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The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
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The Golden Compass (original 1995; edition 1997)

by Philip Pullman

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28,13161464 (4.09)2 / 831
Member:dolphin30
Title:The Golden Compass
Authors:Philip Pullman
Info:Del Rey (1997), Edition: Second Printing, Paperback, 351 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (1995)

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English (588)  Danish (6)  German (4)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (610)
Showing 1-5 of 588 (next | show all)
Intrigued me until the end, but with the child abuse and religious themes in this book, I'm wary of continuing the series. ( )
  aspirit | Mar 6, 2019 |
In my opinion The Golden Compass is an excellent book for young readers looking to dive into deeper storytelling and heavier content. You can see all the character’s realistic morals reflected in the story and growth such as Lyra growing from a troublemaking schoolgirl to a coveted hero. Lorek the bear also grows from a savage that only cares for himself and the bottle in front of him to caring for Lyra. The plot is suspenseful leading up to an action packed last few chapters. It also makes readers think about bigger ideas such as friendship, science, and connections to your soul, etc. The big idea of this book is that you can strive your own path as Lyra did, to be confident in yourself as many of the characters were, and how important the love of friends is. ( )
  SeanSullivan14 | Mar 5, 2019 |
3.5 stars really
I remember a few years ago when the movie came out there was an uproar of sorts about this series so naturally I wanted to see for myself and read it.
I enjoyed this book, it captured my attention ( )
  StarKnits | Feb 6, 2019 |
I am so glad that I read this as an adult. This is exactly the type of book that as an adolescent I really would not have liked, but as an adult, I really adored it, and totally unexpectedly. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
A fantasy set in parallel world(s) similar to Victorian England, following one young girl's quest of growing up, finding her parents and discovering a shocking truth about a Church-like organization that controls the world. Too all over the place for my taste, with very deus-ex-machina moments advancing the story. On the plus side, it touches on sensitive subjects like religious oppression which many more adult books avoid. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 588 (next | show all)
As always, Pullman is a master at combining impeccable characterizations and seamless plotting, maintaining a crackling pace to create scene upon scene of almost unbearable tension. This glittering gem will leave readers of all ages eagerly awaiting the next installment of Lyra's adventures.
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pullman, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Astrologo, MarinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bailey, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baylay, KateCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beck, IanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brooks, TerryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rohmann, EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torrescasana, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tutino, AlfredoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, StuartCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, not 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
Dedication
First words
Lyra and her dæmon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen.
Quotations
We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not...or die of despair.
...this was in the seventeenth century.  Symbols and emblems were everywhere. Buildings and pictures were designed to be read like books.  Everything stood for something else.; if you had the right dictionary you could read Nature itself.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Northern Lights was published in the US as The Golden Compass
Please distinguish between the book, abridgements and the movie.
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Canonical DDC/MDS

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
In a universe somewhat like our own, children are beginning to disappear from cities around England. For Lyra Belacqua, a half-wild orphan girl living at Jordan College, Oxford, the kidnappings are just another excuse for games, battles and tall stories - until her best friend Roger is reported missing. Vowing to rescue him, Lyra embarks upon a journey to the savage North, where physicists and theologians alike are conducting controversial research into the nature of something known only as 'Dust'. Apart from her friends the gyptians, her only guide is a curious golden instrument called an alethiometer. If she is to survive her ordeal, she will have to learn to interpret its cryptic and peculiar messages. 432
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440418321, Paperback)

Some books improve with age--the age of the reader, that is. Such is certainly the case with Philip Pullman's heroic, at times heart-wrenching novel, The Golden Compass, a story ostensibly for children but one perhaps even better appreciated by adults. The protagonist of this complex fantasy is young Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Oxford University. But it quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own--nor is her world. For one thing, people there each have a personal daemon, the manifestation of their soul in animal form. For another, hers is a universe in which science, theology, and magic are closely allied:
As for what experimental theology was, Lyra had no more idea than the urchins. She had formed the notion that it was concerned with magic, with the movements of the stars and planets, with tiny particles of matter, but that was guesswork, really. Probably the stars had daemons just as humans did, and experimental theology involved talking to them.
Not that Lyra spends much time worrying about it; what she likes best is "clambering over the College roofs with Roger the kitchen boy who was her particular friend, to spit plum stones on the heads of passing Scholars or to hoot like owls outside a window where a tutorial was going on, or racing through the narrow streets, or stealing apples from the market, or waging war." But Lyra's carefree existence changes forever when she and her daemon, Pantalaimon, first prevent an assassination attempt against her uncle, the powerful Lord Asriel, and then overhear a secret discussion about a mysterious entity known as Dust. Soon she and Pan are swept up in a dangerous game involving disappearing children, a beautiful woman with a golden monkey daemon, a trip to the far north, and a set of allies ranging from "gyptians" to witches to an armor-clad polar bear.

In The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman has written a masterpiece that transcends genre. It is a children's book that will appeal to adults, a fantasy novel that will charm even the most hardened realist. Best of all, the author doesn't speak down to his audience, nor does he pull his punches; there is genuine terror in this book, and heartbreak, betrayal, and loss. There is also love, loyalty, and an abiding morality that infuses the story but never overwhelms it. This is one of those rare novels that one wishes would never end. Fortunately, its sequel, The Subtle Knife, will help put off that inevitability for a while longer. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:41 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 21 descriptions

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