Lyra's Oxford

Version: Unabridged (Abridged version available here)
Author: Philip Pullman
Narrator: Philip Pullman , Full Cast
Genres: Fiction, Teen
Publisher: Listening Library (Audio)
Published In: October 2003
Length: 48 minutes
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A wonderful new episode from the world of Philip Pullman's bestselling trilogy, His Dark Materials. A small bundle of material has somehow slipped between Lyra's universe and our own.
We find Lyra with her daemon Pantalaimon, a couple of years after the end of The Amber Spyglass, sitting on the roofs of Oxford. She sees a bird, the daemon of a witch, a storm petrel flying towards her pursued by a huge and angry flock of starlings. And gradually a mystery unfolds…

The book is fully illustrated with intricate maps and other ephemera from Lyra's universe, and includes a specially printed three-colour pull out maps of Lyra's Oxford. This publication could have come from a parallel universe…

This is a dramatised audio with production by Garrick Hagan and narrated by Philip Pullman with a full cast.

Reviews (4)

And then...?

Written by Troyanne on April 2nd, 2009

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I'm a big fan of Pullman's work but this story disappointed. It was beautifully performed, as usual, but it seemed more like a single chapter ripped from the context of a more complete story than a discrete short story.

Not what expected

Written by William James on January 31st, 2008

  • Book Rating: 1/5

This is just a quick patch of work really not worth listening to.

short and sweet

Written by Gabi on January 3rd, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

this is a short story and that's it. It feels incomplete somehow, but that is probably because I was used to the complete trilogy from before. It is a good sweet story though and worth the read - listen that is.

Very Quick

Written by Dan Pressley on November 22nd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This book didn't have much depth to it. It seemed to be more of a filler than a real story. Not much happened and it seemed to be disappointing that it wasn't longer or had more to it. But it did fill in some for the trilogy. Don't listen to this book before listening to the trilogy first.

Author Details

Author Details

Pullman, Philip

"I was born in Norwich in 1946, and educated in England, Zimbabwe, and Australia, before my family settled in North Wales. I received my secondary education at the excellent Ysgol Ardudwy, Harlech, and then went to Exeter College, Oxford, to read English, though I never learned to read it very well.

I found my way into the teaching profession at the age of 25, and taught at various Oxford Middle Schools before moving to Westminster College in 1986, where I spent eight years involved in teaching students on the B.Ed. course. I have maintained a passionate interest in education, which leads me occasionally to make foolish and ill-considered remarks alleging that not everything is well in our schools. My main concern is that an over-emphasis on testing and league tables has led to a lack of time and freedom for a true, imaginative and humane engagement with literature.

My views on education are eccentric and unimportant, however. My only real claim to anyone's attention lies in my writing. I've published nearly twenty books, mostly of the sort that are read by children, though I'm happy to say that the natural audience for my work seems to be a mixed one - mixed in age, that is, though the more mixed in every other way as well, the better.

My first children's book was Count Karlstein (1982, republished in 2002). That was followed by The Ruby in the Smoke (1986), the first in a quartet of books featuring the young Victorian adventurer, Sally Lockhart. I did a great deal of research for the background of these stories, and I don't intend to let it lie unused, so there will almost certainly be more of them.

I've also written a number of shorter stories which, for want of a better term, I call fairy tales. They include The Firework-Maker's Daughter, I Was a Rat!, and Clockwork, or All Wound Up. This is a kind of story I find very enjoyable, though immensely difficult to write.

However, my most well-known work is the trilogy His Dark Materials, beginning with Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the USA) in 1995, continuing with The Subtle Knife in 1997, and concluding with The Amber Spyglass in 2000. These books have been honoured by several prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Book Award, and (for The Amber Spyglass) the Whitbread Book of the Year Award - the first time in the history of that prize that it was given to a children's book.

I was the 2002 recipient of the Eleanor Farjeon Award for children's literature. At the award ceremony for that prize, which I was very proud to receive, I promised to spend my time in future making fewer speeches and writing more books.

When I'm not writing books I like to draw and to make things out of wood. I also like to play the piano. I'd like to play it well, but I can't, so the rest of the family has to put up with my playing it badly."