April 26, 2018

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The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman | SLJ Audio Review

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redstarPULLMAN, Philip. The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage. 11 CDs. 13:08 hrs. Listening Library. Oct. 2017. $60. ISBN 9780525522997. digital download.

Gr 9 Up –This first in a companion series to Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy introduces listeners to a familiar world through the eyes of Malcolm Polstead, an innkeeper’s son in Oxford. Malcolm, a curious, kind, and generally ordinary boy, is quickly swept up in what seems on the surface to be local intrigue—that is, until Malcolm accidentally becomes a spy in a clandestine war between the Magisterium, the religious body seeking to control the populace, and a secret government organization known as Oakley Street. With the sometimes knowing and sometimes unknowing help of many local residents, a local scholar who happens to specialize in reading the alethiometer (a mysterious truth-telling device), and a priory of nuns close to his parents’ inn, Malcolm risks everything to protect Lyra Belacqua, the baby everyone is suddenly intensely interested in. Michael Sheen does a spectacular job narrating this audiobook, pulling listeners in easily and enveloping them in the detailed world that Pullman creates. VERDICT Yes, yes, and yes to anyone and everyone. Highly recommended to those even remotely interested in fantastical stories, the nature of good and evil, or the interplay between science and spirituality.—Jeremy Bright, Georgia State Univ. Lib., Atlanta

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2018 issue.

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