The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass

Book - 1996-
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Random House, Inc.
***** THE BOOK OF DUST, the long-awaited new novel from Philip Pullman set in the world of His Dark Materials, has been hailed by the New York Times as "a stunning achievement."*****

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 one 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 continues 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
The questions, discussion topics, and author information that follow are intended to enhance your group's reading of The Golden Compass . We hope that this guide will help you to navigate - alongside the story's young protagonist, Lyra Belacqua - Philip Pullman's richly imagined universe, populated by armored bears, gyptians, witches, and human beings, whose dæmons are never far from their side. Dæmons are one of the most striking, charming, and powerful images in The Golden Compass . These spirit-creatures, which seem like physical representations of the human soul, can change form to reflect the myriad of emotional states their humans go through as children. But in adulthood, each dæmon settles into the animal form that best reflects the inner nature of its human counterpart. It is in this unusual and imaginative creation that Pullman turns his sharpest mirror back onto his readers, helping us to imagine our own souls as precious, living extensions of ourselves that we can love, challenge, or even betray. The Golden Compass is a complex story that turns on a simple word: 'Dust.' This Dust does not gather in the unswept corners of Jordan College, Lyra's Oxford home. Rather, this Dust seems to reveal - or perhaps contain - the thing that makes each human being a unique creature. The concept of Dust provokes fear in some; others realize that mastery over Dust could be the source of great power. Although she does not quite realize it, Lyra - along with her dæmon Pantalaimon - finds her life inextricably entangled with the exploration of Dust. And as her understanding of Dust and her mastery over a mysterious tool called the alethiometer increases, the dangerous journey that she seems destined to make takes some astounding twists and turns.

Baker & Taylor
Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

& Taylor

In an alternative world in which every human being is accompanied by an animal familiar, the disappearance of several children prompts Lyra and her bear protector to undertake a journey to the frozen Arctic in pursuit of kidnappers
In an alternative world in which every human being is accompanied by an animal familiar, the disappearance of several children prompts Lyra and her bear protector to undertake a journey to the frozen Arctic in pursuit of kidnappers.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1996-
ISBN: 9780679879244
Characteristics: 399 p. ; 22 cm


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Jul 08, 2018

As a child I never picked this book up and read it. I read it recently and fell in love. I can't wait to find out what happens next!

Jun 09, 2018

I was obsessed with this book for a long time. I enjoyed it deeply and now after 10 years I want to read it again.

SPPL_Anna Mar 21, 2018

My brother made me read this when I was 12 and I did not like it. Overall, I found it very depressing, what with doing experiments on children that leaves them catatonic and quick to die. I still feel deeply unsettled just thinking about it.

Mar 21, 2018

I first read this 20 years ago, and even as an adult, no one writes children like Philip Pullman. The sense of wonder is immaculate, and the worldbuilding so rich and inviting.

LPL_KimberlyL Feb 03, 2018

I never managed to read any of the His Dark Materials when I was little - in fact, I had never even heard of the series until the movie The Golden Compass was released. What a shame, because this book is beautifully written, adventurous, and deals with some very grown up themes, making this a great read if you're a kid or just a kid at heart.

Nov 30, 2017

This is a beautifully written book, which is much deeper than it appears.

KevinELPL Aug 31, 2017

Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy was one of the top 10 banned books from 2000-2010. If you're a fan of Harry Potter or other teen fantasy, celebrate Banned Books Week by reading this epic tale of good vs. evil.

"The Golden Compass" begins as Teenager Lyra, who lives in very ordinary Oxford, England, is swept up into an extraordinary world of steampunk airships, sentient animals, and a secret conspiracy that spans all of creation. As Lyra gets dragged into the inter-dimensional conflict, she begins to realize that her world is not what she thought it was. This book was challenged for its religious and sexual content, all of which is thoughtfully explored as Lyra struggles to figure out what in life is worth fighting for. I highly recommend this series to anyone from mid teens to adults.

ArapahoeSummer Aug 06, 2017

Lyra's journey is filled with magic, suspense, and intensity. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy!

Jul 12, 2017

This was my very first time reading The Golden Compass, and the book was amazing. It was an action packed book, with many great characters, and you never know what's going to happen next. I couldn't put it down. There are also a couple plot twists that I loved. Overall, I give it 5 stars.

liljables May 18, 2017

His Dark Materials continues to be my favourite trilogy: I loved it at 12, I loved it at 18, at 24, and I still love it now. Philip Pullman doesn't underestimate young readers - he has created an intricate, complicated universe and populated it with fascinating characters and an underlying challenge to question authority and think critically. Older teens and adult readers will find social (and religious) commentary around every corner, but younger readers can equally enjoy this story without being bogged down by allegory. His Dark Materials provides an excellent, necessary counterpoint to The Chronicles of Narnia.

I'm equal parts excited and terrified for the follow-up trilogy, The Book of Dust, the first part of which is coming our way this fall...

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May 12, 2018

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Jan 12, 2012

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Jun 22, 2016

This book is about an adventure to the North Pole to look into "Dust".

Sep 27, 2012

In this book Lyra and her daemon ,Pantalaimon [ in short Pan], go on a perilous journey to Bolvangar to stop the Gobblers. They need to stop the Gobblers because they kidnap children and then cut away ther deamons. Lyra and Pan travel with with the Gyptians. Along the way they meet the armored bear, Iorek Byrnison. 

Apr 23, 2012

This truly amazing book in a different dimension where children started going missing. A girl lived there, Lyra, who once lived a university until the fateful day when her mother took her away. She was given a golden compass by the university which she was to keep hidden.Her mother found out and tried to take it so lyra ran away from her mother. She met the egyptians who saved her from being captured. Together with them she went to save the children. They met a bear named eric burneson who decided to help her after she got back his amour. Together with lee scorseby (a balloonist) they faced evil to save the missing children.


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Jul 29, 2014

“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."

Jun 22, 2014

“You cannot change what you are, only what you do.”


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