Count Karlstein

  • by Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by Jo Thurley, Full Cast
  • 5 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Can you hear the distant howling of hounds and the thunder of ghostly hooves? It's All Souls' Eve and Zamiel the Demon Huntsman has come to claim his prey! He's headed straight for Castle Karlstein, where the evil count has hatched an evil plan; he'll sacrifice his two young nieces to save himself. Can Lucy and Charlotte outwit their uncle and his oily henchmen to escape their dreadful fate? From the award-winning author of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife comes a spooky, funny thriller just right for those middle-grade readers looking for horror and humor.


What the Critics Say

"Dashing, sparkling, and wildly over-the-top fun." (Publishers Weekly)
"An energetic combination of melodrama, suspense, horror, and comedy." (Booklist)
"Using multiple narrators and expertly concocted cliffhangers, Pullman crafts a thrilling page-turner." (Kirkus Reviews)
"The pacing is delightful, with horrific crescendos every few chapters, and comic relief in the others." (School Library Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


If you come to this expecting to find something along the lines of His Dark Materials, you'll be disappointed. But I get the feeling some people rate this lower because it's a different sort of book than they wanted... you can't blame the book for misplaced expectations. This is beautifully read with sound effects and effective music which, for once, doesn't overwhelm the reading. This is definitely a children's tale in the great fairy tale tradition, with truly nasty villains, supernatural forces, plucky heroes who triumph over their own foibles, and a happy ending (I'm sure that isn't a spoiler). I've listened twice and thoroughly enjoyed it, as I have all of Philip Pullman's books. Come in expecting a charming and fun tale and you won't regret that you did.

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- Erik N


We are enjoying this story really. But, all things considered, it is a bit disappointing. The naming of people is a bit trite, if mildy amusing. My major complaint though lies with the audio quality. We have listened to dozens of audible books, as well as libray audio books, but have never encountered such troubles with volume differentiation. The narrator is loud and clear, and then we can't hear the dialogue done by the cast. So I crank the volume on the car stereo up, and AAAAHHH! the narrator comes back and blows us out of our seat belts. An unsettling problem. I am having trouble getting into the book, perhaps only because of this. My girls, 11 and 13, are enjoying it, despite the difficulties.
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- Elizabeth

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-13-2006
  • Publisher: Listening Library