La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust Series #1)

La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust Series #1)

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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2018 Odyssey Honor 
2018 ALSC Notable Children’s Recording
The Washington Post Best Audiobook of 2017
Slate Best Audiobook of 2017
Booklist Editor’s Choice Audio for Youth
AudioFile Best YA Audiobooks of 2017

"Too few things in our world are worth a seventeen year wait: The Book of Dust is one of them." —The Washington Post

Philip Pullman returns to the parallel world of his groundbreaking novel The Golden Compass to expand on the story of Lyra, "one of fantasy's most indelible characters." (The New York Times Magazine)

Malcolm Polstead is the kind of boy who notices everything but is not much noticed himself. And so perhaps it was inevitable that he would become a spy....

Malcolm's parents run an inn called the Trout, on the banks of the river Thames, and all of Oxford passes through its doors. Malcolm and his daemon, Asta, routinely overhear news and gossip, and the occasional scandal, but during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm catches wind of something new: intrigue. 

He finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust—and the spy it was intended for finds him

When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, he sees suspicious characters everywhere: the explorer Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a daemon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl—just a baby—named Lyra.

Lyra is the kind of person who draws people in like magnets. And Malcolm will brave any danger, and make shocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through the storm.

"The book is full of wonder. . . . Truly thrilling." The New York Times

"People will love the first volume of Philip Pullman's new trilogy with the same helpless vehemence that stole over them when The Golden Compass came out." —Slate

Note: This audiobook was recorded from the U.K. edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525522980
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/19/2017
Series: Book of Dust Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 242,709
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

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, and 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. 
Philip Pullman is the author of many other much-lauded novels. Three 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 or follow him on facebook at Philip Pullman author, and on Twitter at @PhilipPullman.


Oxford, England

Date of Birth:

October 19, 1946

Place of Birth:

Norwich, England


Exeter College, Oxford University

Read an Excerpt

Eleven-year-old Malcolm lives with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford, across the river Thames from Godstow Priory, where the nuns are looking after a special guest. One night his father comes to Malcolm’s bedroom.

Excerpted from "The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Volume 1)"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Philip Pullman.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust Series #1) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the previous books about Lyra years ago and was excited to hear about this new series. I was not disappointed. Actually, I truly loved it. I think you will too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tells the story of how Lyra came to Jordan College. Several of the characters from His Dark Materials are present, but the protagonist is a young boy named Malcolm. He shows a courage and resourcefulness worthy of Lyra. Malcolm and a young girl named Alice rescue Lyra from a great flood and, through many trials and tribulations, bring her to Lord Asriel. The story ends with Asriel putting Lyra into the charge of the Master of Jordan. Malcolm and Alice are also left there, temporarily. In the background is the great struggle between The Magisterium and, for lack of a better description, The Resistance. I hope to learn more about Malcom and Alice in subsequent volumes. Note to Mr. Pullman: Hurry up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lightening paced, loads of action. Can't wait for the next one!
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
I remember the first time I picked up Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. I was nine and staring at the shelves in my school library trying to figure out which ONE book I wanted to check out (it was a rule – only one book) when I stumbled upon the His Dark Materials trilogy. I don’t remember much else but I DO remember rushing back to the library the very next day for the second book in the trilogy because I had fallen in love. So, when I got an email from one of my FAVOURITE humans in the publishing industry, asking me to sign an NDA to get a coveted ARC of one of my most anticipated reads of the year, I jumped around with joy. I’ve taken almost a week to finish to finish La Belle Sauvage and I loved every second of reading it. Let me give you my thoughts: MY THOUGHTS: 1. I fell in love with Malcom, the main character in this book, by the time I had finished the second chapter. He was this PURE SOUL with an INQUISITIVE MIND and a HEART OF GOLD and I loved his story SO MUCH. 2. I also LOVED Malcom with Lyra. In La Belle Sauvage, Lyra is a mere infant, only a few months old and it shows you the story of Malcom’s connection with her and all about how Lyra ended up at Jordan College, which is where Golden Compass opens ten years later. 3. I should warn you that the pace of this book is slow. If you’ve read Philip Pullman’s previous works, you already know what I’m talking about, but just in case you haven’t, it’s always better to be prepared. 4. I loved how this book contained SO MANY CHARACTERS we’d seen in the His Dark Materials trilogy. I probably didn’t remember some of them (blame the memory of nine year old me) but the ones I did, I had FANGIRL moments over. It was AMAZING to see everyone before Lyra’s story and see the pieces of Lyra’s circumstances come to be. 5. I didn’t remember much about the workings of the Althieometer from when I read The Golden Compass, but the way it was explained in La Belle Sauvage was stunning. I felt like I was there, in the midst of the scholars that were talking about it and absorbed everything as best as I could. La Belle Sauvage brought back memories from ten years ago in a way that almost no book can. Reading it was a JOURNEY that I wouldn’t trade for anything. A beautiful new instalment into Philip Pullman’s breath-taking world that I HIGHLY recommend diving into.
WitchyWriter 8 months ago
I would love this book even if it was terrible–I’m a little biased when it comes to my favorite author. Okay, a LOT biased. I seriously question my friendships with people who haven’t read Pullman, or don’t like what they have read. His writing is just so damn good. I thought this book was wonderful, though. Of course. Malcolm is such an interesting, likable character. I really enjoyed getting to know Hannah Rolf more, as well. There’s a more immediately fantastical twist to this one than I was expecting, which made the whole thing feel like a Philip Pullman-Neil Gaiman love-child. That’s a good thing, in case you were wondering. I could spend my whole life reading the beautiful sentences and stories that Pullman crafts. I’m beyond excited to get more material in Lyra and Will’s universe. The Book of Dust also affords an interesting opportunity to answer some questions that have been circulating for a long time. There’s more introspection in this first book, if it makes sense for a book to be capable of that. There’s a self-awareness to the writing that carves out a new niche in a world that has existed and been entire for a long time. It’s exciting, and Pullman doesn’t let us down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I was well started on reading this, I found I could not stop! Now I can’t wait for the next part to be published and available as an ebook...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another winner fo r Pullman.... As detailed and filled with angst and mystery as the original series. Can't wait to read #2!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an enthralling book. The story took an unexpected turn, but a great one. Can't wait to read the next one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent beginning to a much anticipated trilogy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great tale of courage & determination.
jrwitty55 More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable story. Interesting characters and content.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another Great book Love to read what happens next. I hope Philip Pullman writes the next one fast.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you’re a fan of His Dark Materials, this won’t disappoint! Malcolm is like the coolest kid ever... he’s sweet and kind, but don’t mess with him! WONDERFUL book!!!
TheLiteraryPhoenix More than 1 year ago
La Belle Sauvage is not The Golden Compass, but it is quite enjoyable. Like many of the people reading this book, I have a history with Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. I read them growing up... over and over again... and Lyra and Will are a part of my heart. When La Belle Sauvage was announced as a prequel, I was a bit skeptical about the choice of setting, but immediately pre-ordered it because of course I was going to read this book... I've only been waiting about 20 years for it. If a reader is expecting for find Lyra and Pan back in all their glory, think again. THAT SAID, lets talk about Malcolm and Asta, because they're also delightful new characters. Mal isn't this big, brave child - he's the sort that simply does the things that need doing. The things he feels are right. This quality is so important to me in Lyra's character, and it was amazing to see it in Malcolm. These children are regular children who see a bad situation, are very careful, and do the right thing as best they can. Malcolm is good to his parents and kind to baby Lyra. He is helpful to the nuns when he visits them. He does what he needs to do, but he doesn't do it was a self-righteous flash and flare... something fairly rare in heroes. It's an awfully long book. This is not a complaint, necessarily... more of an observation. La Belle Sauvage comes in at nearly 500 pages, but most of that is just travel. There are little adventures along the way, and they are all interesting in their own right, but they are pointless. They do nothing to move along the plot - they merely distract the reader while we wait for the trio to reach their destination. There were sections when I found myself asking "Wait, what's going on? Who is this? Why do I care?" which is not particularly good. For as much as I liked Malcolm and grew to like Alice... I just felt like this book was really draggy and lacked the overall purpose that pulled you into The Golden Compass and the other books. Plot of The Golden Compass: stop the horrible people who are severing daemons! Plot of La Belle Sauvage: make sure Lyra stays safe. No wonder it's a bit draggy and underwhelming. It's fun and interesting, don't get me wrong, but I felt strongly that it didn't live up to the original series. It felt like a quite long sub-book, like the novellas Once Upon a Time in the North and Lyra's Oxford. Fans of His Dark Materials may be disappointed. I am not, by any means, saying that you should not read this book. You should. Malcolm is great, Alice is great, and baby Pan will make your heart melt into a puddle of goo. But you absolutely cannot go into this book expecting a brilliant revival of His Dark Materials. It doesn't happen. Not even a little. I think even the most open-minded readers will fall into this feeling as though it lacks something. I feel it's also interesting to know... the second book in the Book of Dust trilogy is called The Secret Commonwealth. It's not set after this one, so we'll never know what happened precisely with Oxford Street or The League of St. Alexander or Mal and Asta. It's set twenty years in the future, long after the events of all the currently published books in this world. This really further cements my feeling that this are extended novellas and I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful plotting, high adventure, complex characters, and endearing protagonists - what more could you possibly want in a great read?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly worth the wait. I bought the book yesterday and have since read it twice. Malcolm is an exciting protagonist and the journey he goes through is exciting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great book! As wonderful as the others. I love this prequel so much. I can't wait for the next one in this trilogy. Thank you Mr Pullman!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago