Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass, The…

His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber… (edition 2011)

by Philip Pullman, Philip Pullman (Preface), Lucy Hughes-Hallett (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,983171257 (4.28)293
Title:His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass
Authors:Philip Pullman
Other authors:Philip Pullman (Preface), Lucy Hughes-Hallett (Introduction)
Info:Everyman's Library (2011), Hardcover, 1144 pages
Collections:Your library

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. 62
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (guurtjesboekenkast)
  3. 52
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher'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
    Foundling by D. M. Cornish (Bitter_Grace)
  6. 00
    The Gormenghast Trilogy 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
    Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (thenothing)
    thenothing: Hollow City could easy be fan fiction of His Dark Materials
  9. 00
    Dust City by Robert Paul Weston (kaledrina)
  10. 00
    The Wind on Fire Trilogy by William Nicholson (Pigletto)
  11. 01
    Nation by Terry Pratchett (JonTheNiceGuy)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 293 mentions

English (164)  French (3)  German (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Italian (1)  All (171)
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
This trilogy is still outstanding all these years later! ( )
  mariacfox | Jun 19, 2017 |
I got the three volume paperback set in a simple slipcase with The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

After you have read the books, you will see just how silly the critics are regarding Pullman's so-called attack against religion. This three volume set explores the adventures of Lyra and Will as she attempts to thwart her uncle, Lord Asrael's vision of a world without a Heaven. But not the heaven as we know it, but of a heaven that is run by a bad guy. But I digress.


The Golden Compass introduces us to Lyra, the girl who is a bit of a brat, who lives in a pampered existence with her uncle. She overhears rumors of Dust and an experiment in the Arctic. Soon, her playmates start disappearing! Mrs. Coulter takes Lyra under her wing, but she is much more than she seems. The book is much better than the movie, Golden Compass, so don't confuse the two!

The Subtle Knife: Great characterization in Lyra, the little girl lost, who meets a boy and a gang in a very unlikely dimensional hole in search of her uncle and discovering more about Dust and what it has to do with life.

The Subtle Knife is an instrument that can cut between dimensions. However, there has been a lot of "cutting" in the last century or two and this is having a destabilizing influence on the worlds affected.

I like Lyra in these stories. Phillip Pullman has been criticized for his apparent anti-Church themes, but I'm inclined to believe that those who accuse him of that have not read the book and are only reading the criticisms.

Pullman paints a dark Church in a dimension similar to ours, that's true. They are attempting to suppress the knowledge of other dimensions and those who can survive without daemons (animal familiars). Mrs. Coulter, unlike the first book, Golden Compass, plays a bit of a last minute heroine.

Overall, entertaining, moves at a good pace.


The Amber Spyglass: Will and Lyra continue their journey into the unknown. This book was fun because we have a spyglass that can spot Dust, we have the return of the Bear clan with kind Byrnison and we have Lyra's uncle on a quest to conquer God with his minions of angels and other armies.

At the risk of a spoiler, Lyra discovers a place where ghosts dwell, where a purgatory of sorts is, the draining of the spirit. And she finds love and that she's older and wiser because of it.

The subplots and the complexity of the story is what makes it fun.

**Check it out! ( )
  James_Mourgos | Dec 22, 2016 |
Excellent series - my reviews are included at the individual book titles ( )
  deldevries | Sep 23, 2016 |
Basically, the universe is layer upon layer of parallel universes. Lyra can read the Golden Compass which is a highly effective means of answering life's most difficult questions. She goes on Adventures. Will has found the Subtle Knife, which slices apart the universes and allows you travel between them, they go on Adventures together. Dr. Mary -Something- has the Amber Spyglass which allows you to see Dust, which is Dark Matter, which is everywhere, attracts evil spectors and flows between the universes. The entire series is dark, as you have the Church of something or other lording over, evil research facilities, and generally bad people. The heroes are young, but the story only shies away from sex, really, and that only directly. Allusions to various dark deeds are not hidden. Good. Really Good. ( )
  knotbox | Jun 10, 2016 |
This series is fantastic! I loved the characters and the concept of daemons. Interesting mix of fantasy and science fiction. Very engrossing. The audiobooks are amazing! ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (22 possible)

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


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

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
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)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work is all three books (Northern Lights aka The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) in one volume.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440238609, Mass Market Paperback)

In the epic trilogy His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman unlocks the door to worlds parallel to our own. Dæmons and winged creatures live side by side with humans, and a mysterious entity called Dust just might have the power to unite the universes--if it isn't destroyed first. The three books in Pullman's heroic fantasy series, published as mass-market paperbacks with new covers, are united here in one boxed set that includes The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. Join Lyra, Pantalaimon, Will, and the rest as they embark on the most breathtaking, heartbreaking adventure of their lives. The fate of the universe is in their hands. (Ages 13 and older)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:21 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The complete trilogy of His dark materials by Philip Pullman combined in one volume telling the story of witch clans, armored bears and haunted otherworlds.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
9 avail.
287 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (4.28)
1 33
1.5 7
2 85
2.5 21
3 293
3.5 65
4 958
4.5 132
5 1441

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,201,420 books! | Top bar: Always visible