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Publisher's Summary

Philip Pullman returns to the world of His Dark Materials with this magnificent first volume of The Book of Dust series.

Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them - a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua....

©2017 Philip Pullman (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"As a reader and a fan, I was hugely excited on hearing that Phillip was returning to the story of Lyra and Dust and challenging the Authority. And, as an actor, it was a true privilege to be asked to record La Belle Sauvage, the first book of this new work." (Michael Sheen)
"A splendid achievement of storytelling and a masterpiece of voice acting." (The Washington Post)
"Michael Sheen's narration of Philip Pullman's new novel is better than an army of voice actors. His voice is impressive, from the crisp, definitive consonants of its higher registers to the rumbly bass notes Sheen summons when some menace enters the scene, to the vast, buttery expanse of his middle range." (Slate)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Nostalgia rekindled.

Loved it instantly. What a way to rekindle a live affair with a series that I met so long ago. ❤

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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brillianly written and brilliantly narrated!

Pullman has still got it! and Michael Sheen gives a brilliant reading from beginning to end!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful story, great narration

A “prequel” to the series about Lyra, this book did not disappoint! Philip Pullman at his best: characters full of depth, engaging from beginning to end. A very good, dramatic narration. I would recommend this to any fan of His Dark Materials, and of fantasy in general!

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Philip Pullman writing about what he knows best

Philip Pullman is an expert when it comes to writing about growing up ( instead about writing about a character who happens to grow up). He seems to inherently understand the sadness and beauty and wonder of adolescence, and the settling of our souls into their true form.

Beautifully written, with all the same poingance of His Dark Materials - this book has some truly dark moments that (thanks to Pullman's artful prose) would go over many younger readers heads.

I look forward to the following to novels in the series, I so want to know where Malcolm (and friends) end up and how they intertwine with the characters of His Dark Materials.

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Fantastic narration

Michael Sheen does a fantastic job of conveying excitement, suspense and wonder. A perfect narrator for this exciting book.

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  • Lorenzo
  • 10-21-17

Gripping Story, Great Narrator

I’m a huge fan of His Dark Materials but when I first heard this book was in the works I was worried it wouldn’t be able to match HDM. Luckily all those fears were misplaced. The characters, story and prose in this book are beautiful, gripping and transporting.

I highly recommend La Belle Sauvage and think the narrator is one of the best I’ve heard. The characters all have their own voice and well... character. It’s easy to forget that it’s just a one-man cast. Sheen's performance transports me into a different world filled with daemons and intrigue within seconds.

I've missed this world and I'm glad to go back there.

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Barbara
  • 10-22-17

Extraordinary

This goes straight to the top of my all-time favourite audio books.

I looked forward to the start of Philip Pullman's second trilogy, chosing to listen instead of reading La Belle Sauvage. What an excellent decision. Michael Sheen elevated this captivating story of baby Lyra to a great drama. His delivery is exceptional. Each character has a voice. The performance is enthralling: so much energy and commitment. He brings to life the passions and fears of Malcolm and Alice as they struggle to protect baby Lyra. His horrific howling hyena stirs far more than the written word could. Please ensure he narrates the rest of the trilogy.

It's a very grown up children's book. Some reviewers have expressed concern that the sexual content and occasional strong language are inappropriate. Each incidence is relevant and valid for developing children as well as for us adult readers.

I'm looking forward to the story continuing with the adult Lyra. Meanwhile I'll reread His Dark Materials.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Lily
  • 10-29-17

Masterful Narration of a thrilling story!

It's ten to one in the morning and despite telling myself I really should stop listening and get to sleep I just couldn't tear myself away, so I listened right to the very end. Michael Sheen does an incredible job narrating this suspenseful tale; he moves effortlessly between voices, so much so that I honestly forgot they were coming from one person. I also loved the way he changed the volume and dynamic of his voice at the more action-filled suspenseful parts, it was totally thrilling listening! As for the story; it's full of familiar names and characters, and for those who remember the trilogy well, there are all sorts of little bits and pieces that add further context and richness to it. Loved the protagonists, Alice and her sass, and dear sweet gold-hearted Malcolm. I know some were disattisfied with the ending of the book but I thought it was wonderful; snappy and suspenseful like the rest of the book, and gives just enough for you to tie the threads together yourself. Can't wait to catch up with Lyra in the next installment! Thoroughly recommend this audio book!

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-24-17

Pullman is back!

The best book I've encountered in a long time! Returning back to the world of Lyra and Daemons was a joy and yet there is plenty of new mystery and discovery that makes this book it's equal to the previous. Pullman has improved with age and the voice of Micheal Sheen was superb.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Tarn
  • 10-23-17

Amazing

So well narrated and totally engaging. Couldn't stop listening to it even waking up and listening at 3am! Glad to get some sleep tonight!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Nick Dawson
  • 10-19-17

Is there a better author and narrator combination?

Wow - just wow.

I've been an audiobooks listener and a Philip Pullman fan for many years and I can't remember listening to a book that was this well narrated before.

5 stars is not enough.

30 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Rupert
  • 11-12-17

Michael Sheen's performance is superb

I already knew that I enjoy Philip Pullman's writing but I didn't expect Michael Sheen to be so utterly superb at reading it. I enjoyed Simon Russell Beale's performance on radio 4 but this is on another level. If you think you might enjoy the book but, like me, are cautious due to variable narration then don't hesitate. You will enjoy the story and Michael Sheen's reading.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • kate
  • 10-19-17

80% Perfect

I've been hoping it will be good and it didn't disappoint. However, too much of the book is taken up by the journey. It gets a bit repetitive... I would have welcomed more 'theory' rather than adventure, but I enjoyed it.

Oh and narration is perfect.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-23-17

Wow

I loved it. Although I felt like I’d fallen down the rabbit hole with about 3 hours to go. The writing was excellent the reading was amazing and I thoroughly loved submerging myself in this world again. Oh and Malcom is amazing. Great book I can’t wait until part two.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-23-17

Hurry up with the next one Phil

The narrator rocked my world, as did the book. Hope I don't have to wait too long.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-22-17

Great Story

Outstanding performance by Michael Sheen and a great new addition to the Dark Materials series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-04-17

great read

loved the book taking us back to when Lyra was a baby. easy to listen to, great narration. want as good as the original books I don't think but still a great read

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  • Kangarucci
  • 12-03-17

GO THE GYPTIANS

Love the mythology of an all knowing out-class underpinning the struggle of good against evil... when the actual evil disguises itself as the good. Oh for a time when the holier-than-thou are exposed for the criminals they really are.

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  • Jarryd
  • 11-28-17

Brilliant

Thoroughly enjoyed this story. Michael Sheen was captivating. Cannot wait for the story to continue.

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  • Victoria
  • 11-15-17

Superb

This was a fantastic story, masterfully narrated by Michael Sheen. My favourite audiobook so far - highly recommended!

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  • Angie
  • 11-10-17

Gripping!

Loved 'The Northern Lights' trilogy and was not disappointed by 'La Belle Sauvage'. Pullman is a creative genius!

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  • Mrs. K. J. Williams
  • 11-08-17

Masterful

A masterful story performed by a masterful narrator. A thoroughly enjoyable audiobook, not to be missed.

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  • Amy
  • 11-07-17

amazing as always

philip pullman for president. vote pullman. please write the sequel faster. philip pullman. pp. pp4p.

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  • Susan Tannock
  • 11-01-17

A good boys adventure story.

I found the book interesting and the narrator read the book well
I was surprised by the fantasy.

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  • soo jay
  • 10-26-17

Wonderful narration.

Michael Sheen's reading is magnificent. The story itself, a prequel to His Dark Materials, was a wee bit unsatisfying, but it wasn't written for my age group so perhaps I can't really judge. Still, I cannot praise Sheen's narration highly enough. Award-winning stuff!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful