I finished listening to The Golden Compass yesterday afternoon and it was just enchanting. I'm really excited for the movie that is coming out in December because I think it will be beautiful. This was another book I 'read' on CD and I still think it's a great way to read books. I was able to listen to it while doing the dishes, folding laundry, and other mindless house chores. It made the work go much faster, although it did take me longer to listen to it that it would have taken to read the book.
The recording I listened to was read by Pullman himself and they had different people read the character's dialogue. It was fun to hear the book play out with the different voices.
I loved this story. It had elements of both fantasy and reality woven together to make a lovely story and an interesting setting. Lyra is a wonderful character because she is such a mischievous little girl. The book presented things clearly, but with just a hint of mystery, of questions unanswered and the unknown lurking around the corner.
The one complaint I have is that it seems a bit violent for a children's book. Several characters die and there are a couple of violent fights. I wasn't personally bothered but I was surprised at some of the violence. A couple of the main characters die, as well, and I was surprised by the characters reactions... or lack thereof. I would still recommend this book, so it wasn't a big deal, but it was just a little thorn for me. Although, I can see how the book would be very different and not quite as good without these elements, so I'll stop complaining.
Read this book, no matter your age, and let me know what you think.