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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

4.4 (8667 )
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4.6 (4874 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brenda Lezama Athens, TN United States 01-07-15
    Brenda Lezama Athens, TN United States 01-07-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Very entertaining"

    With a sharp, smart, yet sweet and likable female heroine this books is very entertaining. The story can be at times particularly cruel but all the action and fantastic characters make it fun as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Magdalena Goodwin 12-31-14
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    "My favorite book of all time"

    The narrators are all excellent the story is amazing and all parts of this experience are top notch. Start today!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trevor 12-02-14
    Trevor 12-02-14

    Trevor

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    "A Wildly Imaginative Fantasy"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the concepts of both daemons, and light. These imaginative constructs were outstanding, and the reactions were incredibly believable. It's not hard at all to imagine, and even envy a world where part of us is manifested into a loyal creature that lives by our sides at all times. It required no effort whatsoever to be drawn into the imaginative concepts and worlds painted by the author - such is the skill of this author.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't know what it is about fantasy novels that irritates the church so much, but this is yet another novel that has fallen victim to their political nonsense. More recently, Harry Potter came under fire for similar reasons which are just as nonsensical. So unless your beliefs incline you towards the mindset that Harry Potter motivates children to practice witchcraft, you and your children are perfectly safe reading this wonderful trilogy.<br/><br/>These books motivate the reader to think critically, and imagine a world that's quite a bit different than ours. When I first read these books it felt like someone lit the fire of my imagination anew (I was around 17 years old at the time.) I'll always remember them fondly, and from time to time I will revisit them again. I greatly encourage children and adults alike to read or listen to these novels for this reason. It's so incredibly difficult to find literature within the fantasy department that is as compelling, imaginative, and well written as this one. I highly recommend this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith LIVERMORE, CA, United States 11-18-14
    Keith LIVERMORE, CA, United States 11-18-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Overrated."

    Having heard such good things about this series I decided to give it a try. So far I think it is a bit overrated. The characters seem unrealistic in their temperaments and choices at times. The storyline is a bit weak too. I still enjoyed it but I guess I was a bit disappointed. I will continue the series though so I guess it is good enough. The audio performance is very well done at least.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    preston farmington, NM, United States 10-31-14
    preston farmington, NM, United States 10-31-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Disappointing"

    I was intrigued with the notion of a fantasy with an alternate history, including Church History. However, about half way through the book I just couldn't take the protagonist for another moment. I suppose the book is written for children and might be loved by such. Also, the performance was actually distracting to me. I prefer a single reader rather than a cast. I could get past the thick British accent(s) but whenever a Brit attempts an American accent it is just laughable. So only one star for the performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron gilbert Pearland, TX United States 10-22-14
    aaron gilbert Pearland, TX United States 10-22-14 Member Since 2013

    Christian, Texan, electrician, lover of reading-I lean towards Sci-fi/fantasy but enjoy the classics, history, and science titles also.

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    "What is all the hype over this swill for?"
    Would you try another book from Philip Pullman and/or Philip Pullman and full cast ?

    No. I believe Mr. Pullman has had his fair shake from me.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Philip Pullman again?

    Once again, no. I don't think I will.


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

    No, I have not and as such am unable to make a comparison.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Golden Compass?

    I'm not sure cutting any scenes from this story would really help me enjoy it anymore however, I would have called the cute little companions everyone had just about anything but demons or daemons.


    Any additional comments?

    I've heard the religious arguments against this story for years and have chosen to decide for myself. Though I'm Christian I found I wanted to defend this book until it just started quoting the bible and deliberately twisting the passages to mean things way off the mark in my understanding. I have to say I just didn't enjoy this book at all even though the cast did a phenomenal job in performing the narration.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken 05-29-14
    Ken 05-29-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A wonderful start to a fantactic journey!"
    If you could sum up The Golden Compass in three words, what would they be?

    Fun, addicting, different.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I find picking out a single aspect to express as my favorite, very difficult. It's the story as a whole that I enjoy so much.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Well I have many, but the first to jump to my mind are the battles involving the armored bears, so much fun! :-)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and I have. I've listened to, and read this entire series, numerous times. It doesn't get old to me, I have a vast library, but still have found myself relistening to this series.


    Any additional comments?

    I fell in love with this series as a child, and have continued enjoying it throughout my adult life. Although it is advertised as a "young adult" series, I don't feel that is a fair description. It is a great read for any age.<br/><br/>I have encouraged many people to read / listen to this series with mixed results. Some people have struggled initally getting into the story because it's a little strange, to those folks I say just keep listening, it gets better. Also, I have heard some complaints about the full cast audio. Personally I don't mind at all, it is interesting to have a little variety in my audio books :-)<br/><br/>Perhaps listeners with sensitive religous beliefs may have minor issues with this series, but I would point out that this is set in a different universe that has no correlation to actual religous institutions. And beyond that, it's just a book - calm down people

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miranda 01-24-14
    Miranda 01-24-14 Listener Since 2009
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    "Cast does a fantastic job with this story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Golden Compass the most enjoyable?

    The cast's performances were simply wonderful, every single one.


    What other book might you compare The Golden Compass to and why?

    This is a book and series of a kind with Harry Potter and The Dark Tower. It's epic in scale, fantastic in concept, and beautiful in execution.


    What about Philip Pullman and full cast ’s performance did you like?

    Sometimes an author doesn't have the chops to narrate his own book, but that is not the case with Philip Pullman. One of the best things about a full cast is it is very easy to tell which character is speaking, especially during dialogues. And they are not just reading. This is voice acting. I think of it as a play where Philip is directing and my mind is the stage. I would love to see more ensemble performances like this one.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Oh, yes. If I had a long stretch of time where I could.


    Any additional comments?

    The other two books of the trilogy are also done with a full cast and the same actors in their roles. If you are wary of a series that switches narrators between books, you needn't worry with this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim South Easton, MA, United States 11-17-13
    Tim South Easton, MA, United States 11-17-13
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    "Good Choice"
    Where does The Golden Compass rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator had a great voice


    What about Philip Pullman and full cast ’s performance did you like?

    It was very very good!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    They already made a film.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Little Rock, AR, United States 09-08-13
    Matthew Little Rock, AR, United States 09-08-13 Member Since 2013

    1 Star -- Terrible 2 Stars -- Bad 3 Stars -- Mediocre 4 Stars -- Great to the right person. 5 Stars -- Superb, you must pick this up.

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    "No idea what is ever going on"
    Any additional comments?

    Well this doesn't get a one star since I was able to finish the book.<br/><br/>First, I want people to see this since I didn't see it in any of the other reviews. The narration is really high quality, but it is WAY TOO fast. An already difficult book to follow is made even harder by the fact that it is narrated too fast. Now on to my review.<br/><br/>Honestly, this book is a poem. The language and writing is eloquent and flowing, but I haven't the SLIGHTEST idea what is going on. <br/><br/>A friend of mine put it pretty well. Imagine if this book was a series of short stories. If it had, it would have been better. However, instead it is an overarching story, that is apparently LoTR-esque in it is one looong book broken up into three books. There is something going on...with kids...and religion...and science? Actually religion is science in this world. And the main character, Lyra, is special and important to something. We don't find out why though. And there is also NO COMPASS! <br/><br/>Actually, you know what, I give up. I can't write a review for this book since I have no idea what happened. There were a bunch of unrelated micro stories that show how Lyra acts. Except supposedly they are connected, but really it was just random happenstance that brings each unrelated sequence to fruition then to the next unrelated something.<br/><br/>I was looking forward to getting through an already completed trilogy, but instead, I am going to try my hardest to forget I ever paid money for this. <br/><br/>

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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