Customer Reviews for

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

Wow. Perhaps one of the finest bits of fantasy i have read

First off, yes this is sold as a young adult novel. It really isnt though. It is actually a novel... young and old alike will like it.

Second... where do i begin in saying how good it is? The world feels fully formed and the writing is breathtakingly good. The characte...
First off, yes this is sold as a young adult novel. It really isnt though. It is actually a novel... young and old alike will like it.

Second... where do i begin in saying how good it is? The world feels fully formed and the writing is breathtakingly good. The character are all well thought out and are multi dimensional. The plot has just the right amount of twists. And the story is incredible.

Yes this book was written as "an atheist response to narnia"... but it goes so far beyond that as to become a fully fledged fantasy classic on its own merits. Give it a read - you will not regret it.

posted by wookietim on March 3, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass is a tangled web that has many problems that make you feel that this book should not have been a Fantasy book for children, but overall Philip Pullman was able to make a book that is able to shine through the problems that it has.

The Golden Compas...
The Golden Compass is a tangled web that has many problems that make you feel that this book should not have been a Fantasy book for children, but overall Philip Pullman was able to make a book that is able to shine through the problems that it has.

The Golden Compass is about a young girl named Lyra and her Daemon Pan, (daemons are animals that are born with there human and there appearances are judged by the persons personality), but because Lyra is so young, Pan has no full form yet. Lyra is a young brunet haired girl who is content to cause problems for the scholars and servants, Lyra lives in a world were churches and scholars rule most of Europe and every person has a Daemon. I can relate to Lyra because she feels that she does not know her own past. Lyra also has a so called uncle called Lord Asriel (a powerful scholar who Lyra fears and respects) Lord Asriel is a powerful man who has many ties with Jordan college. Lord Asriel daemon is a snow lion, Lyra meets a young women named Mrs. Coutler who is a proud scornful women. Her daemon is a golden monkey who also has a short temper.

The Golden Compass takes place in a parallel Europe, were the countries are controlled by churches and scholars. People in this world all have animals that are called daemons that are a part of them. This is very important! This story centers around Lyra who is very hyper and begins her quest to save her friend Hennery and find the truth.

Unfortunately the author made a mistake with this book that was meant for children. In a later interview Philip Pullman stated that with this book he had killed God, and claims that the gobblers in this story are actually churches in the real world. This did make enjoy the book a little less when I learned of this. Still this book was made to be about truth, love, and courage I also learned from this book that everyone has his/her own problems and must fix them, the conclusion of this book leaves many things open to for the next story.

posted by Patfs on March 26, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Wow. Perhaps one of the finest bits of fantasy i have read

    First off, yes this is sold as a young adult novel. It really isnt though. It is actually a novel... young and old alike will like it.

    Second... where do i begin in saying how good it is? The world feels fully formed and the writing is breathtakingly good. The character are all well thought out and are multi dimensional. The plot has just the right amount of twists. And the story is incredible.

    Yes this book was written as "an atheist response to narnia"... but it goes so far beyond that as to become a fully fledged fantasy classic on its own merits. Give it a read - you will not regret it.

    21 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2009

    The Golden Compass

    The Golden Compass is a tangled web that has many problems that make you feel that this book should not have been a Fantasy book for children, but overall Philip Pullman was able to make a book that is able to shine through the problems that it has.

    The Golden Compass is about a young girl named Lyra and her Daemon Pan, (daemons are animals that are born with there human and there appearances are judged by the persons personality), but because Lyra is so young, Pan has no full form yet. Lyra is a young brunet haired girl who is content to cause problems for the scholars and servants, Lyra lives in a world were churches and scholars rule most of Europe and every person has a Daemon. I can relate to Lyra because she feels that she does not know her own past. Lyra also has a so called uncle called Lord Asriel (a powerful scholar who Lyra fears and respects) Lord Asriel is a powerful man who has many ties with Jordan college. Lord Asriel daemon is a snow lion, Lyra meets a young women named Mrs. Coutler who is a proud scornful women. Her daemon is a golden monkey who also has a short temper.

    The Golden Compass takes place in a parallel Europe, were the countries are controlled by churches and scholars. People in this world all have animals that are called daemons that are a part of them. This is very important! This story centers around Lyra who is very hyper and begins her quest to save her friend Hennery and find the truth.

    Unfortunately the author made a mistake with this book that was meant for children. In a later interview Philip Pullman stated that with this book he had killed God, and claims that the gobblers in this story are actually churches in the real world. This did make enjoy the book a little less when I learned of this. Still this book was made to be about truth, love, and courage I also learned from this book that everyone has his/her own problems and must fix them, the conclusion of this book leaves many things open to for the next story.

    10 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    CHILL YOUR SOCKS BACK ON!

    Woah, woah, woah. Guess what. The golden compass, is FICTION. Evryone knows what that means, right? It is not real. Its just a story. It has absolutely nothing to do with God. Quit freaking out and saying you hate this book because your religious. If you dont like it because you think it attacks god, that doesnt mean it isnt a good story. Im christian, too, i
    understand, believe me. But all of you are overreacting. If you dont agree with it, leave it alone. Its not like one series will destroy your entire religion. Its not like its trying to prove god isnt real. Its just a fantasy. And all of you who dislike it because you think that just wont look past your church to see reality. Its obvious. Instead of making a hateful comment like the church tells you not to do, just read something else for god's sake.

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    What is going on in this book?

    Let me preface by saying I have never seen the movie, nor do I plan to. I'm almost at a loss for what to write as a review for this book. I know this story is apparently written for a younger audience, but i don't see how. I had to reread a lot of pages in this story just to keep track of what was going on, I would get so lost it was ridiculous. The only things that I can attribute this to are 1) we are to assume to already know how this 'alternate' world works, such as Dust, daemons, talking bears, witches, etc. with absolutely little to no introduction on who or what these things are and 2) maybe I just got so lost because British writers just write differently. While the story may be difficult to understand or follow in certain parts, it has piqued my interest into the next book. So... having bought the boxed set, and being fairly curious as to what happens to Lyra and Pan after they 'step into the sky', I'll read the next one. Maybe I'll be able to follow along better this time? We'll see!

    5 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2002

    Creatatively Written and clever witted

    The Golden Compass is a thrilling book. I highly suggest reading it. This book leaves you hanging and craving for more of Pullmans brillance. Lyra and her deamon,Pan, captivate you in there world and you never want to leave. Pullman manages to suck you up in this book and make you never want to leave the adventure.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Delightful juvenile adventure; not atheist propaganda

    "...I definitely stayed up way too late on some nights, just because I didn't want to put the book down, and I was a little sad when I finished it; it ends with a lot of action and mystery, and I look very forward to reading the second book in the trilogy so I can find out what happens next for Lyra and Pan, and see who, if any, of the other characters might also be around.

    If you've seen the movie, but have not yet read the book - read the book. Seriously. As much as I enjoy the movie, I was pleased to find out that the book has even more action and adventure, and more mystery as well! You're definitely cheating yourself if you haven't read this yet, and I wish I hadn't taken so long to get to it..."

    For full review, please visit me at Les Livres on Blogger:

    jaimeliredeslivres dot blogspot dot com

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Ugh

    The beginning is really good but then it gets to hard to follow. I would not read. To many characters. To hard to follow.

    3 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2002

    Great!

    I really liked this book. Phillip Pullman is incredably original in all of his ideas. In my oppinion at least. I suggest this book to anyone who liked Ender's Game or Harry Potter, though they're not alot alike.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Terrible is an idiot.

    I'm sick of close minded judgemental christians. Jesus didn't like organized religion either, you moron. Go back to your chicken soup for the soup for the sole and your eat, pray, love BULLSH@T and leave the real reading to us grown ups

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2012

    Zoe's Book Reviews

    The Golden Compass is a great book. I loved it so much because the idea of the compass. I think that sometimes having a daemon would be so cool. I really like Iorek Byrnison he is probably my favorite character.

    The Golden Compass is a wonderful book about a young girl named Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon or for short Pan. Lyra is put in the care of a wonderful lady named Mrs. Coulter but then she finds the truth with a amored bear named Iorek. Lyra and Iorek must help every kid from a horrible thing.

    This book is a wonderful fantasy book with great characters, a wonderful plot and a twist.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Absolute, Royal Crap

    People with daemons, secret experiments in the North, talking Polar Bears, and celestial particles called Dust makes this book a horrible read. Rebellious little girl (more annoying-rebellious that you wish she just dies which brings the story to a thankful premature end), snooty scholars, unappealing talking animals (daemons included) make up a boring cast of characters. I should have known that this was a dumb story since the crux of the it is about Dust and the controversy surrounding it (sigh, really Dust).

    2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    A very good book.

    I found myself enjoying this book- the ideas, such as Daemons, the characters, such as Iorek, and the places, such as Ma Costa's ship. Overall, it was a good book and I suggest you read the entire series.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    a good fantasy read

    This was a fairly well-done fantasy read, but for this type of thing I prefer Roderick Blackwood and the Demon Stone by Ralph Rathbone, which is much more exciting.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    Worth the time.

    This is most def an odd book but once u get into it you cant put it down. Great series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    The Golden Compass

    I love this book it has amazing adventure all the way up to the last page. Lyra is an amazingly strong child paired with her daemon Pan they are unstoppable. It all started as a myth where gobblers would take children and would never be seen again. When her best friend Roger goes missing Lyra is determined to find him. Lyra in her journey meets witches, bears and finds the truth of Dust and what the gobblers are up to with the children they steal. Little does she know the dangers she will face when she leaves her home at Jordan college.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    -Kianna

    This series is awesome. I'm not one of those people who say it just cause they want to be the "most helpful" review. It's truly good. I recommended this to all my friends, and this book hasn't been available in the school library for a year.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Had to give it 1 star

    In this book God is the villan and Satan is the hero.
    Come on people!! Go back to your bibles and read in Gennises!! God created the heavens and the earth!! Not Satan. If God had not created this earth we would not be on this earth right now. Im just warning all of you christians this is not a book i would recomend.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Anonymous

    First of all, to all you christians, hes not trying to MAKE us believe theres no god, i mean its a completely different world there living in! Its his book, he can write it however he wants.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Really sacriligiois or howeveru spell it

    It says in the book God is evil and the fallen angels are our protectors if your christians dont look this up

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    :)

    A very good trilogy. The 2nd & 3rd books get better.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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