Read Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman Online


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Title : Once Upon a Time in the North
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385615235
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 112 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Once Upon a Time in the North Reviews

  • Trish
    2019-02-05 14:37

    I'm currently re-reading Northern Lights, the first in the His Dark Materials trilogy. Not too long ago I also found out about the two companion books and this is the first.This little cloth-bound beauty tells the story of Lee Scoresby, the hot-air balloonist that helps Lyra in the first volume, and how he became friends (the best of friends in fact) with Iorek Byrnison, the panserbjørn. It tells of old rivalries and a conspiracy that Lee has to fight and although we already know the ending to this story, it is very fast-paced and thrilling.Making this little book even more special are the illustrationsas well as the board game that is included in a back pocketPeronsally, I love it when an author has his whole world shaped and fleshed out, filled with loads of interesting places and characters and Philip Pullman proves here that his world is indeed very much alive and detailed.

  • Kirstine
    2019-02-11 15:34

    It's been ages since I reread His Dark Materials, so I don't have a clear image of Lee Scoresby in my head - and I don't remember his, surprisingly kickass, daemon Hester at all. I'm ashamed of this, she is an energetic, cussing delight.I do remember being incredibly intrigued by Iorek and the whole idea of armored bears, and of course, I think we all wondered how on earth those two ended up as friends. This story does it justice, I think. It's very short, but it tells a fulfilling and engaging story, with a lot of really nice moments for the various characters. To be honest, I think it's too short. Not because it rushes anything (it's perfectly paced - any rushing is Lee's fault for apparently being a firm believer in not doing tomorrow what you can do today), but because Lee is a proper adventurer, a good man and a ridiculous risk taker - a worthy combination - and I'd read countless books about his adventures if they existed, but alas. I'm happy we got this much.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-02-09 08:13

    Lee Scoresby is my favourite character in the His Dark Materials series, so it was great to discover that he was the central character of one of the books. With adventure, fantastic travels and unpredictable magic, this book is one of the best fantasy novels I've ever read.

  • Scott Cooperstein
    2019-01-29 14:26

    So that's it. I've read every bit of writing that exists in Philip Pullman'sHis Dark Materials series. It's a sad day for me. I loved the whole thing, and I wish there was more to it. I've seen the movie (regrettably), read the original three books, and now these two side-stories. I cannot recommend the series highly enough. To me it's superior to Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Narnia, ect. The whole concept of this universe fascinates me. Books like these are why I fell in love with reading. Thanks Mr. Pullman.

  • Orient
    2019-01-22 12:13

    A nice short story to remind about the prehistory of "His Dark Materials"

  • Veronique
    2019-02-08 07:29

    It seemed illogical not to read this small volume after having consumed everything related to His Dark Materials, and once again I was charmed. These novellas from Pullman are so compelling, pulling you back into this huge and complex world. Add to this that Lee Scoresby and his daemon Hester have always been favourites of mine, and it’s a winner :O)The extra material at the end gives another layer to the story, connecting Lyra to this narrative and offering some details of her life since the events of the trilogy. Lovely! I cannot wait to see what Pullman gives her in the second Book of Dust.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-02-17 10:24

    "Nice piece of oratorical flamboyancy." (--Hester)This book was a gift. I *love* the size and shape of it, its compactness, the cloth cover, the way it fits so perfectly with its companion book, Lyra's Oxford, which I perversely keep with my guidebooks rather than my other Pullman novels.I am almost certain I would have liked the actual text better had I not been consumed with jealousy over the presentation. The story is less than 100 small pages long, directed at no obviously definable reader of any age, and is surely nonsensical in places to anyone who doesn't know His Dark Materials. For all the story's artistry it would not be considered publishable if it hadn't been written by, well, Philip Pullman. Yet because it is Pullman's, it is illustrated with beautiful woodcuts and appended with faked photographs of newspaper clippings, letters and an actual board game folded in a paper envelope in the back. I know that this beautiful little book was expensive to put together. Lucky book. I am jealous.It is mean and childish of me. And reduces my own pleasure in the reading, which should be great--I adore Pullman and this world of his. In spite of my jealousy, I want about five more of these beautiful little books with their discrete tales from the world of His Dark Materials so I can stack them up with the rest of my guidebooks.

  • Chloe
    2019-02-14 13:27

    Another lovely little companion book! Unlike Lyra's Oxford, this story seems to be aimed at adults. It's gorgeously written as all of the His Dark Materials works are. It's a great story about a young Lee Scoresby and how he came to meet Iorek. I love them so much and the little extras this book gives are delightful. <3

  • Andrew
    2019-02-10 12:34

    Ah so many distractions - especially when really I should be getting on with reading books I set out to read, but I guess when books like Once Upon A Time in the North come along you can sort of forgive me. This is another short special set in the world of His Dark Materials. This time it introduces us to Lee Scoresby and how he started on the path that would eventually lead him to Lyra. The story is short not reaching 100 pages however it does set the tone for what is to follow. He is a man on principles if prone to gambling (after all that is how he won the balloon that got him to this point) and this is something that earns him the respect and support you will see being drawn upon in the Dark Materials books. For a story this short as you can imagine it is not very deep or challenging but it is a fun read and is what it is - if you enjoy the series then this is a fun distraction.

  • Maciek
    2019-02-06 15:31

    This short, little tale is a prequel to Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, set decades before the events in Northern Lights. Here we meet Lee Scorsesby and the armored bear Iorek Byrninson, and learn how they came to know each other.Once Upon a Time in the North is a lovely story, and the title suggests a homage to Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time in the West. But the influence does not end there. Pullman's writing is fantastic and he conveys the steampunk atmosphere of a small port town perfectly; at such little amount of pages he is able to convey excellent descriptive narrative, fast-paced action and the development of many characters. Not a word seems to be missing, and the story is an adventure! Everybody loves an adventure, and there certainly is one here.This short tale is signature Pullman, and reminded me a lot of Northern Lights, my favorite of his trilogy, in the sense of adventure and wonderful atmosphere. On such small amount of pages the novella manages to encompass everything important; the plot might sound simple, but it works on multiple levels. The story is a standalone which can satisfy both fans of His Dark Materials and newcomers to Pullman's world. Pullman's writing draws the reader into the story, and its lenght is perfect for an evening reading session, in a warm chair, with milk and cookies. It was good to feel the cold winds of the north again; it made me want to read Northern Lights again. The volume is beautifully illustrated and contains a number of bonuses, such as photographs of Lyra's Oxford disseration and a board game, Peril of The Pole. Pullman has taken his time with writing this story, but he delivered splendidly.

  • Cyndi
    2019-02-04 15:37

    A novella that introduces the characters used in the series. This makes me want to read the rest of the series. I hadn't realized it would be so interesting.

  • Lau
    2019-02-01 11:19

    3.5NO LEER ANTES DEL LIBRO #2Una aventura de Lee Scoresby de jovencito, en la época en que recién comenzaba sus andanzas como aeronauta...y aún no sabía aterrizar el globo. Tiene su primer encuentro con Iorek, –aunque realmente interactúan bastante poco– y vemos un poco más su personalidad de aventurero temerario, siempre cerca de la quiebra y desoyendo los buenos consejos de su daemon. Ahora lo vi como una una mezcla de Cowboy con Indiana Jones y un extra de embaucador, pero un embaucador con buenas intenciones y un alto sentido de la justicia. Sería un lindo personaje para que tenga su propia saga sinceramente.

  • itchy
    2019-02-09 12:34

    just incredible;the fantasy elements are a bit too much for me, though

  • Erin
    2019-01-25 11:36

    Do yourself a favor, and read this quick little story.A fantastic little read in a very well presented format. Pullman has a command of language not to be missed. In this little tale we get a beguiling introduction to Lee Scoresby and his dæmon Hester, and who doesn't love Lee and Hester--a wry Texan with a heart of gold and his delightfully sarcastic companion.A sample-- after crash-landing his newly acquired air ballon:The pilot gingerly untangled his fingers from the rope he'd been holding on to, worked out which way up he was, shifted the tool box off his legs, wiped the oily water out of his eyes, and hauled himself upright.'Well, Hester, looks like we're getting the hand of this,' he said. His dæmon, who looked like a small sardonic jackrabbit, flicked her ears as she clambered out of the tangle of tools, cold-weather clothing, broken instruments and rope. Everything was saturated.'My feelings are too deep to express, Lee,' she said.

  • Winter Branch
    2019-02-14 14:40

    Short and sweet. It was nice to read about Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrnison again. This time around, Scoresby seemed a bit brash and more quick-witted than I remembered but he was 30 something years younger so that might have something to do with it. I’m sure everyone’s main complaint will be that the book is too short (and I admit I was hit with a ting of dread around page 50 knowing that I was already closer to the ending than the beginning). However; just like Lyra’s Oxford, Scoresby’s story is the perfect length. It’s nice, and a rare thing, to find a book that can be read in one sitting and leave you with a smile when you are finished. It’s like receiving a letter from an old friend. You’re just happy to hear from them again. Now we sit and wait to hear from Will.

  • Alex Telander
    2019-02-04 11:18

    Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman: It's been some time since Philip Pullman has published anything set in the world of His Dark Materials; the last offering was a very short story called Lyra's Oxford. In Once Upon a Time in the North, Pullman returns with an original tale about Lee Scoresby the aeronaut, weighing in at just under a hundred pages - and while fans would wish for three times as much, it's certainly much better than nothing.In a poker game in his native Texas, twenty-four year old Lee Scoresby has just won his very own hot air balloon and half an instruction manual. His first voyage takes him across the world to the Arctic waters where he lands at Novy Odense. Looking for a place to stay and a way to make some money, Scoresby is immediately embroiled in the complex politics of the town. Mayoral candidate Ivan Poliakov hopes to take care of the bear problem, supported by the shady Larsen Manganese group. Taking no one's side, but not wanting the town to be exploited, Lee soon befriends a polar bear by the name of Iorek Byrnison - whom he mistakenly calls York - and finds himself in a fierce gun battle involving a hired killer with a familiar face on the other side.Once Upon a Time in the North is a great adventure tale with - at first glance - an entertaining and straightforward story. But in Pullman's usual style, there is a deeper and more complex subplot that is not fully explained or resolved here. So fans can hope that there is more to tell in the world of His Dark Materials. And if that were not enough, Pullman also created a special board game for the book, which is included as an insert to the inside back cover.For more book reviews, and author interviews, go to BookBanter.

  • GraceAnne
    2019-02-17 10:30

    An elegantly imagined Western tale, even though it is set in the far North, when a very young Lee Scoresby and the bear Iorek Byrnison meet and find they are on the same side. It unfolds like a movie, in grey and blue and ice tones instead of dust and dun and gold, but the pacing, spirit, and tone conjure up every great cowboy movie you have ever seen.A coda offers a tantalizing glimpse into Lyra's life as a graduate student.

  • Kaethe
    2019-02-02 13:22

    A nice arctic Western. I'm totally down with authors of popular series publishing little related books like this, when they're such good stories.

  • Chris
    2019-01-31 12:32

    A Texas cowboy. A gas balloon. A settlement by the Barents Sea. A polar bear. Local politics. Dirty secrets. And ... Action! Philip Pullman's fantasy of derring-do near the Arctic Circle paints a vivid picture that reads like a film script synopsis as well as playing in the mind's eye like a graphic novel. Set some 35 years before the events in the His Dark Materials trilogy Once Upon a Time in the North directly references a Sergio Leone spaghetti western in its title; like Once Upon a Time in the West we have a frontier town and potential conflict based on land exploitation (oil reserves here instead of a railroad), plus a hero figure determined to defeat a vicious gunslinger with whom he has unfinished business.But this is where the comparisons end. While Pullman may have been inspired by Leone's film, his main purpose is to introduce the story of how the young Lee Scoresby gets to meet Iorek Byrnison, a panserbjørne or fighting polar bear, and how they establish an alliance long before they meet Lyra in Northern Lights. This novella then is a prequel -- unlike the standalone movie -- giving us background on Lee and Iorek's characters and how it is that a cowboy appears to be an accomplished aeronaut in the frozen north.Pullman has a strong moral conscience which emerges in much of his writing. Here it is the corrupting power of big business, an issue which has long been with us but is even more evident in the 21st century. As Lee is informed by a supporting character,"The fact is this, Mr Scoresby: there is a struggle going on throughout the northern lands, of which this little island is a microcosm. On the one hand there are the properly constituted civil institutions [...] and on the other the uncontrolled power of the large private companies [...] which are dominating more and more of public life, though they are not subject to any form of democratic sanction." -- Lieutenant Haugland of the Customs and Revenue Board, Novy Odense (pp 87-8)The "little island" is the community of Novy Odense, but Pullman could equally have been thinking of Britain, which some see as in hock to multinationals. The town itself ("New Odense") is named from the famous Danish town, chosen perhaps because storyteller Hans Christian Anderson is one of the municipality's most famous sons, and maybe also because Odense itself derives from Odin, Norse myth's famous wandering god. That combination of fairytale, myth and traveller no doubt appealed to the author's sense of aptness.But the story's the thing that grips, much more than speculation about its possible origins. Lee is the archetypal stranger in town when he arrives in his balloon, reminding me a bit of Spencer Tracy in Bad Day at Black Rock. He soon finds that suspicion is endemic among the inhabitants, compounded by an imminent election for mayor and sly individuals who try to befriend him. This being a fantasy he not only has an animal daemon as his other self but he also makes the acquaintance of a talking bear, one who's invaluable in Lee's fight for justice on behalf of a Dutch sea captain. Naturally all the incipient tensions burst out into violent conflict, with a terrific climax in a dock warehouse described in nail-biting detail.In common with some editions of other volumes in this sequence, Once Upon a Time in the North also incorporates lovely little touches -- 'authentic memorabilia' like letters, receipts and pages from handbooks -- plus a board game called Peril of the Pole, all lovingly recreated by John Lawrence. Without the thrill of the narrative to sustain it they would mean little to the casual reader; but in combination with the tale they hopefully will not only tease any newcomers to Pullman's multiverse but also encourage them to explore further.

  • Noelia Alonso
    2019-01-22 09:37

    Lee. Hester. Iorek <33

  • Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
    2019-01-29 09:22

    3.5 starsNow I'm excited to dive into the His Dark Materials trilogy, hopefully in a couple months. I'll most likely have to give this another listen once I've finished the trilogy, to get the full effect of it being a prequel, but for what it was this time around I really liked it. I'm not especially familiar with Pullman's work -- the most I remember is that a film adaptation (if you could call it that, from what I heard from enthusiasts the movie was crap) was released a few years back with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.Anyway, I liked Scoresby quite a bit. He reminded me of Carswell Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles in his adventurousness, and Hester was fantastic from the beginning. I cracked up at the end when they found out she was an Arctic hare instead of a jackrabbit, that bit was fantastic. Pullman was a great narrator and reminded me of Liam Neeson vocally. This was also my first audiobook with a full cast rather than just one lone narrator, which was cool too. If you're a fan of the HDM trilogy and haven't read this, I'd definitely recommend it!

  • Milliebot
    2019-02-13 12:32

    November re-read: A re-read already?! Yes. I have a physical copy now so I gave the story another go. I had a much better handle on the political situation going on this time around. This is still very short and something I'd recommend buying at a discount - I do think it belongs in a collection with Lyra's Oxford and any other tidbits Pullman cares to put out. But this at least adds something to Lee's background, character and history with Iorek (I know how to spell it now!). If you had to pick between this and Lyra for some reason, I'd lean towards this.Once again, my edition has some nice illustrations and ephemera. ---This was a pleasant little read about one of Lee Scorsby's adventures and how he met Yorig. I listened to the audio and it flew by. I wish it were longer actually and more about L&Y then the politics of some little town.when I get a physical copy I'm going to read it so I can absorb a little more.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-04 13:11

    I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as Lyra’s Oxford but I’m chalking that up to a lack of Lyra! Otherwise it was a lovely story, that basically morphed into a fantasy Western and it was a wonderful read

  • Heidi Burkhart
    2019-02-14 09:29

    Such a enjoyable short story! I wish I had known about it before now. Pullman at his best.

  • James
    2019-02-14 10:14

    This was a fun, quick little visit to Pullman’s “Dark Materials” universe. I enjoyed it so much I’m thinking of revisiting the original trilogy then reading the newer Dust novel.

  • madisson ✨
    2019-02-13 09:15

    the north of the his dark materials series is one of my favourite fictional landscapes. i’ve missed lee scoresby so much!! and hester!! and iorek!i loved this so much because i feel like it really gave insight into lee's character in a way that you couldn't see as well from lyra's perspective. ALSO(view spoiler)[ "he'd learnt his lesson; he looked after it well for the rest of his life, and thirty-five years later, the Winchester was in his hands when he died" ....why would you do this to me???also also, i can't believe lyra wants to be an academic!! just like me!!! these books and characters are just the best(hide spoiler)]

  • Scott
    2019-02-06 14:30

    His Dark Materials is one of my top two or three fantasy series of all time so when I stumbled across this (a prequel novella to His Dark Materials) I grabbed it quickly.It's a 100 page story with Lee Scoresby as the main character with some polar bears tossed in for fun. It was enjoyable but nothing memorable - I would recommend it. There was not a lot of world building and I think a lot would be lost if you hadn't read His Dark Materials first. Still, a good read which I'm happy I came across.

  • Roxanne Hsu Feldman
    2019-02-12 11:36

    I cannot quite figure out who would enjoy this volume: for those who have never read the His Dark Materials Trilogy, daemons and the world around them might be too odd, without explanation at all. I like the "western-gunslinger" flavor but don't see how that can hold the interest of most young readers. Then, it is not enough, not meaty enough, not enough Iorek, at least, for a fan like me. I wanted to know MORE about their past and their earlier personalities and hardship/happiness -- this does not really supply. Have to say that I am quite disappointed.

  • Coralie
    2019-02-17 15:21

    3.5This story is more developped than Lyra's Oxford, it has the feel of a western (hence the title, I suppose) but in the North, with polar bears and boats and a hot air balloon...Why not!It's great to follow a younger Lee and his encounter with Iorek, and there are some nice additions of the kind there is in Lyra's Oxford. At the end, especially, we learn what Lyra is up to in her studies, it was a nice way to end the book :)

  • April Sarah
    2019-02-04 14:16

    I've always loved Lyra Belacqua's world. Of the whole series, it was my favorite. So to get just a little more of it is great.Lee is such a wonderful character, he is so entertaining and I understand how he can get into the messes he does. Plus Iorek, I love Iorek.---- Update 12/5/17 ----I still truly enjoy this story. Lee and Iorek are a set of characters that have continued to stand out to me, all these years later.