Shopping Cart 0 Items (Empty)

The Subtle Knife Philip Pullman - AudioBook CD NEW (His Dark Materials Book II)

Brand New Audio Book 

The Subtle Knife Part II of His Dark Materials Trilogy

the sequel to The Golden Compass - by Philip Pullman


Get the Golden Compass (also know as Northern Lights) here - The Amber Spyglass is here

audio book

The Subtle Knife Part II of His Dark Materials Trilogy - by Philip Pullman

Brand New 8 CDs 8.9 Hours - Performed by the Author and a full cast

The Subtle Knife is the second part of the trilogy that began with The Golden Compass. That first book was set in a world like ours, but different. This book begins in our own world.

In The Subtle Knife, readers are introduced to Will Parry, a young boy living in modern-day Oxford, England. Will is only twelve years old, but he bears the responsibilities of an adult. Following the disappearance of his explorer-father, John Parry, during an expedition in the North, Will became parent, provider and protector to his frail, confused mother. And it's in protecting her that he becomes a murderer, too: he accidentally kills a man who breaks into their home to steal valuable letters written by John Parry. After placing his mother in the care of a kind friend, Will takes those letters and sets off to discover the truth about his father.

Will does indeed make an astonishing discovery, but it's not about his father. Along a busy road, he happens upon an extraordinary window in the air. Almost invisible to the eye, it opens into an entirely different world. Anxious to remain hidden, Will ventures through this window into the shimmering, haunted city of Cittàgazze, where he meets Lyra Belacqua and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, who have also wandered into Cittàgazze from yet another world while searching for the answers behind Dust. Aside from Will and his new companions, this city is eerie, empty and silent. The people have fled to the hills to escape the Specters, phantom-like beings that feed on the consciousness of grown-ups, leaving them zombie-like and void forever after. Only the children, who are safe from the Specters, venture out to scavenge for food.

Although safe in Cittàgazze, the two pass through the window to Will's Oxford knowing that answers to their questions lie therein. Will inquires about his father's expedition to the North and learns that it included a study of atmospheric particles. And meanwhile, Lyra seeks out a scholar who can tell her more about Dust. The scholar Lyra finds is a certain scientist named Dr. Mary Malone, a member of the Dark Matter Research Unit, who has discovered the existence of Shadows, the very same mysterious entity as the Dust of Lyra's world. But even more startling is that Mary Malone has found that in these Shadows, or Dark Matter, or Dust, there is consciousness. These particles are conscious, and their awareness is what powers Lyra's alethiometer, and what surrounds all human thought and matter. Mary Malone's next task is to find a way to communicate with these particles, for they will tell her about the vital role she plays in the fate of the universe.

When Lyra and Will return to Cittàgazze, Will reads the letters his father wrote during his final expedition in the North, and he learns that his father knew about the windows between worlds. His father planned to travel through a window to explore another world - just as Will had done himself. For Will, this was finally something both father and son could share, but more importantly, it meant that his father could be alive. Had he ventured through that window, John Parry could be worlds away, but somewhere he was alive. And Will resolves to find him.

Lyra, meanwhile, pays a second visit to Dr. Mary Malone, and this time there are authorities waiting to question Lyra about her interest in Shadow particles and Dark Matter. She inadvertently reveals her involvement with Will, immediately flees the lab, and runs straight into Sir Charles Latrom, a deceiving man who has seen Lyra work the alethiometer and realizes its value. Flustered by her escape from the lab, Lyra discovers too late that Sir Charles has stolen her alethiometer. When Will and Lyra try to get it back, they learn its ransom: a certain knife located in the high tower of Cittàgazze.

The two young friends enter the tower together and climb to the very top, where Will faces a ferocious fight for the knife. Will ultimately triumphs, making him the rightful bearer of the knife. This is the Subtle Knife, and it is an object of extraordinary and devastating power. There is nothing sharper or more deadly, and its bearer is capable of cutting entries into countless other worlds. Armed with the subtle knife, Will and Lyra retrieve her alethiometer by outsmarting Sir Charles, who they discover has been conspiring with Lyra's own mother, Mrs. Coulter. With knife and alethiometer in hand, Will and Lyra return to Cittàgazze to resume the search for Will's father.

In the meantime, Lyra's old friend, Lee Scoresby, the Texan aeronaut, has located a certain explorer, Stanislaus Grumman, a man with a legendary following. Grumman was a renowned explorer from the far North immersed in investigating Dust. He is rumored to have the most unusual osprey daemon, and it was said that he once rejected the love of a witch. Now a shaman, his tribal Tartar name is Jopari, a.k.a. John Parry. He is Will's very own father. While on his last expedition, John Parry stumbled through a window into another world. He found himself in the world of Specters, witnessed their horror, and fled into yet another world. Unable to find his way back to the window that led to home, he adopted the persona of Stanislaus Grumman and endeavored to learn everything he could about this Dust and its impact on the universe. Most importantly, Grumman learned of the subtle knife and the critical role its bearer plays in the fate of the entire universe. Grumman's task, with the help of Lee Scoresby, is to find the bearer of the subtle knife and inform him of the road that lies ahead.

What neither Will nor Grumman realizes is that this ultimate meeting is not between knife bearer and shaman, but rather between father and son. High on a mountaintop in the total blackness of the night, Will encounters Grumman who tells Will that he, with his knife, stands in the balance between the forces of Good and Evil and that his destiny lies in finding Lord Asriel. Curious to see this knife bearer's face, Grumman lights a match and the moment of light is enough for each to realize whom he is facing. In the next instant, Will's father is killed by the scorned witch, intent on revenge, and once again, Will loses the father he's never known.

Will climbs down from the mountain to return to Lyra, but instead finds two angels awaiting him. Lyra is gone; her alethiometer remains behind. Clearly, she has been taken away against her will. Friendless, fatherless and confused, Will has yet another journey ahead of him, a journey that will finally fulfill his destiny and reveal the secret of Dust.

 About the Author Philip PullmanPhilip Pullman CBE (born October 19, 1946) is an English writer. He is the best-selling author of His Dark Materials, a trilogy of fantasy novels, and a number of other books.


Pullman was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England, to RAF pilot Alfred Outram and Audrey Evelyn Merrifield. The family travelled with his father's job, including to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where he spent time at school. His father was killed in a plane crash in 1953 when Pullman was seven. His mother remarried and with a move to Australia came Pullman's discovery of comic books including Superman and Batman, a medium which he continues to espouse. From 1957 he was educated at Ysgol Ardudwy school in Harlech, Gwynedd and spent time in Norfolk with his grandfather, a clergyman. Around this time Pullman discovered John Milton's Paradise Lost, which would become a major influence for His Dark Materials.

From 1963 Pullman attended Exeter College, Oxford, receiving a Third class BA in 1968, in an interview with the Oxford Student he stated that "he did not really enjoy the English course" and that "I thought I was doing quite well until I came out with my third class degree and then I realised that I wasn’t — it was the year they stopped giving fourth class degrees otherwise I’d have got one of those". He discovered William Blake's illustrations around 1970, which would also later influence him greatly

Pullman married Judith Speller in 1970 and began teaching children and writing school plays. His first published work was The Haunted Storm, which joint-won the New English Library's Young Writer's Award in 1972. He nevertheless refuses to discuss it. Galatea, an adult fantasy-fiction novel, followed in 1978, but it was his school plays which inspired his first children's book, Count Karlstein, in 1982. He stopped teaching around the publication of The Ruby in the Smoke (1986), his second children's book, whose Victorian setting is indicative of Pullman's interest in that era.

Pullman taught part-time at Westminster College, Oxford between 1988 and 1996, continuing to write children's stories. He began His Dark Materials about 1993. Northern Lights (published as The Golden Compass in the US) was published in 1996 and won the Carnegie Medal, one of the most prestigious British children's fiction awards, and the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.

Pullman has been writing full-time since 1996, but continues to deliver talks and writes occasionally for The Guardian. He was awarded a CBE in the New Year's Honours list in 2004. Pullman also began lecturing at a seminar in English at his alma mater, Exeter College, Oxford, in 2004. He is currently working on The Book of Dust, a sequel to his completed His Dark Materials trilogy.

His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials consists of Northern Lights (titled The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass (see also a short companion piece, Lyra's Oxford, containing items of interest and a short story, as well as the yet-unpublished prequel, The Book of Dust ).

The first volume of the trilogy, Northern Lights, won the Carnegie Medal for children's fiction in the UK in 1995. The Amber Spyglass, the last volume, was awarded both 2001 Whitbread Prize for best children's book and the Whitbread Book of the Year prize in January 2002, the first children's book to receive that award. The trilogy won popular acclaim in late 2003, taking third place in the BBC's Big Read poll.

In 2005 Pullman was announced as joint winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children's literature.

 Philosophical and religious perspective

Pullman is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society.

The His Dark Materials books have been at the heart of controversy, especially with certain Christian groups. Some, including Peter Hitchens, claim that he actively pursues an anti-Christian agenda. Proponents of this view cite the critical articles he has written regarding C. S. Lewis' series The Chronicles of Narnia (which Pullman denounces as religious propaganda), and the usually negative portrayal of the "Church" in His Dark Materials.

The two series have some resemblance. Both feature children facing adult moral choices, talking animals, religious allegories, parallel worlds, and concern the ultimate fate of those worlds. The first published Narnia book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, begins with a young girl hiding in a wardrobe, as does the first His Dark Materials book, Northern Lights (published as The Golden Compass in North America).

Some, including Hitchens again, have seen the His Dark Materials series as a direct rebuttal of C. S. Lewis's series.Pullman has also criticised the way Lewis excludes the character Susan from the final 'heaven' scenes in The Last Battle, saying she is rejected for her growing worldliness. Lewis devotees argue that Pullman has read too deeply into this; Lewis made no statement about Susan's ultimate destiny, and never excluded the possibility of her rejoining her friends in heaven later, as they are dead and she is still alive.

However, Pullman has found support from other Christians, most notably Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. These groups and individuals point out that Pullman's attacks are focused on the constraints of dogmatism and the use of religion to oppress, not on Christianity itself. Dr. Williams has gone so far as to propose that His Dark Materials be taught as part of religious education in schools. Moreover, even authors of works dedicated to critical appraisals of religious themes in his writing have described Pullman as a friendly and generous debating partner.

Screen adaptations

* A film adaptation of The Butterfly Tattoo  is set to film in 2007. It is a Philip Pullman supported project to allow young artists a chance to get film industry experience.
* A co-produced BBC and WGBH Boston television adaptation of The Ruby in the Smoke, starring Billie Piper and Julie Walters, was screened in the UK on BBC One on 27 December 2006 and premiered on PBS Masterpiece Theatre in America on February 4, 2007. The BBC and WGBH have plans to adapt the other three Sally Lockhart novels, The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well, and The Tin Princess, for television.
* A film adaptation, titled His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass, is to be released in December 2007 by New Line Cinema, starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Dakota Blue Richards.


Non-series books

* 1972 The Haunted Storm
* 1976 Galatea
* 1982 Count Karlstein
* 1987 How to be Cool
* 1989 Spring-Heeled Jack
* 1990 The Broken Bridge
* 1992 The White Mercedes
* 1993 The Wonderful Story of Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp
* 1995 Clockwork, or, All Wound Up
* 1995 The Firework-Maker's Daughter
* 1998 Mossycoat
* 1998 The Butterfly Tattoo (re-issue of The White Mercedes)
* 1999 I was a Rat! or The Scarlet Slippers
* 2000 Puss in Boots: The Adventures of That Most Enterprising Feline
* 2004 The Scarecrow and his Servant

The New-Cut Gang

* 1994 Thunderbolt's Waxwork
* 1995 The Gasfitter's Ball

Sally Lockhart

* 1985 The Ruby in the Smoke
* 1986 The Shadow in the North (first published as The Shadow in the Plate)
* 1990 The Tiger in the Well
* 1994 The Tin Princess

His Dark Materials

* 1995 Northern Lights, retitled The Golden Compass in the US
* 1997 The Subtle Knife
* 2000 The Amber Spyglass

Companion Books

* 2003 Lyra's Oxford
* 2009(According to Pullman himself, Although this could change) The Book of Dust (not yet published)


* 1990 Frankenstein
* 1992 Sherlock Holmes and the Limehouse Horror (from Wikipedia)


The Subtle Knife Part II of His Dark Materials Trilogy - by Philip Pullman
Our Price: $102.95
Stock Info: Ships in 6-11 business days
$8.95 shipping Australia-wide
Item Options

Gift Wrapping

gift wrappingGift Wrapping - please select gift wrapping for each item you want wrapped

You Might Also Like...

Kryptronic Internet Software Solutions