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The Golden Compass / The Subtle Knife / The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials) Hardcover – Box set, August 28, 2007

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Editorial Reviews Review

In the epic trilogy His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman unlocks the door to worlds parallel to our own. Dæmons and winged creatures live side by side with humans, and a mysterious entity called Dust just might have the power to unite the universes--if it isn't destroyed first. The three books in Pullman's heroic fantasy series, published as mass-market paperbacks with new covers, are united here in one boxed set that includes The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. Join Lyra, Pantalaimon, Will, and the rest as they embark on the most breathtaking, heartbreaking adventure of their lives. The fate of the universe is in their hands. (Ages 13 and older) --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


"One of the supreme literary dreamers and magicians of our time" The Guardian "Philip Pullman. Is he the best storyteller ever?" The Observer --The Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: His Dark Materials
  • Hardcover: 1312 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375842381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375842382
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 4.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,484 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

230 of 243 people found the following review helpful By J. Anderson on November 16, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My three girls and I all love to read, I mean LOVE it! We also like to discuss books we read together. As such, it is always a joy to come across a book or series that engages all of us and ends with long conversations we all learn from. While I do not feel these books are age appropriate for my 8 year old, even with an advanced reading level, it IS for my 13 and 17 year olds. After The Golden Compass, they both fought over who would get to read The Subtle Knife first.

Based on some of the reviews here, much of this series seems to personally offend anyone that is christian. It seems like anything that is threatening to their beliefs is deemed dangerous and negative. However, I think it is a good thing to have your beliefs challenged; it makes you use your mind, question things, and creates thought!

I would much rather have my girls read something they didn't agree with and found distasteful than have their right to read what they want denied. I am grateful for the freedom they experience in our country and the opportunities they are afforded because of it--opportunities to read something like these books that will make them use their minds, for example!

It comes down to this: If you are someone who likes to read, likes to be entertained, likes to use your imagination, and likes to think for yourself rather than allowing someone else to think for you, you will find value in this series!
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233 of 253 people found the following review helpful By Michael Birman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Philip Pullman's dark fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials, ostensibly written for children, is actually literature of a much higher order. The title of the trilogy comes from a particularly powerful passage of Milton's Paradise Lost, the great religious epic poem whose central story is the thematic basis for this trilogy. Another important influence on these three novels is the Christian Parsifal or Sir Percival story, which dates back to the early middle-ages as part of both the King Arthur and the Holy Grail cycle of tales. From its very first page, Pullman's crisp, evocative writing creates a world not quite like ours but just similar enough to be uncomfortable and strangely familiar. As readers of the trilogy know, most of the events in these books do not occur on our world or even in our universe. Of course, because this is post Tolkien fantasy, Mr. Pullman has absorbed all of the usual fantasy tropes and has no desire to repeat them. So what he writes is new, deeper, with fully rounded characters that come alive on the page. His courageous young heroine, Lyra Belacqua with her daemon familiar, Pantalaimon, always by her side, is one of the great creations in "children's literature". Lyra and Pan make an especially entertaining, often very amusing, pair. Her fearsome Uncle, Lord Asriel, is one of those rich, ambiguous creations that keep you guessing as to their motives, reminiscent of Professor Snape in J. K. Rowling's Potter novels. Pullman's writing is lean and well crafted and exciting to read. Once started, it is very difficult to set aside.

This three volume boxed set contains the books in hardcover with their original dustcovers. Their artwork is lovely. It also contains a map: a necessity in today's complex world of fantasy.
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214 of 236 people found the following review helpful By M. Lee on October 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
There are enough (I dare say much more than enough) reviews out there that pertain to the actual contents of the book, whether it be good or bad, so I shall not express how awesome I think the trilogy is. I, instead, want to comment on the various editions of the book/trilogy available out there. I personally bought the Dark Materials Omnibus, which is absolutely gorgeous, and has very sturdy binding. The cover has a nice texture to it, and is much lighter than one would expect for its size (it is quite large). However, I have seen other versions of the trilogy, and I found that the paperback versions, printed by Knopf, are also wonderful and pleasing to the eye, which are printed with heftier paper than the Omnibus. The "standard" versions (the ones that cost 7.50 or so) are also great, though not as pretty as the other ones; they are, however, lightweight and tightly bound (I got those for my brother, who enjoyed the series). However, if you are in search of a copy to give as a gift, then I suggest the Omnibus or paperback versions, simply because of its aesthetic value.
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121 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Book Maven on December 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is by far the most engaging, intelligently-wrtten works of children's literature I have ever read. (And for anyone getting hyped up about the religious factor, please read this before you judge!) The prose is sophisticated (I would say this is for kids with a very good vocabulary, maybe a 9+), and the characters are engaging. And talk about action packed! Pullman always keeps the reader guessing, and the action always is intriguing. The books do have violence in them (nothing too gory, but there are some battle scenes with blood, and some characters die), so keep that in mind if you want to read it to kids younger than 9.

A lot of people say this book is anti-religious, anti-God, atheistic, etc. Most of these reviews have obviously not read the series. I actually found The Golden Compass in the book closet of the Catholic school where I taught English Lit! This book for certain is NOT anti-Christian. It does not preach evil values, & it does not encourage children to kill God. The book has a lot of religious aspects: souls, angels, and spirits. This book IS anti-religious corruption, and it IS against using religion to justify evil. One review mentioned the book encourages female circumcision: so wrong!...what the book said was that religions have used faith in God to cause harm to many, including the cutting of genitalia! And if Pullman is an atheist, so what? C.S. Lewis was a Christian. Does that mean Jews, Muslims and Buddhists can't enjoy the Narnia series, even though its messages aren't parallell to their own religious values?

One thing that I do like is that Pullman creates very strong-minded children for his main characters, especially Lyra.
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