In Oxford, Lyra learns that children are being kidnapped by the mysterious Gobblers. When her friend Roger vanishes she determines to find him, and is given a powerful alethiometer which can reveal the truth in all things. After discovering that the adults around her are not what they seem, Lyra and Pantalaimon join forces with a band of gyptians. Travelling north they encounter witch-queens and armoured bears, before being captured and taken to Bolvanger, where children are being used in terrible and secret experiments.
Gripping, full of suspense and often funny, this Northern Lights BBC Radio 4 dramatization has an all-star cast including Terence Stamp, Emma Fielding, Bill Paterson, Kenneth Cranham, and Ray Fearon.
© and (P)2003 BBC Worldwide Ltd
The action jumps from place to place with little linking. I really had very little clue where anything went or why anyone was doing anything. Great performance, terrible scripting. Guess I'll have to get the actual book to find out what the deal is. I know this series is very popular. Maybe the writers assumed everyone listening would have read the books already?
Don't bother with this if you don't know the story.
"Brilliant book, shoddy dramatisation"
I bought this audio CD knowing the nature of a dramatisation would mean certain changes from the book, what I was not expecting was the sheer extent to which the narrative was fiddled about with.
Things hapen too fast - all three of the major captured children from the books are now captured from the same place on the same day with no previous mentions to 'the Gobblers' at all - and exposition is handled poorly.
Introduced and 'narrated' by a character who does not appear in the books until near the end of the second. The scriptwriter seems to have made the assumption that his audience are idiots; introducing it with 'this is a parallel world. Deamons are souls' that completely lacks the subtlety of Pullman's work which never understimates its readers intelligence.
In the first scene (and again in Mrs. Coulters party) the dramatisation, instead of dropping hints, spells out exactly what the Gobblers are doing in the North, robbing the ultimate reveal of all shock and making you question Lyra's intellegence in not already having pieced it together.
The book is wonderful. This radio adaptation, however, doesn't do it justice. It cuts and dumbs down more than the film did.
If you want a dramatisation you'd be better off buying the full cast version narrated by Philip Pullman himself.
"Full cast, not full story"
After listening to brilliant books like Stanek's The Kingdoms and the Elves, I was disappointed to say the least. Dramatised can be bloody good but this isn't the full story. If it were the full story, I'd have given 5 stars.
"Edge of the seat audio"
I have to disagree with Fabio. Myself and my children loved listening to it in the car. All the actors really brought the story to life.
One of my absolute favourite dramatised audiobooks. Remember listening to it when I was younger, and my love still has not dimmed!
"An excellent all round audiobook"
This is a fun, easy to follow story. Great for most ages and fun to enjoy listening along with the children.
Yes- however I didn't because I was listening with my child.
"Great story; excellent cast"
There is something about a dramatized story that fires the imagination when it is done well. I first listened to this about 6 years ago on good old fashioned cassettes. It has stood the test of time and is still an excellent reading of an excellent story. It was like being there amongst the action and that's what I want from dramatizations. I recommend this one without hesitation.
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