finding out His Dark Materials was “number 8 on the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books list for 2000-20092007 and the Catholic League campaigned against The Golden Compass, declaring that it promoted atheism and attacked Christianity, in particular the Catholic church” was icing on the cake. Now I can proudly declare the presence of a “banned book” in my personal library. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Mar 18, 2020 |
I started watching the recent television adaptation, which made me realise I had forgotten a lot about the story from the books, so I picked up Northern Lights again. And reading the book, I realised I had forgotten how engaging the story was—reading it on the bus, I never wanted to put it down. Lyra is a formidable protagonist.

Having finished my re-reads of The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass I can safely say I had forgotten everything about them too. Both kept me hooked all the way through. ( )
  queen_ypolita | Feb 25, 2020 |
An exciting and bittersweet conclusion to the trilogy. Pullman laid out some interesting concepts. I found that this novel was more YA than the previous two and a few things didn't quite flow very well, but I still enjoyed it. Here's to the Republic of Heaven versus the Kingdom of Heaven! ( )
  LisaMorr | Jan 14, 2020 |
Why does the author call attention to sleep so often? Re-read; originally so long ago it all seemed like new. Took a little bit longer to take off. Writing style rather pedestrian, but seemed richer than C.S. Lewis, Pullman's diametric opposite. ( )
  featherbear | Dec 30, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip Pullmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mullen, DouglasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Targete, Jean PierreCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Contains

Has the adaptation

Was inspired by

Has as a reference guide/companion

Has as a study

The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials by Mary Gribbin

The Magical Worlds of Philip Pullman: A Treasury of Fascinating Facts by David Colbert

The World of the Golden Compass: The Otherworldly Ride Continues by Scott Westerfeld

Navigating The Golden Compass: Religion, Science & Daemonology in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials by Glenn Yeffeth

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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Epigraph
For The Golden Compass:

Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds,
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stood on the brink of hell and looked a while,
Pondering his voyage...

--John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II

For The Amber Spyglass:

The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen leave their stations;
The grave is burst, the spices shed, the linen wrapped up;
The bones of death, the cov'ring clay, the sinews shrunk & dry'd
Reviving shake, inspiring move, breathing, awakening,
Spring like redeemed captives when their bonds & bars are burst,
Let the slave grinding at the mill run out into the field,
Let him look up into the heavens & laugh in the bright air;
Let the inchained soul, shut up in darkness and in sighing,
Whose face has never seen a smile in thirty weary years,
Rise and look out; his chains are loose, his dungeon doors are open;
And let his wife and children return from the oppressor's scourge.
They look behind at every step & believe it is a dream,
Singing: "The Sun has left his blackness & has found a fresher morning,
And the fair Moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night;
For Empire is no more, and now the Lion & Wolf shall cease."

--from "America: A Prophecy" by William Blake

O stars,
isn't it from you that the lover's desire for the face
of his beloved arises? Doesn't his secret insight
into her pure features come from the pure constellations?

--from "The Third Elegy" by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Stephen Mitchell

Fine vapors escape from whatever is doing the living.
The night is cold and delicate and full of angels
Pounding down the living. The factories are all lit up,
The chime goes unheard.
We are together at last, though far apart.

--from "The Ecclesiast" by John Ashbery
Dedication
First words
Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen. (Northern lights)
Will tugged at his mother's hand and said, "Come on, come on..." (The subtle knife)
In a valley shaded with rhododendrons, close to the snow line, where a stream milky with melt-water splashed and where doves and linnets flew among the immense pines, lay a cave, half-hidden by the crag above and the stiff heavy leaves that clustered below. (The amber spyglass)
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Disambiguation notice
This work is all three books (Northern Lights aka The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) in one volume.
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Average: (4.28)
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2.5 21
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