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His Dark Materials Omnibus (The Golden…
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His Dark Materials Omnibus (The Golden Compass / The Subtle Knife / The… (edition 2007)

by Philip Pullman (Author)

Series: His Dark Materials (1-3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,179189354 (4.29)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.
Member:Hu-llibrary
Title:His Dark Materials Omnibus (The Golden Compass / The Subtle Knife / The Amber Spyglass)
Authors:Philip Pullman (Author)
Info:Alfred A. Knopf (2007), 933 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

  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. 73
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (guurtjesboekenkast)
  3. 63
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 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 (181)  French (3)  German (3)  Vietnamese (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (189)
Showing 1-5 of 181 (next | show all)
I couldn't finish this. I got a couple chapters in through the third book before I gave up. I could not bring myself to care about these characters who are universally written in such a way as to manage to prevent the reading from believing the characters are not real in any way. The characters are tropes and stereotypes And symbols without any humanity whatsoever. ( )
  HotvlkvlkeHokte | Sep 8, 2020 |
I brought this book on my recent vacation to have something to read on the plane and long drives and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I generally like fiction for children (Rowling, Beagle, Lewis, etc.) and I'm glad I read these. The plot is more epic in scope than the Harry Potter franchise but neater as well in only three volumes. The trilogy follows the adventures of a brash schoolgirl from an alternate reality, Lyra Belacqua, and her daemon, Pantalaimon.

Well worth a read to anyone who enjoyed Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the like. Read it before the movie hits in December 2007. ( )
  CatherineMachineGun | Jul 31, 2020 |
I love Paradise Lost. If poems were people, then Paradise Lost would be my girlfriend. Actually it'd be about 350 years old, so presumably very dead, and hence not my girlfriend. But I'd have a kind of histo-crush on it nonetheless. So much do I love Paradise Lost that my first novel was a re-imagining of Milton's epic, set in the modern day. There were people and angels and all manner of other beasties all living in a second version of Earth. By some artifice people could travel back to the original version of Earth, albeit they couldn't really interact with it or stay there for very long.

Well, I say that was my first novel, it wasn't actually published. And when I say it wasn't published I mean it wasn't finished. Actually “never started” might be a more accurate way of putting it. But hey, if I'd ever written a novel, that probably would have been it. Luckily I didn't write it, since it turns out I would've been unknowingly plagiarising Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, itself a modern day version of Paradise Lost full to the brim with curious creatures and parallel worlds.

Although published as three separate works, His Dark Materials isn't so much a trilogy as it is a really long book that separates fairly naturally into three parts. This beginning-middle-end divide usually translates as a divide into interesting-boring-exciting. Or more concisely, the middle usually sucks.

Here I found the central section of the book my favourite part. The opening, Northern Lights is interesting and has some fun characters, but looking back, very little happens in its 350 pages. In contrast, the shorter second part, The Subtle Knife, is bursting with new characters, neat developments, and a frenzy of activity. Things slow down again for the final part, The Amber Spyglass. Here, despite the book's biggest events taking place, things feel somehow more low key. I was actually reminded of the premise of the first Star Wars film: events are transpiring on a galactic scale, yet the story is told from the perspective of two lowly droids. If that had carried on into the rest of the Star Wars trilogy then the effect might have been something like The Amber Spyglass. It works, in a fashion, but does mean the series ends with some slightly cheap-feeling heart string-tugging rather than with the splendour that the novel's vast events seem to call for.

All in all it's a solid and enjoyable story, and the Everyman's Library omnibus edition features a cute addition: “Lantern Slides” sections after each of the three parts giving little snatches that Pullman wrote but never incorporated into the text proper, giving extra little titbits about the plot and characters. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
I love Paradise Lost. If poems were people, then Paradise Lost would be my girlfriend. Actually it'd be about 350 years old, so presumably very dead, and hence not my girlfriend. But I'd have a kind of histo-crush on it nonetheless. So much do I love Paradise Lost that my first novel was a re-imagining of Milton's epic, set in the modern day. There were people and angels and all manner of other beasties all living in a second version of Earth. By some artifice people could travel back to the original version of Earth, albeit they couldn't really interact with it or stay there for very long.

Well, I say that was my first novel, it wasn't actually published. And when I say it wasn't published I mean it wasn't finished. Actually “never started” might be a more accurate way of putting it. But hey, if I'd ever written a novel, that probably would have been it. Luckily I didn't write it, since it turns out I would've been unknowingly plagiarising Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, itself a modern day version of Paradise Lost full to the brim with curious creatures and parallel worlds.

Although published as three separate works, His Dark Materials isn't so much a trilogy as it is a really long book that separates fairly naturally into three parts. This beginning-middle-end divide usually translates as a divide into interesting-boring-exciting. Or more concisely, the middle usually sucks.

Here I found the central section of the book my favourite part. The opening, Northern Lights is interesting and has some fun characters, but looking back, very little happens in its 350 pages. In contrast, the shorter second part, The Subtle Knife, is bursting with new characters, neat developments, and a frenzy of activity. Things slow down again for the final part, The Amber Spyglass. Here, despite the book's biggest events taking place, things feel somehow more low key. I was actually reminded of the premise of the first Star Wars film: events are transpiring on a galactic scale, yet the story is told from the perspective of two lowly droids. If that had carried on into the rest of the Star Wars trilogy then the effect might have been something like The Amber Spyglass. It works, in a fashion, but does mean the series ends with some slightly cheap-feeling heart string-tugging rather than with the splendour that the novel's vast events seem to call for.

All in all it's a solid and enjoyable story, and the Everyman's Library omnibus edition features a cute addition: “Lantern Slides” sections after each of the three parts giving little snatches that Pullman wrote but never incorporated into the text proper, giving extra little titbits about the plot and characters. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
This was way too short! I wanted it to be much longer than it was. We get to catch up with Lyra who is now at Oxford studying. She and Pan (remember Pan?) get caught up in a plot that ends with them winning the day.

Honestly the book was just a nice sneak peek at what Lyra has been up to since "The Amber Spyglass." It's been I think two years since the events of that book and Lyra is learning how to read the alethiometer. What I did like was this sounds like something that will come into play I think in some later stories. We find out that there are some special friends keeping an eye on Lyra which I got a kick out of while reading. I read that Pullman is planning to put out more stories from His Dark Materials series.

I wish I could have downloaded the illustrations in this book. They were beautiful. My Kindle did a great job of allowing me to blow up certain things and I got to take a look at Lyra's Oxford.

We also get some excerpts at the end of things mentioned throughout the other books (His Dark Materials #1-#3) too.

I am still salty that Lyra and Will cannot be together. Seriously. Still salty. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 181 (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

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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
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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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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.

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