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La Belle Sauvage Audiobook

La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust, Volume 1

Regular Price:£25.99
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Publisher's Summary

Philip Pullman returns to the world of His Dark Materials with this magnificent first volume of The Book of Dust series.

Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them - a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua....

©2017 Philip Pullman (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"As a reader and a fan, I was hugely excited on hearing that Phillip was returning to the story of Lyra and Dust and challenging the Authority. And, as an actor, it was a true privilege to be asked to record La Belle Sauvage, the first book of this new work." (Michael Sheen)

"A splendid achievement of storytelling and a masterpiece of voice acting." (The Washington Post)

"Michael Sheen's narration of Philip Pullman's new novel is better than an army of voice actors. His voice is impressive, from the crisp, definitive consonants of its higher registers to the rumbly bass notes Sheen summons when some menace enters the scene, to the vast, buttery expanse of his middle range." (Slate)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.8 (3161 )
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4.9 (2982 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lorenzo 21/10/2017
    Lorenzo 21/10/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Gripping Story, Great Narrator"

    I’m a huge fan of His Dark Materials but when I first heard this book was in the works I was worried it wouldn’t be able to match HDM. Luckily all those fears were misplaced. The characters, story and prose in this book are beautiful, gripping and transporting.

    I highly recommend La Belle Sauvage and think the narrator is one of the best I’ve heard. The characters all have their own voice and well... character. It’s easy to forget that it’s just a one-man cast. Sheen's performance transports me into a different world filled with daemons and intrigue within seconds.

    I've missed this world and I'm glad to go back there.

    34 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara 22/10/2017
    Barbara 22/10/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extraordinary"

    This goes straight to the top of my all-time favourite audio books.

    I looked forward to the start of Philip Pullman's second trilogy, chosing to listen instead of reading La Belle Sauvage. What an excellent decision. Michael Sheen elevated this captivating story of baby Lyra to a great drama. His delivery is exceptional. Each character has a voice. The performance is enthralling: so much energy and commitment. He brings to life the passions and fears of Malcolm and Alice as they struggle to protect baby Lyra. His horrific howling hyena stirs far more than the written word could. Please ensure he narrates the rest of the trilogy.

    It's a very grown up children's book. Some reviewers have expressed concern that the sexual content and occasional strong language are inappropriate. Each incidence is relevant and valid for developing children as well as for us adult readers.

    I'm looking forward to the story continuing with the adult Lyra. Meanwhile I'll reread His Dark Materials.

    24 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lily 29/10/2017
    Lily 29/10/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Masterful Narration of a thrilling story!"

    It's ten to one in the morning and despite telling myself I really should stop listening and get to sleep I just couldn't tear myself away, so I listened right to the very end. Michael Sheen does an incredible job narrating this suspenseful tale; he moves effortlessly between voices, so much so that I honestly forgot they were coming from one person. I also loved the way he changed the volume and dynamic of his voice at the more action-filled suspenseful parts, it was totally thrilling listening! As for the story; it's full of familiar names and characters, and for those who remember the trilogy well, there are all sorts of little bits and pieces that add further context and richness to it. Loved the protagonists, Alice and her sass, and dear sweet gold-hearted Malcolm. I know some were disattisfied with the ending of the book but I thought it was wonderful; snappy and suspenseful like the rest of the book, and gives just enough for you to tie the threads together yourself. Can't wait to catch up with Lyra in the next installment! Thoroughly recommend this audio book!

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 24/10/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Pullman is back!"

    The best book I've encountered in a long time! Returning back to the world of Lyra and Daemons was a joy and yet there is plenty of new mystery and discovery that makes this book it's equal to the previous. Pullman has improved with age and the voice of Micheal Sheen was superb.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick Dawson 19/10/2017
    Nick Dawson 19/10/2017
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    "Is there a better author and narrator combination?"

    Wow - just wow.

    I've been an audiobooks listener and a Philip Pullman fan for many years and I can't remember listening to a book that was this well narrated before.

    5 stars is not enough.

    31 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kate 19/10/2017
    kate 19/10/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "80% Perfect"

    I've been hoping it will be good and it didn't disappoint. However, too much of the book is taken up by the journey. It gets a bit repetitive... I would have welcomed more 'theory' rather than adventure, but I enjoyed it.

    Oh and narration is perfect.

    18 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ginagee61 Oxford UK 09/11/2017
    Ginagee61 Oxford UK 09/11/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Does not disappoint from start to finish"

    I loved everything about this book, and in particular Michael Sheen's reading of it. He has the most amazing ability to make you think that he's 11 and from Oxford or as ancient as the sky and able to fly on a piece of cloud pine. I was totally enraptured by his skill at telling this wonderful, wonderful story.

    Philip Pullman has outdone himself by bringing us a story just as exciting as Northern Lights, with truly frightening characters and terrible, stomach churning events. I liked the way that the story moved from cosy surroundings to bring a subtle sense of threat and dread which soon becomes an ever present menace. His writing takes you along and never loses the urgency of the tale. After one day spent listening, I found myself exhausted because I had been living with Malcolm and accompanying him on his quest. When he was in peril, so was I; when he had a small victory, my heart filled up with a sense of warmth at his triumph.

    All of the characters are so well drawn and there are so many shades of good and evil, which contrast beautifully to make this story so exciting. A real pleasure to listen to and I am sure that I will be listening to this again and again. I can't wait for the next instalment!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Smythe UK 08/11/2017
    A. Smythe UK 08/11/2017 Member Since 2015
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    "Beautiful, wild and wonderful!"

    Wow! I loved this audiobook with a passion!

    Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy holds a place among my favourite books ever, so I was waiting in great anticipation for this new story. My only reservation was that, this book would be read to me after I had read the originals the traditional way; I didn't want bad narration to ruin my experience. I simply don't have the time to read books the way I used to, so La Belle Sauvage was played during my drives to and from work.
    I need not worry - the book is excellent and the narration was first rate. Michael Sheen performs the story with great enthusiasm and drama, helping to make all the characters distinct and full with his brilliantly nuanced accents and tones. Marvellous!

    This book (of which this appears excitingly, to be only the first part of a new series) is related to the original three in terms of the world we see and the story arc itself. I'm sure you could read this and love it if you haven't read the HDM trilogy, but prior knowledge does add a depth and richness to La Belle Sauvage which might otherwise be missed.
    I was thoroughly engaged throughout this beautiful and dramatic journey, I can't recommend it highly enough.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emilie 04/11/2017
    Emilie 04/11/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extraordinary narration"

    It almost goes without saying that Philip Pullman's prose is always going to be hugely enjoyable. And he's chosen a really interesting plotline for the prequel - the story of baby Lyra. But I don't want to give too much away about that and spoil it for anyone. It's great. Can't wait for the next one.

    The narration though - well. I can't summon up enough superlatives to sufficiently describe the quality of Michael Sheen's work on this book. It's sensitive, beautifully paced, with characterisations so finely observed that it's better than watching a film. His voicing of the villain of the piece - and his daemon - made my blood run cold. The denouement of the book had me listening, wide-eyed with fear and excitement, at two o'clock in the morning, because I just couldn't stop until I heard the end.

    Honestly, possibly the best narration I have ever heard. I narrate audiobooks myself and I can only hope to begin to aspire to that kind of quality. Hats off to you, Mr Sheen. Fanbloodytastic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tarn 23/10/2017
    Tarn 23/10/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing"

    So well narrated and totally engaging. Couldn't stop listening to it even waking up and listening at 3am! Glad to get some sleep tonight!

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
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  • Dominique Buck
    12/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nostalgia rekindled."

    Loved it instantly. What a way to rekindle a live affair with a series that I met so long ago. ❤

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sverre
    31/10/17
    Overall
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    "brillianly written and brilliantly narrated!"

    Pullman has still got it! and Michael Sheen gives a brilliant reading from beginning to end!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • william
    30/12/17
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    "fantastic performance"

    Incredible performance from Michael Sheen of a terrific story. Highly recommended. I only wish he'd recorded more audiobooks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mia Hauge Dollerup
    30/11/17
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    Performance
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    "Wonderful story, great narration"

    A “prequel” to the series about Lyra, this book did not disappoint! Philip Pullman at his best: characters full of depth, engaging from beginning to end. A very good, dramatic narration. I would recommend this to any fan of His Dark Materials, and of fantasy in general!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    21/11/17
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    "Philip Pullman writing about what he knows best"

    Philip Pullman is an expert when it comes to writing about growing up ( instead about writing about a character who happens to grow up). He seems to inherently understand the sadness and beauty and wonder of adolescence, and the settling of our souls into their true form.

    Beautifully written, with all the same poingance of His Dark Materials - this book has some truly dark moments that (thanks to Pullman's artful prose) would go over many younger readers heads.

    I look forward to the following to novels in the series, I so want to know where Malcolm (and friends) end up and how they intertwine with the characters of His Dark Materials.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter Lead
    Sydney, Australia
    30/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic narration"

    Michael Sheen does a fantastic job of conveying excitement, suspense and wonder. A perfect narrator for this exciting book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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