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The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book…

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) (original 1995; edition 2002)

by Philip Pullman (Author)

Series: His Dark Materials (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
32,55769165 (4.07)2 / 910
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.
Title:The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1)
Authors:Philip Pullman (Author)
Info:Knopf Books for Young Readers (2002), Edition: Reissue, 399 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (1995)

  1. 3614
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (Patangel)
  2. 190
    Sabriel by Garth Nix (staram)
  3. 203
    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (sturlington)
  4. 207
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Leishai)
    Leishai: Also a story about fantasy with another world
  5. 2512
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling (Patangel)
  6. 50
    The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (StefanY)
  7. 72
    Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (Jannes, passion4reading)
    Jannes: Epic and awe-inspiring and steampunk-ish... also surprisingly complex characters and moral ambiguity for a YA novel - just like HDM
    passion4reading: Intelligent and thought-provoking children's/YA fiction with an unusual premise.
  8. 50
    Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge (Kerian)
  9. 52
    The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman (Aleana)
  10. 52
    A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle (Anonymous user)
  11. 63
    The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (bibliovermis)
  12. 41
    The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs (timspalding)
  13. 20
    A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge (Anjali.Negi)
  14. 31
    Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox (SunnySD)
  15. 20
    The Witches of Willowmere by Alison Baird (mene)
    mene: "The Willowmere Chronicles" series includes daemons, but focusing more on the Ancient Greek version. "His Dark Materials" series has a parallel world where everyone has a daemon, but in a different way than the daemons in the Willowmere Chronicles.
  16. 53
    The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce (VictoriaPL)
  17. 31
    Pavane by Keith Roberts (timspalding)
  18. 97
    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (ut.tecum.loquerer)
  19. 10
    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (Aleana)
  20. 10
    Stravaganza: City of Masks by Mary Hoffman (Jannes)
    Jannes: Similar themes: parallel worlds, dimension-traveling youths, splendid cities... Pullman's work is, in my opinion, far superior, but both are worth checking out if you like this sort of thing.

(see all 29 recommendations)

1990s (1)
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English (664)  Danish (6)  German (4)  Spanish (3)  French (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (688)
Showing 1-5 of 664 (next | show all)
Wow - adolescent fantasy fiction is way, way outside my usual reading areas, but this is a very good book. The plot development works, the characters are interesting, the witches and daemons and "armoured bears" are as bizarre as expected, but didn't upset my enjoyment of the book.
There are two more volumes in the trilogy, and I'll certainly be back for them. ( )
  mbmackay | Apr 26, 2022 |
I should preface this review with the knowledge that I watched the movie before I read the book.

The book kept pace with the movie well, and outshone it in several parts (as do most books when compared to their movie adaptations). The story kept me interested and involved, and I came to care about Lyra, and about the boy that she was intent on rescuing. I cheered her on through harrowing journey and daunting challenge alike. I very much enjoyed the majority of the book.

Then there was the ending.

After an ending like that, I'm not surprised that it was completely changed for the movie. The author doesn't pull any punches, contrary to what I expected in a children's book. Above and beyond that, any sense of accomplishment for the main character is yanked out from under her at the last moments.

It's like reading a Wheel of Time book for kids.

I was gifted with the next two books, so I'll end up reading the entire trilogy. If I didn't already own them, I doubt very much that I'd pick up the second book. ( )
  dcrampton | Apr 20, 2022 |
I only occasionally venture into "Young Adult" books, as I dislike books that come across as patronising towards their readership, treating the child as stupid or naive ("The Secret Garden" for instance barely scrapes by when re-read as an adult, and dont get me on The Narnia books!).[return][return]This however, was a reasonable story, reasonably written. I can appreciate why it has become a modern favourite, set in an alternate version of Earth where children are heroes, and can be captured and killed (by losing their daemons), where armoured bears can talk and witches fly through the skies to war with each other. ( )
  nordie | Apr 18, 2022 |
Massively late to the party with this one, but wow, what a book! It’s incredibly imaginative and dense in its world-building (almost overwhelmingly so at times) but has such a thrilling plot that once things kicked into gear all I could do was keep reading. Lyra is a marvellous heroine, and the supporting cast is just as fun. The twists and turns kept me guessing and the central themes are superbly handled. It’s unpatronising, philosophical and brilliantly entertaining.
( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
I LOVED THIS BOOK! It has everything - mystery, adventure, some comedy, love. Lyra is a young girl (10?) who is being raised at Jordan College, Oxford. Children she plays with are being kidnapped by Gobblers and when her best friend disappears she wants to go try to find him. The mysterious Mrs. Coulter comes to Jordan, beguiles Lyra and takes her to come live with her. Lyra, the consummate eavesdropper, overhears what Mrs. Coulter is really up to and her connection to the Gobbler. As a result Lyra runs away and thus her adventures with the Gyptians begin. ( )
  Dairyqueen84 | Mar 15, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 664 (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 (10 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
Beck, Rufussecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berdage, RoserTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borbás, Máriasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brooks, TerryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rohmann, EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rooijen, Quirijn denEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabino, ElianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sahlin, OlleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ströle, WolfgangÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Targo, LindaToimetaja.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torrescasana, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tulinius, Gretesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tutino, AlfredoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, StuartCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wormell, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
First words
Lyra and her dæmon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen.
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.
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(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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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
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Average: (4.07)
0.5 14
1 143
1.5 20
2 432
2.5 98
3 1469
3.5 369
4 3254
4.5 462
5 3705

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