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The golden compass
His dark materials
This book was written of non other than Philip Pullman. The book was printed in 1997 by DelRey Ballantines company.
He was born on the 19th of October 1946, this was in Norwich, but he is raised in Rhodesia and Oxford. On the day today, he lives in Oxford at an age of 57. His full name is Philip Nicholas Outram, but he changed it to Philip Pullman when he became, rather famous. He has received quite a lot of awards, amongst them: Carnegie Medal (England), ALA Notable Book times two, Publisher weekly book of the year, Horn Book award, Bulletin blue ribbon book, Booklist editors’ Choice, CBE. If you think that’s many, you haven’t seen the half of it. He has accomplished lots of other things as well, which doesn’t include an award. He is a graduate, from the Oxford University, with a degree in English.
At the start, this book was very boring, but as I got further and further into it, I felt that this was one of the best books I have ever read. It kind of drags you into an amazing world of fantasy. It is a very good book which captures the reader.
It all starts at this, I am not actually shore of what you can call it, because it is a bit different than life itself, normally is. It is about this girl, Lyra, which lives at Jordan College. But as I have tried to explain, this is not a college. She is eleven years of age, and has not attended school yet. It is sort of like preschool, where you learn a little now and then.
This girl Lyra, is a very curious girl, and that very fact, is going to get her in a lot of trouble.
One day she sneaks into the retiring room (which is only for men who works at the school), and hides in the locker. A meeting will soon be in progress, and there she will hear some quite interesting facts about Dust and Aurora (the northern light). Her uncle, which really is her father, but she does not know yet, Asriel, knows that she is in the closet and has to tell her to forget what she just heard. This is not easy for Lyra, which gets more and more involved in this matter.
What is really weird about this book is that the humans’ soul, at least that is what I think it is, is on the outside. At an early age your sole, called a dæmon, can change shape into everything in the world. Of animals I mean, and the shape reflects you and have you are there and then. As you get older, you get to know your body and who you really are much better, therefore your dæmon settles down to be only one being. This is a very smart trick if you ask me, but back to the book.
After some time, they start to hear about the Gobblers, which is a shortening for General Oblation Board, which are a group of adult scientist and scholars that steel children all over England. Soon the Gobblers arrive to Oxford and Jordan College. Some gyptian children disappear, and soon a friend of Lyra, gets taken away as well.
After many, co incidents, and some ‘’fake co incidents’’, she gets invited to dinner with the principals among others. There she meets Mrs. Coulter, who is a scholar at an academy in London. After some discussing, they decide that it’s time for Lyra to move on, and follow Mrs. Coulter to London. During the dinner, they got quite well acquainted, and this was something Lyra looked forward to. After living with Mrs. Coulter for a while, she finds out that she is a Gobbler, and runs away. She doesn’t know the city very well and soon gets lost. An incredible scenery of events finds its place, and back to Oxford the trip goes, by help of the gyptians. In Oxford the decision of renting a boat to go up north, where they are told that the children are, comes to a positive end. On their way to Svalbard in the north, Lyra learned a lot of exciting and dangerous things. One of the things she both learned and got, was something called an alethiometer. It’s a thing that can read the future; by learning it you can have complete control over the world. This alethiometer, she is told to deliver to her uncle, which really is her father, Asriel. Unfortunately, he is trapped by the Gobblers in Svalbard, along with the children. Now Lyra has to missions, to save her friend, and get her uncle the alethiometer. Several weeks later, the journey to Svalbard is complete. She and her gyptian friends attack the Gobblers headquarters and they get all the children out of there. Later on she continues the trip to her father and she brings him the alethiometer. What Lyra didn’t know, was that her father were secretly on team with her mother, Mrs. Coulter. When she brings him the alethiometer, it’s too late. But thanks to great teamwork and true power, Lyra and her team, attacks both Mrs. Coulter and Asriel in a fierce attack. They both die, and the world is saved from the terrible wrath of the Gobblers.
Lyra: She is a child of eleven years of age, and a bold one as well. A very tough child, with no fear, what so ever. She attends to Jordan College, but she soon has to go on a quite long journey, that will set footprints in her life forever.
Uncle Asriel: A very smart and talented man. He has no fear, just like his daughter. He is known for his skill and talent, and is pretty tricky as well. He is about fifty years of age, and is a globetrotter.
Mrs. Coulter: The mother of Lyra. She had a secret relationship with Asriel, which almost no-one knows about. She is a scholar and one of the most beautiful of them too. The leader of the General Oblation Board, and she’ll get what she wants, no matter what the stakes.
This book is about a lot of things, even though it’s a fantasy book. Amongst others, it’s about growing up, and getting to know yourself for the one you are. It’s about being strong and the fact that you never can give up. Another thing this book is about, is the fact that friendship and trust lasts longer than any other thing, maybe even longer than life itself.
This was a very hard book to read… There were many difficult words, some of them I even had to look up in an encyclopaedia. The book contains what I would call a very heavy language, and shouldn’t be read by kids, even though the book is told to be a children’s book.
I think this is one of the best books I have ever read. This book has its own way of capturing the reader, and there’s always something happening in it. At first, the book seemed quite boring, but as I continued reading the book, I was surprised by its greatness.
This book is very good, far beyond doubt. A strong five on my dice, but it would have been six if it weren’t for a bad and slow beginning.