PHILIP PULLMAN is one of the most acclaimed writers working today. He is best known for the His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass), which has been named one of the top 100 novels of all time by Newsweek and one of the all-time greatest novels by Entertainment Weekly. He has also won many distinguished prizes, including the Carnegie Medal for The Golden Compass (and the reader-voted "Carnegie of Carnegies" for the best children's book of the past seventy years); the Whitbread (now Costa) Award for The Amber Spyglass; a Booker Prize long-list nomination (The Amber Spyglass); Parents' Choice Gold Awards (The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass); and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, in honor of his body of work. In 2004, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. It has recently been announced that The Book of Dust, the much anticipated new book from Mr. Pullman, also set in the world of His Dark Materials, will be published as a major work in three parts, with the first part to arrive in October 2017. Philip Pullman is the author of many other much-lauded novels. Other volumes related to His Dark Materials: Lyra's Oxford, Once Upon a Time in the North, and The Collectors. For younger readers: I Was a Rat!; Count Karlstein; Two Crafty Criminals; Spring-Heeled Jack, and The Scarecrow and His Servant. For older readers: the Sally Lockhart quartet: The Ruby in the Smoke, The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well, and The Tin Princess; The White Mercedes; and The Broken Bridge. Philip Pullman lives in Oxford, England. To learn more, please visit philip-pullman.com and hisdarkmaterials.com. Or follow him on Twitter at @PhilipPullman.
In concluding the spellbinding His Dark Materials trilogy, Pullman produces what may well be the most controversial children's book of recent years. The witch Serafina Pekkala, quoting an angel, sums up the central theme: "All the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity. The rebel angels, the followers of wisdom, have always tried to open minds; the Authority and his churches have always tried to keep them closed." Early on, this "Authority" is explicitly identified as the Judeo-Christian God, and he is far from omnipotent: his Kingdom is ruled by a regent. The cosmic battle to overthrow the Kingdom is only one of the many epic sequences in this novelAso much happens, and the action is split among so many different imagined worlds, that readers will have to work hard to keep up with Pullman. In the opening, for example, Lyra is being hidden and kept in a drugged sleep in a Himalayan cave by her mother, the beautiful and treacherous Mrs. Coulter. Will is guided by two angels across different worlds to find Lyra. The physicist and former nun, Mary Malone, sojourns in an alternatively evolved world. In yet another universe, Lord Asriel has assembled a great horde of otherworldly beings-including the vividly imagined race of haughty, hand-high warriors called GallivespiansAto bring down the Kingdom. Along the way, Pullman riffs on the elemental chords of classical myth and fairy tale. While some sections seem rushed and the prose is not always as brightly polished as fans might expect, Pullman's exuberant work stays rigorously true to its own internal structure. Stirring and highly provocative. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Gr 6 Up-With The Amber Spyglass (Knopf, 2000), Philip Pullman completes his epic trilogy, collectively titled, His Dark Materials. The young heroine, Lyra Belacqua, is still battling the evil forces that inhabit the warring fantasy cosmos introduced in The Golden Compass (Knopf ,1996), and continued in The Subtle Knife (Knopf ,1997). In this volume, Lyra is rescued from her often unscrupulous mother by her trusted companion, Will. Will and Lyra endure a perilous journey to the land of the dead, and reconnect with Dr. Mary Malone who has made the all-important spyglass. After encounters with helpful angels, demons and witches, as well as difficulties with clergy and theologians, the pair fulfill their destiny. With this comes a deeper understanding of the dangers to their universe, and eventually, painful, but necessary choices. Pullman does a first class job as narrator of his language-rich text. He is joined by a superb cast of 40 British actors who bring the book's large and diverse array of characters into sharp focus. This fine recording is almost a stage play in a box, and it is a solid purchase for both school and public libraries. Considering the book's 500 plus pages, the recording is likely to be a very popular way for fans both young and old to conclude Pullman's classically-inspired saga.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"Absorbing . . Like Harry Potter creator J. K. Rowling, [Pullman] invents a world filled with strange divinations and wordplays." -Newsweek "A LITERARY MASTERPIECE . . . [that] caps the most magnificent fantasy series since The Lord of the Rings and puts Harry Potter to shame. . . . A page-turning story that builds to a powerful finish." -Oregonian "IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT DOWN, SO FIRMLY AND RELENTLESSLY DOES PULLMAN DRAW YOU INTO HIS TALE . . . [A] gripping saga pitting the magnetic young Lyra Belacqua and her friend Will Parry against the forces of both Heaven and Hell." -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette From the Paperback edition.