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The Golden Compass Audiobook

The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: A street-smart girl. Her pet daemon. A golden compass that reads truth itself. Oh, and a full cast dramatic reading that includes author Philip Pullman. The book is fantastic, and the full cast audiobook is that much better. This is the first book of a trilogy that is as exciting as The Lord of the Rings and will prove as timeless as The Chronicles of Narnia. —Chris Doheny

Publisher's Summary

When Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon decide to spy on a presentation her uncle, the commanding Lord Asriel, is making to the elders of Jordan College they have no idea that they will become witnesses to an attempted murder, and even less that they are taking the first steps in a journey that will lead them into danger and adventure unlike anything Lyra's unfettered imagination has conjured up.

Though she has been raised at the college in an atmosphere of benign neglect that has allowed her to become a half-wild child of the streets, Lyra soon finds herself apprenticed to the elegant Mrs. Coulter, and in possession of a strange device called the alethiometer, a "golden compass" that reads not true worth, but truth itself.

But truth is a precious commodity, and before long Lyra and Pan are running for their lives, the object of an obsessive hunt by mysterious forces who have been stealing children for dark purposes that no one understands. Lyra will need all her street-learned wiles if she and Pan are to survive.

An international sensation from the moment it was published, The Golden Compass comes to spectacular new life in this unabridged recording, narrated by Philip Pullman himself, with the support of some of the finest actors of the London stage.

Listen to the rest of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series.

©1995 Philip Pullman; (P)1999 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Superb...Wonder-filled." (Washington Post Book World)
"Very grand indeed...Scene after scene of power and beauty." (The New York Times)
"A rousing, page-turning adventure that promises to please fantasy readers of all ages." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Andrea Austin, TX, United States 07-30-12
    Andrea Austin, TX, United States 07-30-12
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    "Fabulous!"

    I had never read His Dark Materials growing up, and in getting my first taste as an adult, I thought the book was genius. I really enjoyed The Golden Compass more than the next two, but as a whole story together, I could not stop listening. I ended up finishing the series within a week. Even if the story were dull (which is not the case), the performance would have kept me interested. There are different voices for each character, which keeps thing livens up the story to the fullest extent. Bravo.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sam shreveport, louisiana, United States 04-30-12
    sam shreveport, louisiana, United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2008
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    "A Wonderfully Imaginative Book"

    I was drawn to the series over the controversy surrounding it, but frankly I don't see what all the fuss is about. Granted, this might come up in future books, but if you don't like those kinds of themes, then don't read, and let the rest of us enjoy these wonderful books. Now that I've taken care of that I can talk about this book; from talking polar bear knights to flying cowboys, it's clear this author has a lot of imagination and originality. It might seem odd to somehow Lyra handles some of these situations so maturely, but still retains a certain youthful wonder, but as someone who is both gifted and learning disabled, I felt a certain ability to relate (rather like Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game striking a cord with gifted kids). I especially enjoyed how the Mr. Pullman envisions the exotic landscapes and the people's that inhabit them, and his renaming of familiar places and things with unfamiliar terms (though perhaps a glossary would be useful, but thankfully Wikipedia helps with that somewhat). All in all a wonderful and truly imaginative work, I can't wait to read more, and I would encourage those who scoff off these books to dare to give them a try, you might just enjoy them!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Zuelch Reisterstown, MD United States 04-21-12
    Denise Zuelch Reisterstown, MD United States 04-21-12 Member Since 2016

    Mrsqtr

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    "Best Yet"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Can't get enough of this story


    What did you like best about this story?

    Not one thing, the whole story So much better than the movie


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The witches


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The lost boy is such a sad chapter. Cry every time I hear it.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this every day. Can't get enough if it. Best purchase ever

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ReasoningReader Burbank, CA 03-22-12
    ReasoningReader Burbank, CA 03-22-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Best audio book ever"
    What did you love best about The Golden Compass?

    I really like the story; it's engaging, colorful, and speaks to all ages.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lyra. She's very inquisitive and mature without being precocious.


    Have you listened to any of Philip Pullman and full cast ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not Pullman's books, but many others.


    Any additional comments?

    This audio book is like listening to a radio play. It keeps your interest and never drags down. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eva 02-14-12
    Eva 02-14-12
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    "Awesome experience!"
    Any additional comments?

    Great story! Engaging, unpredictable yet not unbelievable. The characters are memorable and can easily be related to. The narration cast does a fabulous job for the most part. I flew through this novel... couldn't stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jake Albany, NY, United States 02-06-12
    Jake Albany, NY, United States 02-06-12
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    "Good Story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was good and interesting. It kept me engaged through the whole listen. The setting of the story was probably the most interesting part.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The background and variety of charactors.


    What three words best describe Philip Pullman and full cast ’s performance?

    Unique Classic Fantasy


    Any additional comments?

    The narration is fast paced and somewhat unusual. Once you get used to it, the narration works well. It was an entertaining story. I was not disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RKR Georgia 01-30-11
    RKR Georgia 01-30-11 Member Since 2007

    Drama teacher and Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Transcends "children's" literature"

    I was taking a college Theatre class when my professor mentioned these books that he was reading to his daughter. I didn't actually pick it up until I joined Audible. The Full-cast is great for new audiophiles. The book itself is nuanced and complex enough to intrigue Literature teachers like myself, but full of action and emotion to interest young adults. Despite whatever controversy this book may cause or may have caused, you need to read this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Oswego, IL, United States 12-20-10
    James Oswego, IL, United States 12-20-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Great narration, loved the story and characters."

    Warning to the fainthearted-if you can't tolerarte your religion being questioned, then don't order this book because you will be offended. It very much reminded me of the age of enlightenment where religion did not hold sway over all and learning was not only allowed but encouraged and certain members of the religious community were very outraged and let's face it terrified of these opposing doctrines. The characters are written with depth and humanized very well so I often found myself actively engaged in the vigorously moving plot, fearing for their safety, bemoaning their downfalls, cheering their victories. The main female protagonist is plucky and precocious and just a joy to read. Great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise 11-10-10
    Louise 11-10-10
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    "Loved it!!!!!!!!! MY FAVORITE!"

    I read the Golden Compass to our children when they were young. I loved the book. Now that our children has grown up and Harry Potter has come into our lives (which we also loved) I was hesitant to listen to The Golden Compass because I was afraid that I would be disappointed. This book DID NOT disappoint! It was AWESOME. The narrators were fantastic and the story was better than I remembered. Now I wonder if our kids were too young to have listened to this book too young.... oh well! They loved it then! They grew up ok! Don't miss this book!!!!!! It is truly awesome!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom 03-05-10
    Tom 03-05-10 Member Since 2010
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    "The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials"

    I thoroughly enjoyed the character voices of the book. It made me feel as though I were watching a play!
    However, there were several areas were it seemed to skip a few words???

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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