The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials

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Random House Children's Books, Nov 13, 2001 - Young Adult Fiction - 432 pages
1362 Reviews
The modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time.” Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach.

Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal--including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.

Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.

But what Lyra doesn't know is that to help on of them will be to betray the other...

A masterwork of storytelling and suspense, Philip Pullman's award-winning The Golden Compass is the first in the His Dark Materials series, which contintues with The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.

A #1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children's Fiction
Published in 40 Countries

"Arguably the best juvenile fantasy novel of the past twenty years." --The Washington Post

"Very grand indeed." --The New York Times

"Pullman is quite possibly a genius." --Newsweek

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Review: The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1)

User Review  - Goodreads

There's no sense in me giving an in-depth review since I think I'm the last person on the planet to read this. I will say that I liked it but I think I would have loved it if I read it when I was much ... Read full review

Review: The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1)

User Review  - Goodreads

Lyra is an inquisitive little girl growing up a orphan ward of an Oxford college. Only this is a world where all humans are born with a familiar, polar bears are warriors, and something is going on ... Read full review

All 19 reviews »

Selected pages


ONE The Decanter of Tokay
TWO The Idea of North
EIGHT Frustration
TEN The Consul and the Bear
FOURTEEN Bolvangar Lights
SIXTEEN The Silver Guillotine

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About the author (2001)

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 and

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