Customer Reviews for

His Dark Materials Boxed Set: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

I laugh at you all

I'm 14 and read the whole series in, I think, 5th or 6th grade. I went to a Catholic school for 6 years going to a school wide mass every Wednsday. I think I could be called a Catholic, don't you? While reading them I didn't hear anything negative about the books or e...
I'm 14 and read the whole series in, I think, 5th or 6th grade. I went to a Catholic school for 6 years going to a school wide mass every Wednsday. I think I could be called a Catholic, don't you? While reading them I didn't hear anything negative about the books or even the author from anyone including my teachers. Now however, I was looking at the books in a used book store and someone came up to me and said that anyone who read the books is going to hell. I really do laugh at anybody with that mentality because, if you read it as a work of fiction, all of a sudden it is an amazing story. I also went to the movie. Because the director was trying to be 'politically correct' the movie suffered horribly (don't get me wrong, it was good). Anyone who says that this series is brainwashing children obviously does not have enough confidence in thier self to resist temptation and what is life but the temptation to do wrong? All in all, wonderfull series, but I wish people could learn how to read and decide for themselves.

posted by Anonymous on January 2, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

I couldn't wait to get back to this book!

I thought this was a children's story. My husband gave the trilogy book to me for Christmas in 2007. I pushed it around until the summer when I began reading The Golden Compass. It grabbed me the way the first Harry Potter book did. Grabbed me and pulled me right into t...
I thought this was a children's story. My husband gave the trilogy book to me for Christmas in 2007. I pushed it around until the summer when I began reading The Golden Compass. It grabbed me the way the first Harry Potter book did. Grabbed me and pulled me right into the fantasy world of Lyra and Roger. I found myself feeling torn when I had to put the book down wondering where the twists and turns would go next. I didn't just read these three books, I absorbed them.

The writing is so compelling and full of intrigue. But the message..ahh the message it has for us in today's world. In a world of "Change" and "Yes we can", this book is a must read. Mr. Pullman has written a book for the ages.

Put a copy today...forget the movie, it doesn't come close to the book and ENJOY!!!

posted by Diamonddiva on November 20, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2008

    I laugh at you all

    I'm 14 and read the whole series in, I think, 5th or 6th grade. I went to a Catholic school for 6 years going to a school wide mass every Wednsday. I think I could be called a Catholic, don't you? While reading them I didn't hear anything negative about the books or even the author from anyone including my teachers. Now however, I was looking at the books in a used book store and someone came up to me and said that anyone who read the books is going to hell. I really do laugh at anybody with that mentality because, if you read it as a work of fiction, all of a sudden it is an amazing story. I also went to the movie. Because the director was trying to be 'politically correct' the movie suffered horribly (don't get me wrong, it was good). Anyone who says that this series is brainwashing children obviously does not have enough confidence in thier self to resist temptation and what is life but the temptation to do wrong? All in all, wonderfull series, but I wish people could learn how to read and decide for themselves.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2007

    'christians' beware, ha!

    Fist of all let me say that these books were incredible. I am a PhD level scientist and I thought that it was incredible that the author actually introduced some high level scientific ideas into this book. My real concern here lies in how so many so-called 'christians' are preaching intolerance and are approaching the level of advocating censorship. Atheism is a religion (if you don't understand then maybe you should read something other than your bible some time), saying that it isn't, is like saying that 0 is not a number. Now, that being said, this book is a fantasy tale that happens to have a spiritual side that supports and proclaims the religious beliefs of the author. The issue here is that atheism is not as accepted in our society as Christianity, or Islam, or the various other religions out there. Would everyone really be in such an uproar if this book were about another religion. Considering I was forced to read the lion, the which and the wardrobe in school and it didn't turn me in to some deluded Christ follower, I have no sympathy for your concerns. 'christians', try some of these things: 1) try to be a little open minded and experience things that don't quite fit in your perfect little delusion. 2) try leading people to your religion by example and preaching love and compassion instead of trying to force people to your god by banning books, ignoring proven science, and attmepting to make sins illegal through political means. 3) have a little faith in your children. they know the difference in a fairy tale and a religious text and if they don't maybe you should try talking to them a little more instead of just regulating their input.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2008

    Add this to a list of books you read before you die!

    This is an amazing book. I have read all three in the series and I have seen the movie. It's absolutey wonderful. The story is great and it's one of those books that you can easily get lost in. You really can imagine everything clearly in your mind and the way the story is told, it feels like your there with the characters watching everything. You must read this book sometime in your life or you will miss out on a lot!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is a good, well-written series with characters you'll be rooting for. The scenes came vividly to life it was full of beautiful imagery. Yeah, the author's an Atheist and the books reflect that. So what? People of religious backgrounds--from Christian to Wiccan--write books reflecting their faith for kids. Instead of getting offended at Pullman why not be offended at something that truly is offensive? Like the gas/food prices? :-)By the way, the first one, the Golden Compass, probably has the least anti-church rhetoric in it at least, I didn't detect anything there that I thought was offensive. It gets steadily more anti-religion as the books progress.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2005

    ATTENTION! ALL FANTASY LOVERS! READ THIS:

    I just want to discuss what makes a great fantasy novel. There are plenty of fantasy books, and most of them are really good. But it is harder to come by one that is special, one that is great. It is hard to come by a 'tale that really mattered'.............. In my opinion, HARRY POTTER, THE MISTS OF AVALON, HIS DARK MATERIALS, & THE LORD OF THE RINGS are the greatest fantasy novels ever written. Why do I think this? I think this because these stories emanate a feeling of POWER so great that I KNOW they really happened, somewhere, sometime. It is a VERY difficult feeling to describe. I get it too when I am watching STAR WARS EPISODE III (the new one), or the LOTR movies. In movies, I know music helps create this feeling, this POWERFUL emotion but in books, it is only the words on the page and the imagination of the reader.................Do you ever get this feeling? The feeling which makes you want to cry, yell and kill something all at once? The great welling of sadness and happiness that fills your heart when you read something especially POWERFUL? Do you get this feeling when you're reading about Lyra and Pan being ripped from each other on the docks of the Land of the Dead, or when Lyra and Will must make the terrible decision about which door to leave open? Or do you get it when Snape utters the fatal words, or when Harry shares his destiny of finding and destroying the horcruxes with Ron and Hermione in the last pages of 'The White Tomb'? Do you get this feeling when King Arthur kills Mordred (his own son!) or when Morgaine enters the Isle of the Priests, and you know in your heart that Avalon will be lost to the mists forever? Do you get this wonderful/horrible emotion when Aragorn and Theoden charge out into the morning at Helms Deep shouting, 'Forth Eorlingas!', or when Frodo says, 'I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.'................. I hope all of you, fellow fantasy lovers, have felt this POWERFUL feeling once while you were reading. The emotion that thrusts deep into your heart and soul and tells you that these places, these people, are or were once REAL. You can see them...you are almost there with them. Even if you are the lowliest peasant of Gondor, or the simplest child lost in the Land of the Dead, you know that the POWER of these stories has led you there, and that you ARE there, even as you turn the page in your book.................And when you have finished your book, you wish with all your heart that you could return to that place, whether it be Hogwarts, Camelot, or Middle-Earth, because in those places there is real HONOR & GLORY & POWER. That is where good battles evil, and the story has made you yearn to be a part of that battle. I hope that all of you have experienced this feeling, which wrenches your heartstrings and broadens your imagination. I hope that you who KNOW IN YOUR HEART that you are an angel or daemon of Lyra's world, or a great crusader, or a priestess of Avalon, or an Auror or a Death Eater, or a Warrior of the West-of Gondor or Rohan, or a simple hobbit from the Shire...I hope that you have felt this emotion, because it proves that you have read GREAT, POWERFUL, MEANINGFUL books, and that surely, you belong in a fantasy world........... The greatest praise I can give to JRR Tolkien, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Philip Pullman & JK Rowling is that while reading their books, I felt this POWER, this great & terrible emotion................. I hope all of you have felt this POWER, and have cried or screamed with REAL emotion...and if you haven't felt this, than I advise you to read these books, and maybe you will be blessed with this incredible feeling. And if you don't read (which is a crime), then you should at least watch LOTR, and maybe when Aragorn shouts 'I bid you fight! Men of the West!' you will feel it too..............And now I have shared my views on what makes a 'tale that really mattered'. I thank you all for reading this.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2010

    YES!

    YES! YES! YES, YES, YES!!! Read these books. Best fantasy ever written.
    Oh, and I am Christian. And I found that this trilogy /enriched/ my faith. It is healthy, especially for young minds, to question one's faith. And for those who might lose faith through reading these books, they will actually be closer to God in my opinion, for they will not be living a lie. (Meaning that their faith is the lie, not religion itself.)
    Recommended for everyone age 10 and up, just because it might be a bit difficult for young children to understand, and because of some disturbing details.
    Read it, read it, read it!! And then re-read it! (It gets better every time.)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2009

    This was a book club selection and I wasn't particularly enthused about it initially so I borrowed the books from the library. After the first 20 or so pages, I thought "I've got to have this to keep." I promptly went to the book store a

    My expectation was that this was a religious tome about faith, etc. It is, however, not at all in the vain I was expecting----rather he presents very thought-provoking ideas that still have me pondering. There has been mention in other review that Pullman must be an aethist----I don't find that conclusion at all. He certainly doesn't hesitate to point out some of the worst things people of all religions have visited on others. How many wars and how much destruction of people and land have occurred "in the name of God?" The Crusades, for example. I found the author's presented viewpoints and plots to be highly thought-provoking in today's world. At the same time, I loved the other-worldly setting and characters fascinating. For me it was an amazingly thoughtful, provoking read and I'm grateful my fellow book club members selected this otherwise I'd probably never have read it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    Absolutely amazing! Favorite series!

    This is my favorite series of books, ever. They're completely outstanding. I was blown away by Pullman's huge imagination. This series had be smiling, laughing, crying, fuming... I just loved it. The ending was shocking, and superb. If you had to read one series of books before you kick the bucket you MUST read these!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Worthy of purchasing!

    This series was well written and it's characters were well developed. It kept my interest and I was eager to move from one novel to the next. Do not let the minor controversy behind the plot prevent you from giving these a read...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    Love the polar Bear

    I was fascinated with this series and have been enjoying the read. When the movie came out Pastors asked parents not to allow children to go so I needed to read all the books to see what was up. My son had read the 1st in 5th grade and loved it so I decided to see what the whole story line was about. It is thought provoking and a good series for you to sit down and discuss what is in the books with your children. 2nd and 3rd may be too dark for some young readers but ok for 7th grade and above with a mature child. I do not look at the negative but how you can get your youth to talk about what they got from the story and how it may differ from what they believe.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it!

    I was given the series by a cousin about six years ago. I read it last year and fell in love with it, I finished the series in two weeks! I got so into it that I cried at the end when Lyra and Will would never see each other again! I highly recommend this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Adventure!

    I found these books to be excelent. They were thrilling and captivateing all in one. I couldn't put it down, and although I know there is some contriversy over it I don't care, they are a good read that I would recomend to anyone looking for a great adventure...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    YOU WILL READ THIS BOOK NOW!

    The Golden Compass<BR/>Philip Pullman<BR/>Published by Dell Yearling<BR/>Fantasy<BR/><BR/> Do you like adventures? Well if you do you should read The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman. A little girl named Lyra is journeying to the north to find her long lost Uncle Lord Aisrel, she later finds out that there are these people called the gobblers and they steal children. Lyra's best friend Roger gets stolen. Lyra travels to the north only to be captured by the gobblers. Will Lyra ever get away from the gobblers, will Lyra save her uncle Lord Aisrel, and will she ever find Roger? What will happen to Lyra and her companions?<BR/><BR/> Lyra has long curly dark hair, she has blue eyes, and she is a brave wild little kid, she and Roger go anywhere there is danger and make it worse. Roger, Lyra's best friend, is just like Lyra except he has red hair like Lord Aisrel, Lyra's uncle. Lyra's uncle, Lord Aisrel, knows about dust, no not that dust, a special type of dust, the kind of dust where when one hits puberty he/she get a a lot of bad thoughts. Then there are the gobblers, they steal children and cut their daemons away. Most of the characters in this book die.<BR/><BR/> I highly recommend this book to middle schoolers that like scientific fantasy fiction books. If you want to read the best page turner in the world you should definitely read The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. This book was complimented by The New York Times, The chicago tribune, and The Los Angeles Times. Philip Pullman has also written many other books, two of them are called The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. It will knock your socks off!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2008

    Great Reading!!

    I am in love with these books! I couldn't stop reading them they dragged me into their world and made me fall in love. The ending broke my heart and brought me to tears! I would recommend these books to young and old readers alike!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    I do not suggest but rather command that you purchase the entire trilogy I began by reading the first book just to anger right-wing fanatics asking me to join Facebook groups boycotting the movie when lo and behold, about three weeks later, I had finished the trilogy and am forever a better man because of it. This is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy of our times (and perhaps Pullman planned it that way, in which case, kudos to him for playing off that particular fad), and should be revered for the marvelous work of imagery and symbolism that it is... whereas some scold and berate this work as anti- God, I look at it as a parable... a what-if... a simplistic though knowledgeable commentary on the delusion that is blind faith and the sickness that is so easily taken advantage of by those purporting to have 'god-given-right'. These books teach belief in one's self... and that, says I, is one belief that I find markedly worthy of an Amen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    A Great Book

    Okay, everybody stop for three seconds and think about what you're doing. You want to censor books because you believe they contain an anti-God sentiment. First off you're going against the basic democratic ideas that people are entitiled to read anything they want. Secondly, it is a work of fiction it means nothing. Pullman's magestratium might look like a slam on religion, but the truth is that is how the Catholic Church acted for over 500 years. If you are too ignorant to accept that then you don't really know your faith. Just because it talks about going against the Church doesn't mean it's a bad book. If you are secure with your faith then you should be able to read a children's book. There is nothing wrong with questioning your religion every now and then, it should even confirm your beliefs. The book itself was excellent and I recommend reading the entire series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2008

    A reviewer

    I don't understnad why people think The Chronicles of Narnia are better than this trilogy. Lewis is boring, the theme of the books uninteresting. Pullman, on the other hand, knows what he is doing, grabs the reader's attention, and holds on throughout the trilogy. The 'anti-Christian' thing is way overblown. I am a Catholic, and while I wouldn't reccomend these for young children, they are definitley worth reading. And as others have said, how strong can your faith be if you are afraid of a book or a movie? They simply express one man's views. They are exciting and well-written, and that's all that matters. I am 13, and if you think these books are boring or are not worth reading, you don't have a very high comprehension level! I HIGHLY RECCOMEND THESE BOOKS!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2007

    How ironic...

    The very issue that Pullman illustrates through his magnificent works is the very thing of which 'Christian' reviewers on this site are guilty. Ironic yet not surprising... The fact is that this is one of the best fantasy series that I've read in a LONG time. I skew towards science fiction but used to read fantasy as a child. I stopped because the caliber had dropped so dreadfully over the years. But Pullman re-invigorated my interest in the genre. His use of words and descriptions are amazing. I finished all three books in two days, staying up until 4 am to do so. I highly recommend it for adults and older children. Don't let the ignorance of others stop you from enjoying excellent storytelling!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2007

    Excellent series for thinking people of all ages

    I suppose the 'thinking' part is what puts off christians. History shows that there has never been a shortage of people willing to be rotten to other people it also shows that doing so on a truly grand scale requires religion [Google 'Spanish Inquisition' if you don't already know what I mean]. Philip's excellent storyline demonstrates the dangers of authoritarian cults like the Magisterium and other religions. It's understandable that the christians are put out by it - after all, if people take the message to heart, the religious right's political power will be diminished. Often throughout the history of the church, they've responded to this kind of challenge by torturing and/or murdering the offending author and his followers. It must be killing them to realize that, at least today and in this country, all they can do is whine about it. Highly recommended series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2007

    Make your own decisions!

    I've read The Golden Compass and am about halfway though The Subtle Knife. So far, I've seen absolutely nothing that is 'anti-Christian.' We were taught to use our God-given brains to discern good from bad, right from wrong, when I attended parochial school. I have always and will always make my own decisions about these things, as opposed to letting someone else do my thinking for me. That appears to be an alien concept to some, but it is their loss. They merely need to recognize the right of others to read, consider and decide on their own instead of accepting the dictates of others. The only real caution I can see is that some of the themes may be a little too intense for very young children. Kidnapping, for instance, may be a bit much for them. It depends on the child's maturity but it would be wise for parents to read the books first.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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