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Golden Compass: 1 Paperback – 22 May 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 3,150 ratings

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Review

"Extraordinary storytelling at its very best." --The Detroit Free Press

"Superb . . . all-stops-out thrilling." --The Washington Post

Very grand indeed. --The New York Times

Powerful [...] a fantasy adventure that sparkles with childlike wonder. --The Boston Sunday Globe

Marvelous [...] the writing is elegant and challenging. --The New Yorker

Arguably the best juvenile fantasy novel of the past twenty years [...] If [The Subtle Knife] is as good as The Golden Compass, we'll be two thirds of the way to the completion of a modern fantasy classic.
--The Washington Post Book World

"Pullman is quite possibly a genius...using the lineaments of fantasy to tell the truth about the universal experience of growing up." --Newsweek

Masterful storytelling [...] with a cast of instantly beguiling characters. --The Dallas Morning News

"The most magnificent fantasy series since Lord of the Rings." --The Oregonian

"Pullman has created the last great fantasy masterpiece of the twentieth century. An astounding achievement." --The Cincinnati Enquirer

Once in a lifetime a children's author emerges who is so extraordinary that the imagination of generations is altered. Lewis Carroll, E. Nesbit, C.S. Lewis, and Tolkien were all of this cast. So, too, is Philip Pullman, whose Dark Materials trilogy will be devoured by anyone between eight and eighty. The most ambitious work since The Lord of the Rings, it is as intellectually thrilling as it is magnificently written. -- New Statesman

Thrillingly paced and exotic [...] breathtaking. -- Columbus Dispatch

"[...] a rare few have minds capacious enough to engage in vast cosmos-making, imagining realms and inventing universes. I am thinking of Dante and Milton and Blake. We may now add Philip Pullman."
--Parents Choice (online)

The Golden Compass is one of the best fantasy/adventure stories that I have read in years. This is a book no one should miss. --Terry Brooks, author of The Sword of Shannara

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.
--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"This first fantastic installment of the His Dark Materials trilogy propels readers along with horror and high adventure, a shattering tale that begins with a promise and delivers an entire universe." - Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

This first fantastic installment propels readers along with horror and high adventure [...] A shattering tale that begins with a promise and delivers an entire universe. --Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"The characters of Lord Asriel, Mrs. Coutler, and Iorek Byrnison and the cold and beautiful Northern setting are captivating; the constantly twisting plot and escalating suspense are riveting; and Lyra and Pantalaimon are among the gutsiest and wiliest of adventurers. Touching, exciting, and mysterious by turns, this is a splendid work." --The Horn Book Magazine, Starred

"Glorious. And what an ending -- simply operatic." --School Library Journal, Top 100 Children's Novels (#28)

This is a captivating fantasy, filled with excitement, suspense, and unusual characters. --School Library Journal

A totally involving, intricately plotted fantasy that will leave readers clamoring for the sequels.
--Booklist, Starred review

"Glorious. . . . The Golden Compass is one of those lyrical suspensions like Alice in Wonderland and The Lord of the Rings that crosses all age lines and intertwines mythologies and legends with seamless beauty." --BookPage

From the Back Cover

In a landmark epic of fantasy and storytelling, Philip Pullman invites readers into a world as convincing and thoroughly realized as Narnia, Earthsea, or Redwall. Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, "nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing--victims of so-called "Gobblers"--and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Yearling Books; 1st edition (22 May 2001)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0440418321
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0440418320
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 10 - 17 years
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.18 x 2.54 x 19.53 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 3,150 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Alex James
5.0 out of 5 stars I was super impressed by the magical feeling of turning of every page
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 November 2019
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John Bland
1.0 out of 5 stars Neither believable or credible
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 April 2020
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Hannah Carrier
4.0 out of 5 stars The perfect book for a magical realist fan
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 December 2018
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Alana_thebooknerd
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't know why I hadn't read this sooner
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 June 2020
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CF
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fantasy
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 March 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fantasy
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 March 2020
Amazing fantasy book. The story is fantastic with many twists and surprises. Very well written there is no question there. Captivating fron the first paragraph. Intriguing and incredible adventure, everyone should give it a go you wont be able to put the book down.
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