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The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials (English)

Language: English
Length: 304 Pages
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
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The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs.452

Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted underworld?Citt?gazze, where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: 12-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another?s, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.

On a perilous journey from world to world, Lyra and Will discover an object of devastating power. And with every step, they move closer to an even greater threat?and the shattering truth of their own destiny.

About The Author
Philip Pullman is the acclaimed author of the His Dark Materials trilogy: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. His other books for children and young adults include Count Karlstein and a trilogy of Victorian thrillers featuring Sally Lockhart. The Golden Compass, the first of Pullman's His Dark Materials triology, won the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Fiction Prize.

I started telling stories as soon as I knew what stories were. I was fascinated by them: that something could happen and be connected to another thing, and that someone could put the two things together and show how the first thing caused the second thing, which then caused a third thing. I loved it. I love it still.

I grew up at a time when TV wasn?t as important as it is now. In fact, part of my childhood was spent in Australia at a time when that country didn?t even have TV so a lot of my early experiences with stories came from the radio, which is a wonderful medium. I remember listening to gangster serials, and cowboy serials, and best of all: ?Faster than a speeding bullet?more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It?s Superman!?

Superman on the radio was exciting enough, but when I first saw a Superman comic, it changed my life. Soon afterward I discovered Batman, too, whom I loved even more. I had to argue with my parents about them, though, because they weren?t ?proper? reading. I suppose what persuaded them to let me carry on reading comics was the fact that I was also reading books just as greedily, and that I was good at spelling; so obviously the comics weren?t harming me too much.

My favorite stories for a long time were ghost stories. I used to enjoy frightening myself and my friends with the tales I read, and making up stories about a tree in the woods we used to call the Hanging Tree, creeping past it in the dark and shivering as we looked at the bare, sinister outline against the sky. I still enjoy ghost stories, even though I don?t think I believe in ghosts anymore.

I was sure that I was going to write stories myself when I grew up. It?s important to put it like that: not ?I am a writer,? but rather ?I write stories.? If you put the emphasis on yourself rather than your work, you?re in danger of thinking that you?re the most important thing. But you?re not. The story is what matters, and you?re only the servant, and your job is to get it out on time and in good order.

The most valuable thing I?ve learned about writing is to keep going, even when it?s not coming easily. You sometimes hear people talk about something called ?writer?s block.? Did you ever hear a plumber talk about plumber?s block? Do doctors get doctor?s block? Of course they don?t. They work even when they don?t want to. There are times when writing is very hard, too, when you can?t think what to put next, and when staring at the empty page is miserable toil. Tough. Your job is to sit there and make things up, so do it.

As well as keeping going, there are many other things I?ve learned about this craft, and some of them came to me when I was teaching. What I enjoyed most in that difficult and valuable profession was telling stories, telling folk tales and ghost stories and Greek myths, over and over, until I knew them as well as I knew my own life.

And in doing so, I learned some of the laws of a story. Not rules - rules can be changed. ?Smoking Permitted Here? can become ?No Smoking? overnight, if people decide smoking is a bad thing. But laws such as the law of gravity can?t be changed: Gravity is there whether we approve of it or not. And so are the laws of a story. A story that is unresolved will not satisfy?that?s a law. If a scene does not advance the story, it will get in the way?that?s another law. You must know exactly where your story begins?that?s a third. And so on.

One strange thing about stories is that you sometimes know how long they?re going to be, even before you?ve begun thinking about them. With His Dark Materials, the trilogy of which the first part is The Golden Compass, I knew from the very start?even before I had a main character in mind, and long before I knew what might happen to her?that this story would be 1,200 pages long. That was the size of it. I knew, too, that I was going to enter a world I hadn?t known before: a world of fantasy. Previously, all of my books had been realistic. When I began writing it, I discovered a kind of freedom and excitement I?d never quite felt before. And that is one of the joys of writing: You constantly encounter new experiences.

I live in Oxford now, and I do my writing in a shed at the bottom of the garden. If the young boy I used to be could have looked ahead in time and seen the man I am today, writing stories in his shed, would he have been pleased? I wonder. Would that child who loved Batman comics and ghost stories approve of the novels I earn my living with now? I hope so. I hope he?s still with me. I?m writing them for him.

Specifications of The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials (English) (Paperback)

Book Details
Publisher Random House Children's Books
ISBN-10 0440238145
Edition 01
Imprint Laurel Leaf
Number of Pages 304 Pages
Publication Year 2003 September
Language English
ISBN-13 9780440238140
Binding Paperback
Weight 0.34 Pounds (US)
Height 6.87 inch
Width 0.86 inch
Depth 1.25 inch
Author Info
Philip Pullman has 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) Book of the Year 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 books for young readers, including two volumes related to the His Dark Materials trilogy: Lyra's Oxford and Once Upon a Time in the North. He lives in Oxford, England. To learn more, please visit and
Author Philip Pullman
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    Book: The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials (English) by Philip Pullman
    ISBN Number: 0440238145, 9780440238140, 978-0440238140


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