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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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  •  
    Lois Parlin, NJ, USA 04-01-07
    Lois Parlin, NJ, USA 04-01-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Just Didn't Get It"

    The characters are all there. There were interesting plot twists and I appreciated the full cast of character voices. But the characters are very 2 deminsional. There are some gaps in logical character movement. I had a very hard time caring about the main character and the ending was just plain annoying. The question of What is Dust is something that keeps coming up in the book but it's never answered. I guess that's what the next book in the series is for, but at this point I don't care.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 11-27-07
    Christopher 11-27-07
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    "Better read than heard"

    In my opinion novels read by the authors are generally inferior to those read by actors, and this is a case in point. To make matters worse, the dialogue is read by actors but the editing is so poor that there is a jarring abruptness each time there is a transition from non-dialogue to dialogue, as in there is no pause at all between the two. This is a fabulous book and I recommend it highly, but this audio rendering leaves a lot to be desired.

    30 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    goddess_of_pipework Roswell, GA United States 01-06-04
    goddess_of_pipework Roswell, GA United States 01-06-04 Member Since 2006

    goddess_of_plumbing

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "fascinating"

    This is a surprisingly complex, sophisticated story for a kid's book. I'm an adult SF fan, and I loved it. However, such ideas as daemons, experiemental theology, etc. will have most kids younger than their teens scratching their heads and asking for an explanation. The entire story line is also substantially darker than the Harry Potter books. This book should probably be avoided by pre-teens and religious fundamentalists.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J USA 05-03-04
    J USA 05-03-04
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    "Outshines JK Rowling, and even CS Lewis"

    Don't get me wrong, I loved the Harry Potter books. But, Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' series (beginning with this book) is in a class of its own. Never before have I read a novel that holds so many surprises, wonderful adventures, and most importantly contains some very interesting and difficult moral dilemmas for the main characters to grapple with. In time, this series will undoubtably be considered some of the best literature accessible to children. It easily outshines the Harry Potter books (which again, are great for what they are...but really its all so black and white...Potter=Good, Voldemort=Evil), but more importantly, it will be considered at least as good (and I think much better) than Lewis' Narnia.

    Plus, the full cast reading with Pullman narrating is executed flawlesslessly. I was so sad when I finished the series. Its the type of reading you enjoy every second of and hope never ends.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaimee Bangor, PA, USA 10-09-08
    Jaimee Bangor, PA, USA 10-09-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Heirloom Books"

    I can not wait until my daughter is old enough to enjoy this book as much as I did. Not only are the characters rich and fantastic like a good story should but the underlying message is absolutely brilliant. I can see how some religious folks can find the work a bit disconcerting but when it comes down to it some of us find the Bible to be just another story book as well. It's fascinating to jump into a world that leads you into opening your mind and widening your perception. This book will get your gears moving and when it starts it's like a perpetual motion machine.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cather Cumberland, VA, United States 01-06-08
    Cather Cumberland, VA, United States 01-06-08 Member Since 2017
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    "Excellent, but not for everyone"

    Okay, let's get this out of the way. The complaints that hard-core Christians have about this book? Well, unlike the Harry Potter books, I can sort of see their point here. I may not quite agree with them, but I can respect their opinions. (The Harry Potter haters just need to get freaking lives.)

    Tha being said, I think this is a wonderful fantasy novel both for adults, and kids from about ten or eleven up. I think any younger, and the kids will miss too much (particularly in later books).

    If you dislike criticism of organized religion, do not read this book. And you probably shouldn't let your kid read it, which is your right, as long as you don't try to stop MY kids from reading it.

    I know they've made a movie out of this-- I saw the first commercial WHILE I was downloading the book-- but I really don't see how they'll pull it off.

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Richmond, VA, USA 06-25-09
    Jeff Richmond, VA, USA 06-25-09
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    "Not just read, performed!"

    This excellently produced rendition features not just the author reading (well) from his own work, but a full cast performing all the voices. They do a splendid job, really bringing the book to life.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chronic Online Shopper Upstate New York 03-17-09
    Chronic Online Shopper Upstate New York 03-17-09 Listener Since 2008
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    "Excellent Listen"

    Fantastic cast. Much better than the film version. One of the best audio books I've listened to. Definitely worth the investment.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deseree Eatonville, WA, United States 09-29-07
    Deseree Eatonville, WA, United States 09-29-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Be aware."

    Read/listen to this before giving it to you children.

    I read all the reviews before deciding to write this. I felt that parents should be aware of what is in these books but feared the relious ferver could be misleading. There are many angry reviews about God but that may not be the only problem. The books are not that long. Listen to them first and decide about your own child.

    I have enjoyed them and intend to listen to them again. They are thought provoking on a physics level. I think sci-fi lovers will love these books.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evelyn Claremore, OK, United States 07-01-07
    Evelyn Claremore, OK, United States 07-01-07 Member Since 2006
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    "Wonderful!"

    The Golden Compass is a wonderful story, engaging and thought provoking, to say the least. As a story for adults, I think it's marvelous, but perhaps a bit too advanced in its theories and ideas for the children it seems to have been aimed at.

    I've read the other reviews that say it's better than the Harry Potter series, but I disagree. It's like comparing apples and oranges, in my mind. The Golden Compass doesn't create a world that can exist comfortably within our own as do Rowling's tales. Instead, it forces you to question our world by revealing a slightly skewed one just next door.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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