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The Golden Compass, Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition (His Dark Materials, Book 1)(Rough-cut)
 
 
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The Golden Compass, Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition (His Dark Materials, Book 1)(Rough-cut) [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover]

Philip Pullman
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Some books improve with age--the age of the reader, that is. Such is certainly the case with Philip Pullman's heroic, at times heart-wrenching novel, The Golden Compass, a story ostensibly for children but one perhaps even better appreciated by adults. The protagonist of this complex fantasy is young Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Oxford University. But it quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own--nor is her world. For one thing, people there each have a personal daemon, the manifestation of their soul in animal form. For another, hers is a universe in which science, theology, and magic are closely allied:
As for what experimental theology was, Lyra had no more idea than the urchins. She had formed the notion that it was concerned with magic, with the movements of the stars and planets, with tiny particles of matter, but that was guesswork, really. Probably the stars had daemons just as humans did, and experimental theology involved talking to them.
Not that Lyra spends much time worrying about it; what she likes best is "clambering over the College roofs with Roger the kitchen boy who was her particular friend, to spit plum stones on the heads of passing Scholars or to hoot like owls outside a window where a tutorial was going on, or racing through the narrow streets, or stealing apples from the market, or waging war." But Lyra's carefree existence changes forever when she and her daemon, Pantalaimon, first prevent an assassination attempt against her uncle, the powerful Lord Asriel, and then overhear a secret discussion about a mysterious entity known as Dust. Soon she and Pan are swept up in a dangerous game involving disappearing children, a beautiful woman with a golden monkey daemon, a trip to the far north, and a set of allies ranging from "gyptians" to witches to an armor-clad polar bear.

In The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman has written a masterpiece that transcends genre. It is a children's book that will appeal to adults, a fantasy novel that will charm even the most hardened realist. Best of all, the author doesn't speak down to his audience, nor does he pull his punches; there is genuine terror in this book, and heartbreak, betrayal, and loss. There is also love, loyalty, and an abiding morality that infuses the story but never overwhelms it. This is one of those rare novels that one wishes would never end. Fortunately, its sequel, The Subtle Knife, will help put off that inevitability for a while longer. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy now appears in sophisticated trade paperback editions, each title embossed within a runic emblem of antiqued gold. The backdrop of The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book I sports a midnight blue map of the cosmos with the zodiacal ram at its center. The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass carry similarly intriguing cover art, and all three titles offer details not seen in the originals: in Compass and Knife, for example, Pullman's stamp-size b&w art introduces each chapter; Spyglass chapters open with literary quotes from Blake, the Bible, Dickinson and more.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up-Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subjects of gruesome experiments in the far north. By Philip Pullman.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 7^-12. In the first of a planned trilogy, Pullman has created a wholly developed universe, which is, as he states, much like our own but different in many ways--a world in which humans are paired with animal "daemons" that seem like alter egos, only with personalities of their own. The story begins at Jordan College in Oxford, where young Lyra Belacqua and her daemon, Pantalaimon, are being reared and educated by the Scholars. Although a lackluster student, Lyra possesses an inordinate curiosity and sense of adventure, which lead her into forbidden territory on the night her uncle, Lord Asriel, visits. He's there to solicit funds for a return journey to the distant arctic wastes, where he has observed and photographed strange goings-on, including a mysterious phenomenon called Dust that streams from the sky and a dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora, or Northern Lights, that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. After he leaves, Lyra finds herself placed in the charge of the mysterious Mrs. Coulter and in possession of a rare compasslike device that can answer questions if she learns how to read it. Already shocked by the disappearance of her best friend, Lyra discovers Mrs. Coulter's connection with the dreaded children-stealing Gobblers and runs away, joining a group of gyptians bound for the North to rescue missing children. Lyra has also learned that her uncle is being held prisoner in the North, guarded by formidable armored bears. Filled with fast-paced action, the plot involves a secret scientific facility, where children are being severed from their daemons; warring factions; witch clans; an outcast armored bear, who bonds with Lyra; and more. It becomes evident that the future of the world and its inhabitants is in the hands of the ever-more-resilient and dedicated Lyra. A totally involving, intricately plotted fantasy that will leave readers clamoring for the sequels. Sally Estes --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Review

Review, USA Today (circ: 2, 192,098), November 1, 2007:
"The 1996 novel, published for children but widely praised by grown-ups, is set in a British world where everyone has a personal 'daemon,' the manifestation of his or her soul in animal form ... Pullman ... has seen an early cut of the film without its computer-generated effects and calls it 'rich, strange and wonderful.'"

Review, Entertainment Weekly (circ: 1, 830, 769), November 9, 2007:
"The polar bear warriors in THE GOLDEN COMPASS ... are just part of the vast fantastical metaverse explored by young Lyra Belacqua in a $150 million adaptation of the first book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materialstrilogy."
-Holiday Movie Preview

"Pullman, meanwhile, is handling the controversy gracefully...the British author wagered that the hullabaloo 'will make more people see the film.'"
-News Notes

From the Publisher

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
I love this book, so when we decided to give out copies at a convention this summer, I was thrilled! We must have given away a hundred copies of The Golden Compass throughout that weekend and one person even came back the next day to let me know how engrossing the book was--he had read it overnight!

--Anh Hoang, Marketing Assistant --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

"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

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Philip Pullman has won many distinguished prizes, including the Carnegie Medal for The Golden Compass (and the reader-voted "Carnegie of Carnegies" for the best children's book of the past seventy years); the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year Award for The Amber Spyglass; a Booker Prize long-list nomination (The Amber Spyglass); Parents' Choice Gold Awards (The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass); and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, in honor of his body of work. In 2004, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Philip Pullman is the author of many books for young readers, including two volumes related to the His Dark Materials trilogy: Lyra's Oxford and Once Upon a Time in the North. He lives in Oxford, England. To learn more, please visit www.philip-pullman.com and www.hisdarkmaterials.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1



THE DECANTER OF TOKAY

Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen. The three great tables that ran the length of the hall were laid already, the silver and the glass catching what little light there was, and the long benches were pulled out ready for the guests. Portraits of former Masters hung high up in the gloom along the walls. Lyra reached the dais and looked back at the open kitchen door, and, seeing no one, stepped up beside the high table. The places here were laid with gold, not silver, and the fourteen seats were not oak benches but mahogany chairs with velvet cushions.

Lyra stopped beside the Master's chair and flicked the biggest glass gently with a fingernail. The sound rang clearly through the hall.

"You're not taking this seriously," whispered her daemon. "Behave yourself."

Her daemon's name was Pantalaimon, and he was currently in the form of a moth, a dark brown one so as not to show up in the darkness of the hall.

"They're making too much noise to hear from the kitchen," Lyra whispered back. "And the Steward doesn't come in till the first bell. Stop fussing."

But she put her palm over the ringing crystal anyway, and Pantalaimon fluttered ahead and through the slightly open door of the Retiring Room at the other end of the dais. After a moment he appeared again.

"There's no one there," he whispered. "But we must be quick."

Crouching behind the high table, Lyra darted along and through the door into the Retiring Room, where she stood up and looked around. The only light in here came from the fireplace, where a bright blaze of logs settled slightly as she looked, sending a fountain of sparks up into the chimney. She had lived most of her life in the College, but had never seen the Retiring Room before: only Scholars and their guests were allowed in here, and never females. Even the maid- servants didn't clean in here. That was the Butler's job alone.

Pantalaimon settled on her shoulder.

"Happy now? Can we go?" he whispered.

"Don't be silly! I want to look around!"

It was a large room, with an oval table of polished rosewood on which stood various decanters and glasses, and a silver smoking stand with a rack of pipes. On a sideboard nearby there was a little chafing dish and a basket of poppy heads.

"They do themselves well, don't they, Pan?" she said under her breath.

She sat in one of the green leather armchairs. It was so deep she found herself nearly lying down, but she sat up again and tucked her legs under her to look at the portraits on the walls. More old Scholars, probably; robed, bearded, and gloomy, they stared out of their frames in solemn disapproval.

"What d'you think they talk about?" Lyra said, or began to say, because before she'd finished the question she heard voices outside the door.

"Behind the chair--quick!" whispered Pantalaimon, and in a flash Lyra was out of the armchair and crouching behind it. It wasn't the best one for hiding behind: she'd chosen one in the very center of the room, and unless she kept very quiet...

The door opened, and the light changed in the room; one of the incomers was carrying a lamp, which he put down on the sideboard. Lyra could see his legs, in their dark green trousers and shiny black shoes. It was a servant.

Then a deep voice said, "Has Lord Asriel arrived yet?"

It was the Master. As Lyra held her breath, she saw the servant's daemon (a dog, like all servants' daemons) trot in and sit quietly at his feet, and then the Master's feet became visible too, in the shabby black shoes he always wore.

"No, Master," said the Butler. "No word from the aerodock, either."

"I expect he'll be hungry when he arrives. Show him straight into Hall, will you?"

"Very good, Master."

"And you've decanted some of the special Tokay for him?"

"Yes, Master. The 1898, as you ordered. His Lordship is very partial to that, I remember."

"Good. Now leave me, please."

"Do you need the lamp, Master?"

"Yes, leave that too. Look in during dinner to trim it, will you?"

The Butler bowed slightly and turned to leave, his daemon trotting obediently after him. From her not-much-of-a-hiding place Lyra watched as the Master went to a large oak wardrobe in the corner of the room, took his gown from a hanger, and pulled it laboriously on. The Master had been a powerful man, but he was well over seventy now, and his movements were stiff and slow. The Master's daemon had the form of a raven, and as soon as his robe was on, she jumped down from the wardrobe and settled in her accustomed place on his right shoulder.

Lyra could feel Pantalaimon bristling with anxiety, though he made no sound. For herself, she was pleasantly excited. The visitor mentioned by the Master, Lord Asriel, was her uncle, a man whom she admired and feared greatly. He was said to be involved in high politics, in secret exploration, in distant warfare, and she never knew when he was going to appear. He was fierce: if he caught her in here she'd be severely punished, but she could put up with that.

What she saw next, however, changed things completely.

The Master took from his pocket a folded paper and laid it on the table beside the wine. He took the stopper out of the mouth of a decanter containing a rich golden wine, unfolded the paper, and poured a thin stream of white powder into the decanter before crumpling the paper and throwing it into the fire. Then he took a pencil from his pocket, stirred the wine until the powder had dissolved, and replaced the stopper.

His daemon gave a soft brief squawk. The Master replied in an undertone, and looked around with his hooded, clouded eyes before leaving through the door he'd come in by.

Lyra whispered, "Did you see that, Pan?"

"Of course I did! Now hurry out, before the Steward comes!"

But as he spoke, there came the sound of a bell ringing once from the far end of the hall.

"That's the Steward's bell!" said Lyra. "I thought we had more time than that."

Pantalaimon fluttered swiftly to the hall door, and swiftly back.

"The Steward's there already," he said. "And you can't get out of the other door..." 

From AudioFile

Phillip Pullman spins a magical tale which will draw in older listeners as well as teens. Natasha Richardson's light, ethereal voice wraps us into the magic like the "daemons," or spirits, that accompany each character. She almost whispers some of the text as young Lyra whispers to her daemon in a setting that is now and other-worldly at the same time. Richardson describes characters and events with a softness that heightens the fantasy while not neglecting the action of the pursuit of evil in the form of kipnappers and unbeatable polar bear warriors. The text is so image-laden with wondrous descriptions, Richardson needs to add little to this compelling storytelling. R.F.W. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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