BN.com Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 968 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(643)

4 Star

(194)

3 Star

(66)

2 Star

(28)

1 Star

(37)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

23 out of 26 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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2
  • 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.

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

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

    Posted April 18, 2013

    Hhh

    Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 20, 2012

    anonymous

    wasnt that good. liked the other two wayyyy better! this one took me a long time to finish and was kinda hard to understand

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

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Movie

    Do not watch the movie. If you like stuff like false gods and killing then this is the movie for you. The book is ok but if you like scary stuff then read this book

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Good Idea Not Executed

    The premise and storyline of the book is imaginative and interesting. However, the writing style is not. There is very little character development. Most characters on one-dimensional. The main character, Lira, has no emotions and accepts information in a merely factual way, rather than being affected by information and reacting how a normal human would (it is difficult to be more specific on this point without spoilers). In addition, because this is set in a fantasy world there are many terms that the reader will not recognize. Pullman does explain these terms or any information about this world at the beginning nor as the story unfolds. Readers are left to attempt to figure out what they are talking about through context. It is somewhat difficult to follow, and reads more like a textbook with terms that you do not know rather than being transported to a fantasy land. It was not a terrible book, but it could have been much better and I was disappointed.

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

    Posted May 6, 2008

    The parallels didn't work!

    Once I got past the label of Demons for cute and loyal creatures attached to every person, I really enjoyed most of the book. It was around chapter 21 when I really decided that it was dumb. It resembled the Series of Unfortunate Events in the disappointing endings they both had. There are obvious church/God/man parallels throughout the book. He's pushing a world view. Suffice it to say that castration is not the aim of the church, and it's sad that he sees it that way. If you aim to keep your Christian child away from evil influence, it's probably better not to let them read this until they're past puberty. Do what you want, though. I'm not going to try to keep you from dust.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 14, 2008

    the Golden Compass

    I have very mixed feelings about this book. It has a very original and thoughtful story line- as it starts out, the plot makes the reader want to read more to figure out the mysteries that are brought up. I also thought that the religious theme was interesting and brought up points and commentary that are relevant to our own societies. At the same time, the book was ultimately disappointing. I expected the final chapters to resolve the conflicts and mysteries seen throughout the book however, the story ends so abruptly and confusedly that I was left wondering what had happened to all of the characters! It just didn't seem to fit with the rest of the story. Many of the finer details that drive the plot (Dust, the aletheiometer), were also described and used in ways that were inconsistent and, frankly, at times it was quite difficult to fully understand what the characters were talking about. Thus, I thought that the book, although it has potential and is interesting in some ways, is ultimately disappointing and confusing.

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

    Posted October 23, 2007

    I found this book a real bore

    I hated this book i found it hard to comprehend confusing and a real bore I would rather read the dictionary then this book. The only reason I continued to read it is I needed it for a report. Even though the book wad horrible some parts were very interesting so I gave it a two out of five.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 12, 2007

    Dark and Dangerous

    While well written, this is not a book for children. Graphic descriptions of child torture and utter defiance of any authority make this book a danger to an emerging young adult. Our culture has already gone far enough away from morality that this extra push is not needed. Young adults need to see that there is a clear line between Good and Evil however they are portrayed and this book certainly did not provide that.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 9, 2005

    Dazzling, well written... and totally atheistic and depressing.

    Be warned that this series is so well written and so enticing, you won't realize the 'subtle' themes until you're well in. Pullman, an avowed atheist, twists Scripture in this warped counterpoint to C.S. Lewis' Narnia series. If you are concerned with your young adults spiritual upbringing, be warned: read this series before your child, if at all, and be prepared to answer Pullman's portrayal of a weak, elderly, ineffectual, imprisoned God who lacks any of the characteristics of the biblical God and Savior. Aside from bashing various denominations (Puritans and Christian protestantism being the first obvious target), the author teases the young reader along with the search for higher meaning and guidance, and then trashes the very concept of a supreme being in his final volume. Young readers will be teased with Objectivism, and presented with his central messages: there is no God, you should live your limited life based on your own principles, and you will die alone in an uncaring universe. Ultimately, this series has a depressing end to a promising, enchanting beginning. Two stars because it is so well written - but so disappointing.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 28, 2005

    boooring!

    I tried to get through the book several times and I never made it. I've read books longer then this before, but not quite as tedious.

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

    Posted May 1, 2005

    Terrible! ! !

    I was terribly disappointed with this book. It was depressing, violent, and humorless. I thought the daemon idea was very interesting. Also I liked that the Gyptians helped Lyra in her times of need. I'm in third grade and a second grade teacher recommended it to me. Now who would recommend this to a child when it's about torturing children? I started the second one but put it down after only a few chapters since I found it just as disappointing.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 18, 2002

    Not what I expected

    This book was simply too abstract, I like fantasy, but there is a point where the line has to be drawn. The end was, simply put, too esoterical. The characters lacked depth, but the main problem was that the plot just didn't seem to go anywhere. If you are looking for a good fantasy novel, read The Lord of the Rings, it is a far superiour work.

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

    Posted December 6, 1999

    This Book is Terrible

    I thought that this book was terrible.It was to hard to understand and to many complicated words.But other then that I thought it would of been a better book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2