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The amber spyglass by Philip Pullman

The amber spyglass (2000)

by Philip Pullman (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: His Dark Materials (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,998275111 (4.02)94
  1. 42
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Leishai)
    Leishai: Also a story about fantasy with another world
  2. 10
    Cold Fire by Kate Elliot (Jen448)
  3. 21
    The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers (Leishai)
  4. 10
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (thebookpile)
  5. 00
    The Once and Future King by T. H. White (themulhern)
    themulhern: This book follows a similar trajectory to the HDM trilogy, starting out fairly light and bright and growing gradually more somber, mature, and troubled.
  6. 11
    Lycidas by Christoph Marzi (Leishai)

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» See also 94 mentions

English (264)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  German (1)  Croatian (1)  All languages (274)
Showing 1-5 of 264 (next | show all)
Almost as good as the first (and best) in the trilogy, but loses points for, in my opinion, the needless cruelty of the ending. I'm sorry, I get the thematic relevance, I just don't care. I'm also not looking for a 100% happy ending, but COME ON. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
I appreciated where it all ultimately went.I will fondly remember all of the characters and worlds, and that is all one can ask for really. ( )
  CassandraT | Oct 10, 2014 |
View my full review here. If I could, I'd give it a 3.5.

The characters which flourish the most in this book are Lyra and Will. Each mature so much thanks to what they experience and it shows in their choices near the end of the novel in their decision to be selfless. Of course, the development of their relationship is also really lovely to read. It’s gradual so it seems realistic. Also, their love seems so pure and strong which I really think adds to their arc. They learn a new type of love with each other which I think is something beautiful to depict.

I do think there are some inconsistencies. For example, Mrs. Coulter and Asriel don’t have a gradual shift into loving Lyra as they should have all along. Because of this, it makes their love somewhat unconvincing. What motivated the change? We don’t get to see that which for me is a bit of an issue.

Overall, The Amber Spyglass is another good book by Pullman. I think it could have been better, but the pros far outweigh the cons. It was a joy to go along with these characters on their journey and see them mature, grow, and love. ( )
  CaitlinAC | Aug 10, 2014 |
Gets pretty intense compared to the first book, and definitely more mature. As a child I loved it, and of course didn't pick up on all the "anti-Christian propaganda" that most readers comment on. For me, it was just a continuation of a fascinating story. I found that it was a satisfying, if sad, conclusion. ( )
  Tigerlily12 | Jul 9, 2014 |
I finished the His Dark Materials series thanks to sheer dogged willpower. By the second book, both the world-building and characterization begins to unravel (as is evidenced by the dearth of new interesting characters and the inconsistent, inexplicable mishandling of the personalities of a good deal of the old ones) and the relentless invocations of the false dualities of knowledge vs. faith / good vs. evil / etc. were yawn-worthy. Much of what made the trilogy on the whole so intolerable was Pullman's relentless anti-Christian polemic - there are ways to write books which are critical of religious institutions / authorities without being so blatantly offensive (and, I would add, unimaginative.) If you're going to brazenly swipe from great works of literature such as Paradise Lost (as Pullman admits to in his afterword) then I'd expect the final product to be a little less sloppy and boring. Ultimately, whatever promise this series had in The Golden Compass was thoroughly stomped out of it by the third book, with the copious references to Biblical themes or stories (appropriating the very thing you're trying to critique as a way of ennobling it??) and the unsatisfying, overly simplistic ending which betrays Pullman's limited grasp on either theology or physics. ( )
  milkyfangs | Jun 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 264 (next | show all)
And as the bumpy journey among these dark materials comes to an end, there is the most moving of scenes: all fantasy subdued and only human frailty revealed in the real world of Oxford's Botanic Garden.

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pullman, PhilipAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bruno, FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pullman, PhilipNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 let 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 pure constellations?

-- from "The Third Elegy" by Ranier Maria Rilke
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
O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

Robert Grant, from Hymns Ancient and Modern.
First words
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.
I used to be a nun, you see. I thought physics could be done to the glory of God, till I saw there wasn't any God at all and that physics was more interesting anyway. The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that's all.
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The unabridged audio recording is narrated by a full cast, so there are a large number of narrators.
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In the astonishing finale to the His Dark Materials trilogy, Lyra and Will are in unspeakable danger. With help from Iorek Byrnison the armored bear and two tiny Gallivespian spies, they must journey to a dank and gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone. All the while, Dr. Mary Malone builds a magnificent Amber Spyglass. An assassin hunts her down, and Lord Asriel, with a troop of shining angels, fights his mighty rebellion, in a battle of strange allies—and shocking sacrifice.

As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living—and the dead—finally comes to depend on two children and the simple truth of one simple story.
Haiku summary
Heroine suffers.
But in the end it's only

No descriptions found.

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Lyra and Will find themselves at the center of a battle between the forces of the Authority and those gathered by Lyra's father, Lord Asriel.

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