Der Goldene Kompass (His Dark Materials, #1)
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Der Goldene Kompass (His Dark Materials #1)

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  671,375 ratings  ·  10,944 reviews
Lyras Leben gibt schon genug Stoff für einen Roman her, bevor Sie ihren Onkel Lord Asriel bei einem Vortrag vor Kollegen seiner Fakultät am Jordan College belauscht. Das College ist berühmt für seine führende Stellung auf dem Gebiet der experimentellen Theologie und unterstützt Lord Asriels Forschung über die ketzerische Möglichkeit der Existenz von Welten, die so ganz and...more
Paperback, 444 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Carlsen Verlag (first published January 1st 1995)
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Bright
Dec 13, 2007 Bright rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: digested
the golden compass trilogy seems like a natural progression in christian literature. yes, it is christian literature, the same way the chronicles of narnia are. aslan is only a lion when the reader is about 10 or so in the united states. after a point, he unrepentantly becomes jesus. and the four children are like, the gospels or something. and the story is somewhat ruined then, because as an adult, you can't just shoehorn jesus into a lion outfit without snickering a little.

pullman however, has...more
notgettingenough
Later....A friend said to me today that if you read this book properly, it should make you a better person. I'd just earlier in the day been thinking pretty much the same thing. When I asked S. in what way was he made better, he said he couldn't say, just that it had. Exactly. I think you have a sense as you read this book that Lyra's goodness has rubbed off on you, she's made you better in an entirely non-specific way.

M. then said that she didn't think a book, to be special, necessarily had to...more
Wendy Darling
Hello friends! We're reading THE GOLDEN COMPASS together throughout the next few weeks as part of our goal to read more classic YA/MG books this year.

Please join us if you can!

-- Discussion on blog: February 28th
-- Hashtag #tmgreadalong if you'd like to discuss as you read on Twitter.

More details on the blog: http://www.themidnightgarden.net/2014...



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My review:

Wildly imaginative and thrilling, this complex and be...more
Joel
I really liked this book! I think it is easily among the best of the crop of Potter-era YA lit (even though it actually came out first!).

The movie was just ok. I thought the lead kid did a good job playing Lyra, and Nicole Kidman made a very menacing Ann Coulter. But my very favorites were Daniel Craig as the zealot Lord Asriel and Eva Green as badass witch Serafina Pekkala.



Serafina Pekkala is one of my favorite witches in literature: she's grounded in her connection to the earth, she's beautif...more
Peter
The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman, picks up where the Harry Potter series leaves off. As in Rowling's series, the hero of The Golden Compass--Lyra, a pre-teen girl in Oxford, England--is plucked from her mundane existence to become supremely important to the fate of the living world.

However, unlike the Potter series, The Golden Compass, immerses us immediately in political, religious, and cultural conflict as well. While the central character is indeed a child, which lands this title in the...more
Darren
Dec 03, 2013 Darren rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Though billed as a children's book, I dug it, and I'm a 38 year old dude; good for fans of fantasy
The story in brief: The book is a fantasy novel set in a strangely familiar pseudo-Victorian/steampunk parallel Earth. The protagonist is a young ophaned girl who's been raised at Oxford by the attending scholars. The story concerns kidnapped children, hidden mysteries of the Church, wandering gypsies, proud Arctic warrior bears, long-lived flying witches, and the possibility of a rift that could exist between different worlds.

Daemons: Each human being in this world has a constant animal compani...more
Callum
I find that The Golden Compass is a generally misunderstood work of fiction. Too oft do I see people regard this as a work of atheist propaganda. However, how can a work whose central concept affirms the existence of heaven and god honestly be called atheist (be it speculative or fantasy [and of course, disregarding Philip Pullman's personal belief]). It does not parody, contend or subvert the norm of faith and belief, but rather evokes the unbiased point of view of Lucifer's insubordination und...more
Oceana2602
Oct 22, 2009 Oceana2602 rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This book was recommended to me somewhere in fandom as a children's book that is also interesting to adults. I admit that I wasn't particularly impressed with it, and I can't see it as something that I would give my kids to read. My main complaint is the "means to an end" style the author uses. A bit like in a computer game, our main character Lyra runs from one wise man to another in her quest to find some missing children. This is practical, because except for one scene in the beginning, she d...more
Seth
Although it's 3 physical books for publishing reasons, His Dark Materials (HDM)is one continuous story (well... see below), so I'm reviewing the whole set. It isn't useful to review one part alone.

HDM is a decent read with many great elements. On Orson Scott Card's "MICE" scale--Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event--it's mostly a Milieu story, so expect a tour of the world(s), focusing on the strangeness therein and the history thereof. It's a great setting with many fabulous ideas underlying the...more
Jonathan

This is a largely ironic novel. I say ironic due to the way in which in aiming to parody another work of fiction, it falls victim to the same problems it accuses the other work of. By parody I mean the claim, verified in some sources by Philip Pullman, that due to the author's dislike of The Chronicles of Narnia, he aimed to write a more atheistically leaning version of those children's books. Which in itself is an acknowledgement that The Chronicles of Narnia are true classics of children's fic...more
Julia
I really like that the Iorek Byronison, the bear, is always referred to by full name. When I'm Bear King, I definitely want to be on a full-name-all-the-time basis. Then I will battle challengers to mortal combat, tearing through armor, swiping off heads with my massive paws, slicing open chests and devouring hearts. And as I gorge myself on bear blood, I will cry out "Bears! Who is your King?" And my name will roar from a thousand bear throats.
it's going to be awesome.
(My name has got that sam...more
Brad
Mar 29, 2008 Brad rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brad by: China Mieville
Shelves: fantasy
After all the talk about Pullman's supposed anti-Catholicism or anti-Christianity or atheism or whatever one wants to label it, I approached The Golden Compass (known originally as Northern Lights) with an open mind and found something other than what I'd been told to expect.

I found elements that questioned Christianity and Catholicism and the nature of God and its works, but I also found elements that questioned parental authority, the ethical and practical roles of Science, and the nature of...more
Bill
May 17, 2007 Bill rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nonbelieving Narnia fans
Shelves: novels
Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy has acquired the reputation of being a sort of Narnia for Atheists. This reputation is, at least by the end of The Golden Compass, largely unearned. Though the religious beliefs depicted in Pullman's fantasy universe throw their real-world parallels into an interesting light, there is nothing that compares to the explicitly Christian message in C.S. Lewis' classic children's books.

His Dark Materials is set in the Edwardian England of a parallel univers...more
Rebecca
Dec 27, 2007 Rebecca rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
This book started off strong, but by the end of the story, I felt that Pullman had sacrificed logic and direction for drama and suspense. He did a good job of gradually making Lyra less of an ignorant brat and more of a noble little savage girl. Overall, I liked this book well enough to want to read the second one in the trilogy, but I had several problems with it:

-There was no comic relief or even any funny moments in this book. It took itself extremely seriously and was rarely light-hearted or...more
Tricia
I am highly opposed to authors who use children's literature as a way to promote their agenda/ideals/beliefs when they do it in a secretive and deceptive way. The fact that Pullman is an atheist is not my complaint. The fact that he wrote a trilogy about killing God, wrote it specifically for children, and hid his agenda until the third book is something that I find despicable. I would find it despicable even if his agenda were something I agreed with. Children (and their parents) should have a...more
Andrew
The first book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, The Golden Compass, is a well crafted story awash with a new sense of morality, adventure and some annoying narrative flaws. While they don’t hamper the experience too heavily, they do detract from an excellent story and a thoughtful approach to the still powerful, if not more openly mocked, position of religion in people’s lives.
First, the up sides. Much like most modern popular fiction, the element of story has received most of th...more
John
His Dark Materials is a three volume adolescent adventure tale occurring in a pseudo-Victorian universe parallel to our own. In this “steam-punk” environment religion and science are alloyed in clever and interesting ways. For example, a mechanical bug is a flying machine with a trapped evil spirit as its energy source, and physics is called experimental theology.

The protagonist of this trilogy is a pre-adolescent named Lyra Belacque. Lyra is a girl with a destiny, a feisty, clever child who li...more
Eleanor
Jan 01, 2008 Eleanor rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adultescents who dig fantasy
What a waste, I should have followed my instincts and not bothered finishing. The entire story hinges on the opening scene which is mildly dramatic, and from there the characters gain not an inch more depth. Lyra the protagonist was somewhat likable and probably easier for young readers to identify with, and perhaps if the adult characters were more thoughtful and complex I could have liked this book, maybe even the series. I gave this more than one star because the world in which this book is s...more
Kim

Allowing myself to be turned off fantasy when I was ten years old was a big mistake. If I could take myself back to that point in my life, I'd make sure that I didn't find The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe quite so scary, or else I'd make myself believe that being scared by a book is A Good Thing. Returning to fantasy over forty years later*, via books such as this one - the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy - has been a revelation. I've realised all over again just how much good...more
Lena
Sep 18, 2007 Lena rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like trilogies
[Note: After I wrote this review (below) I was emailed by many people that my interpretation is WAY off. Everyone tells me that in the 2nd and 3rd books, the author's purpose in writing is to increasingly "kill God in the minds of children." I haven't read those other books so I can't confirm or deny that theme. But Snopes confirms what people have told me. Read the article at http://www.snopes.com/politics/religi....]


I get annoyed by authors who set out with the goal of writing trilogies, becau...more
Shovelmonkey1
Feb 15, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the young at heart and those who like a flight of fantasy
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: daniel craig made a film. sold!
Sometimes you encounter a life versus literature tragedy. Frankly the fact that I never read this book when I was a child/teenager strikes me as one of these tragedies. I'd have loved to read this when it was first published. Sadly though, this was published in 1995 by which time I had already progressed from sweet childhood to moody teenage posturing, smoking, drinking and reading Nabokov and Kundera whilst attempting to be generally louche without really understanding what louche is.

Evoking c...more
Ruth
Jan 31, 2008 Ruth rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents should read first
Shelves: fiction
Okay. I know there is a huge controversy about this book in the Christian community. I think I have received a forward about this book/movie from about 10 different people, warning about the athiest undertones and asking people to boycott the movie. Of course, curiosity got the better of me and I had to see if it was really up to all the hype.

The Golden Compass is the first of three books in the trilogy titled His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. In case any of you are going to read it or see t...more
Tiffany
Jun 24, 2008 Tiffany rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any Harry Potter fans or people interested in religious (or anti-religious) allegory
Alternate universes, strong female heroes and anti-heroes, graphic death scenes, talking polar bears, religious controversey...What's not to like about this book?

Incidentally, I'm working at a Catholic publishing house right now run by the Daughters of St. Paul. Here's what one of the sisters, who's written a lot books for our Faith and Culture line, said in the Huffington Post about the movie:

Sister Rose Paccate, director of the Pauline Center of Media Studies in Culver City, Calif., said the...more
Rollie
NOTE:I'm trying not to spoil everybody else with this review

This book was recommended to me by a classmate who I used to call Rukawa because of his anime-like looks. And a goodreads friend told me that this book is Emma Watson’s favorite. Well, since I have crush on her, I expected this to be good—hoping her taste for books would be the same as mine.

My friends were ranting about this book. They were sounded crazy while they were chatting about this book. So I tried to find a copy of this in boo...more
Alex Telander
THE GOLDEN COMPASS, HIS DARK MATERIALS BOOK 1 BY PHILIP PULLMAN: Originally published as Northern Lights in 1995, this is the story of a young girl who doesn’t know what to do or what is going to happen with her life, but soon discovers that she is on a specific course of destiny that she is unable to avoid. While The Golden Compass is considered a children’s book, like the Harry Potter series, it is written with an adult voice in an adult language, with adult themes. It seems that British autho...more
mark monday
fantastic. pullman introduces readers to his sophisticated world view slowly, and this first novel in the trilogy has an ideal narrative focal point in the mean little liar who is the protagonist. i have never seen lying in children portrayed so explicitly as a positive thing, and after this novel, i'm all for it! the settings are wonderfully strange and surreal yet rooted in an eventually understandable reality, and the supporting characters are oblique and enigmatic without being tiresome. the...more
Maciek
Northern Lights (or The Golden Compass which is the name with which it was published in the US) is the grand opening to Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

Northern Light is certainly an adventure, which opens in Oxford (though this particular Oxford is set in an alternate universe, which is "like ours, but different in many ways."). The reader is immediately introduced to a young girl named Lyra, whose life is just about to undergo a radical change. Lyra lives at Oxford with the scholar...more
Aubrey
At first I was debating whether I would retain the five star rating in honor of my younger self's first loves, or adjust it accordingly.

I needn't have worried.

This is a masterpiece of world building and character creation and subsequent development. I love worlds that have so much depth and complexity in the believable sense, you could easily imagine living and growing and thriving in them. What makes them even better is that hint of otherworldlyness, that small smidgen of magic and adventure an...more
Jessica Abarquez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lina
I wanted to write this book review before I lose the literary high I got after reading the first book. Ah, literary high I am always chasing you.
His Dark Materials was a series I decided to read over the summer because as an English major I felt a responsibility to finally cross this trilogy of my to-be read list. I had heard some comments about the series before, but I tried to go into this book expecting something that could at the very least be though provoking. What I got was a fun, engaging...more
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In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards...more
More about Philip Pullman...
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2) The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3) His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3) Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version The Ruby in the Smoke (Sally Lockhart, #1)

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“You cannot change what you are, only what you do.” 666 likes
“That's the duty of the old,' said the Librarian, 'to be anxious on the behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old.'

They sat for a while longer, and then parted, for it was late, and they were old and anxious.”
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