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Count Karlstein

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,593 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
Now in paperback, a spooky and funny middle-grade thriller from the author of The Golden Compass.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 22nd 2000 by Yearling (first published March 29th 1982)
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I do not profess to be an expert on the works of Philip Pullman, but I have read a few, and I have to admit this book, of which I never knew of its existence until I saw it on the shelf at the library, is one of his finest. In a writing style and narrative I feel to be completely different from his other works, Pullman puts together a first person account of an extraordinary adventure full of danger, confusion, several mishaps, and everything finally set to rights, told by several of the main ch ...more
This full cast recording was awesome. It was a little distracting have the music start up in the middle of the story for no apparent reason (other than to manipulate our mood) but overall I loved the actors and sound effects.
Pullman is a great writer, and knows how to make memorable characters. His problem is plot. He goes off on tangents (that are often fun, but serve to weaken the reader's involvement). I found myself liking this book, but not feeling particularly interested in what might happ
Jan 07, 2009 Lilly rated it really liked it
You may be familiar with The Golden Compass and the Sally Lockhart Mystery Series, but the best Pullman I've listened to is Count Karlstein. Like the others, it is a full-cast production. It's gothic darkness is offset by it's surprising good humor. I enjoyed the adventure of the 14 years Hildi Kelmar, as she encounters a broad array of well-drawn gothic characters. Her practical problem solving, determination and good humor held the story together for me. It's a delightful one-off of Pullmans. ...more
Count Karlstein isn't as good as Clockwork -- maybe that's the fact that I didn't read it as a child and I don't have associated nostalgia, though. Anyway, it's in a similar vein, a little bit of a Gothic story with suspense and an improbably wonderful conclusion. Fun, easy to read, but not ground-breaking, and predictable.

Definitely something I imagine children would get more out of than an adult. One thing I did find quite fun was Lucy and Charlotte's narratives -- their overwrought style of n
Ben Phillips
The book is written in a half short story/ half comic book style, with both pictures and words used to tell the story. The book itself is based around All souls eve, Which I perceive to be a take on all Hallows eve. A lonely man stands on a cliff awaiting to call the Demon Huntsman and his blood thirsty hounds, to grant him all the things he desires most in the world. Although this comes at a cost, with the now Count Karlstein having to give the Demon Huntsman a life in return for his new found ...more
Gwen Kaplan
Dec 11, 2008 Gwen Kaplan rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
On the one hand, I liked this book. It is set in Switzerland, two hundred (or so) years ago, and I found myself quickly drawn into the world of the characters. On the other hand, it was very light-weight, and just as easy to tumble back out of the story upon its ending. The story was not very memorable or exciting to me... I enjoyed it while reading it, but do not expect it to really stay with me the way a more complex or engaging book might.

The main plot is that a maid in the castle of the vill
Jul 31, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
This story is both scary and hilarious at the same time. It reminded me of Dracula or Frankentein for the younger reader, as it had the same gothic aspects and style of writing.

Set in the fictional swiss village of Karlstein, it tells the story of the evil Count Karlstein; who makes a terrible deal with the Demon Huntsman, Zamiel. The Count's two young neice's Lucy and Charlotte are in danger as a result of their Uncle's bargain and it is up to Hildi, the castle's maidservant to help them. With
Malo Bee
Jun 27, 2010 Malo Bee rated it liked it
Recommended to Malo by: Jem
I am most familiar with Philip Pullman due to his "His Dark Materials" trilogy, and I have also read his short children's book "Clockwork". Count Karlstein is much more in line with the latter, and a book that I probably would have enjoyed at around 6 years of age (just as reference in the off chance that someone would like input on whether or not their child would like it). The story itself, while fun and exciting, really didn't hold much for me in terms of memorability. If you want something w ...more
Aug 27, 2011 Aine rated it really liked it
Phillip Pullman narrates the captivating story of the evil Count Karlstein whose evilness gets the better of him when he strikes a dangerous and greedy deal with the Demon Huntsman Zamiel. Count Karlstein plays with fire when he accepts a wish granted by Zamiel and in return promises to provide a human sacrifice on All Soul's Eve ten years from the day on which the wish is granted. In a desperate attempt to keep his wish of an honourable name and a great estate, Count Karlstein sacrifices his be ...more
Jul 24, 2011 Brett rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fantasy
I have yet to read a Philip Pullman book that I didn't love. "Count Karlstein" is an excellent fairy tale set in a small village in the Swiss mountains in the year 1816. Hildi, a servant at the castle of the local gentry, a perfect villain named Count Karlstein, loves her two charges, the count's English nieces, Miss Charlotte & Miss Lucy. She is, therefore, both horrified & determined to do something when she accidentally learns that the count plans to give them to Zamiel, the Demon Hun ...more
Jun 29, 2011 Patricia rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book is very entertaining but keep in mind it's directed to a younger audience (if that really matter to you and if you are looking for a more adult read). I read this book when I was 16 and enjoyed it a lot even though I was a bit too old for it. Philip Pullman is a great story teller and every time I read one of his books I feel like it has entertaining secrets for his older and more philosophical audience..... this book is no exception so I recommend this for the young at heart.
Sep 28, 2015 Flavia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tengo que comenzar diciendo que la novela me gustó. Simplemente me gustó. Es una historia de moraleja y final feliz dirigido a audiencias mucho más jóvenes que yo. Es corto, va al punto, te dice quién es el malo, quién el bueno y cierra todo con un moño más que inmaculado.

El principio me enganchó con su tono casi parecido a un relato de terror, pero ya en el medio me perdió y sólo en algunos capítulos finales recuperó mi atención. La novela definitivamente está embebida en definiciones góticas:
Mar 16, 2015 P3joshuam rated it really liked it
This is a great book. The book has many boring parts in it, so if you want action or a thrilling story, do not read this book. Overall I loved this book. The character Count Karlstein reminded me of Scrooge from Charles
Dickenson. His overall gready and "I could care less" attitude really set the tone of the story. I would recomend reading this book just to see how cruel Karlstein is to his friends and family. He even argues with his lawyer. All in all, this book is fantastic, I would give it f
Greg Kerestan
Jan 29, 2016 Greg Kerestan rated it really liked it
Philip Pullman is the Neil Gaiman of YA fiction, drawing on fantasy, horror and folklore while making dozens of literary allusions to mostly forgotten works, reimagining and reinterpreting these neglected tales for new audiences. Here, he takes on Germanic devil folklore, drawing on the legend of the Magic Bullets and even "The Black Crook," the first acknowledged work of what is now called musical theatre. Jumping from character to character- all appealing caricatures straight out of a stage me ...more
Kathy Spada
May 25, 2014 Kathy Spada rated it really liked it
I love Philip Pullman. His characters and style are so "Dickensian." This tale was no different. Set in Switzerland with a cast of very interesting characters, Count Karlstein has made a pact with the Demon Huntsman Zamiel. On All Soul's Eve, Zamiel will come for his offering, two little girls who happen to be the Count's nieces.
The beginning of the story is told by Hildi, a servant in the Count's castle. I loved Hildi's narrative and it was a bit jarring when the narratives turned to the little
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Loved the gothic atmosphere--reminded me of a cross between Ottfried Preussler's The Satanic Mill and Lemony Snickett (without the humor).
Travis Southwick
Dec 15, 2015 Travis Southwick rated it really liked it
Count Karlstein is set in a fictionalized Switzerland in the year 1816. It shares the story of an evil Count who decided to give up his two nieces, Lucy and Charlotte, as human sacrifices to the demon hunter Zamiel for his wealth. The story is mainly told from the perspective of a maidservant called Hildi Kelmar, however other characters share their points of view as well.

Pullman does a really good job of character development in this novel. He uses the power of voice by using different charact
Dec 30, 2012 Faedyl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
una historia muy crazy para pibes, en su punto justo, divertida, un toque tenebrosa, y muy a lo Pullman con su toque anarquista.
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting book with a story behind it – many moons ago, when Pullman was working as a teacher, he used to write and direct the school play. That, then, is how Count Karlstein started out in life, as a play to be performed by the youngsters that he taught – years later, the author decided to rewrite the play and to turn it in to a novel, and I’m glad that he did, too.

In a nutshell, Count Karlstein is an epic children’s novel that mixes comedy, horror and fantasy together in to a mode
Dan. Thompson
I am a huge fan of Philip Pullman’s work, yes most notably his His Dark Materials trilogy, but his whole YA fiction in general surpasses most Author’s attempts. He has a knack for coming up with brilliantly told, well structured and complex plots, filled with more twists and turns than you can shake your fist at. Now apparently, unbeknown to me, Count Karlstein (first published in 1982) was Pullman’s very first children’s and Young Adult novel. I was extremely eager to read it, as you can probab ...more
Jun 14, 2012 Katie rated it it was ok
Shelves: eng-356
For not really liking the supernatural genre of books that well, this one wasn't too bad. I can see it being for more of a tween age group and according to Amazon I think it is ages 9 and up. This book focuses on two girls who go to live with their sinister and unloving uncle, Count Karlstein. Because of a deal that he has previously made with this supernatural midnight hunter figure, on hallows eve the hunter will return for a sacrifice from Count Karlstein in payment for what the hunter has gi ...more
Jun 26, 2012 Eden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
10 years ago Count Karlstein made a deal with Zamiel, the demon huntsman. That deal is soon coming to an end and Zamiel will be coming to collect his part of the deal. The deal was Count Karlstein is to give Zamiel prey, two humans and Count Karlstein has decided to sacrifice his two nieces.
Hildi, the maidservant, overhears his evil plan and knows she has to do something. She can't let anything happen to Lucy and Charlotte. So, Hildi comes up with a plan of her own.

Philip Pullman is a favorite a
Oct 04, 2013 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
As a student teacher in 1973 I took part in a college production of Weber’s Der Freischütz, when I sang in the chorus and took a minor role as Prince Ottokar. First performed in 1821 this was a landmark opera sung in German, adapting native folksongs (the famous ‘Huntsmen’s Song’ has affinities with the traditional English tune ‘Strawberry Fair’, which may even have been influenced by Weber’s tune) and featuring supernatural Gothic horror. The Gothic horror tradition was also purloined by Mary S ...more
Nov 21, 2013 Federico rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libriccino che si legge in due o tre ore, utile per passare il tempo quando non si sa che fare e non si ha voglia di impegnare troppo il cervello.
abbastanza simpatico e divertente: le cose pi divertenti sono state per me: la trasognata Charlotte che trova in ogni oggetto e fatto qualcosa di gi visto in un qualche libro; il capitolo scritto da Miss Davenport, un'efficace presa in giro della donna-pratica-inglese, contrapposta alla melodrammatica Lucy.
Narrativamente, per, non regge: dopo tut
Timothy Morrow
Aug 18, 2015 Timothy Morrow rated it liked it
This little children's novel is a delightful contradiction. It shows the reader the dark side of the world while also having a lighter side at times. Pullman's descriptive and daring storytelling has won me over once again. I loved how this modern written story somehow had a fairy-tale like quality to it. My only complaint would be that the book had plenty of slapstick moments, but since this is a kids book, I'm sure it keeps them entertained. Timothy~
Jul 11, 2014 Mo. rated it really liked it
Me pareció un muy buen cuento, ideal para niños y adolescentes. Hay una parte que me encanto como la escribió Philip, en donde cada uno de los personajes narra o relata su punto de vista en una parte determinada y clave de la historia, me pareció muy acertado para conocer más a los personajes y no perderte.
Tuvo una resolución perfecta. Vale la pena leerlo y pasar un grato momento.
Jan 29, 2014 Kate rated it liked it
I would give this 4 stars, but there are parts in the book that I strongly felt the author needed to do his research before stating things as fact. The one that really got to me (cause I am a jewelry and metal nerd) is that he states melting silver is going to be a much more difficult process than melting iron. From experience of doing just that; silver melts like BUTTER compared to the strong b$%@h that is iron. That is all.
Jan 07, 2015 Amy marked it as abandoned
This book should be interesting. It had the potential to be, but somehow it just wasn't. I didn't care for it in audiobook format, either. It was read by an ensemble, and generally I only like that if the work in question is a play. It also included sound effects, which I found to be annoying. Kids might enjoy it, but I couldn't finish this one.
Nov 05, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
This is a funny, Gothic novel for Middle Grade readers -- who else but Philip Pullman could have pulled that off?

It does have all the elements of the pseudo thrillers the girls in this book read, but with a healthy dose of humor and rationality that keeps the book from descending into the maudlin.
Kolya Matteo
Mar 02, 2012 Kolya Matteo rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, eddie
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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
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