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Publisher's Summary

Another mesmerizing episode from the universe of His Dark Materials set in the far frozen Arctic, including the very first meeting of those two legends and friends - Lee Scoresby, the Texan balloonist, and Iorek Byrnison, the armored bear.

The full list of narrators includes: Philip Pullman, Nigel Whitmey, Sean Barrett, John Chancer, Andrew Branch, Tim Bentinck, Hayward Morse, Teresa Gallaher, Paul Panting, Jane Collingwood, Garrick Hagon, Liza Ross, and Jo Wyatt.

©2008 Philip Pullman (P)2008 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Pullman is as fine a writer as there is for young people, and this book is a small gem." ( Booklist)

Featured Article: Dream Big—Meet the All-Star Cast of The Sandman: Act II


Immerse yourself in the world of The Sandman right now with an unforgettable audio experience. The star power alone is worth the price of admission—the cumulative amount of awards that have been won by the cast over the course of their careers is simply staggering. The cast features some of the most talented and esteemed actors working today. So let's dive right into the who's who of The Sandman: Act II.

What listeners say about Once Upon a Time in the North

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

If you like His Dark Materials....

You should listen to this. It offers the same charm and delightful characterizations but has many of the same problems (mainly plot related, and in this case a bit dreary in the middle) as his other books. Worth it for me, as I love escaping into this universe.

8 people found this helpful

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Great story, voice actor OK

I was hoping to get the same voice actors as in the his dark materials trilogy, but alas, we can't always get what we want. I was hoping, at least, to get someone who actually knows how people from Texas actually speak to play Lee Scoresby, but they couldn't seem to get that either. I'm from Texas and his fake accent was so painful to my ears I almost turned it off. But I powered through. The writing is great, as expected from Philip Pullman.

6 people found this helpful

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Love His Dark Materials, this was OK

So, this was OK, but I admit I was disappointed at the end. I know it's a short story and I probably expected too much, but Lee S. isn't that interesting of a character to me, and his interactions with the women in the book were ... very... weird to me. Like we gt that he's a 'cowboy' but... no. And Lyra is just a mention at the end... and the story itself isn't terrible complicated and pretty predictable so it was just OK.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

great fun

Very good reader...hey, It's the author!!!

I dug it...and any fan of the trilogy it leads to must listen...

7 people found this helpful

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Nothing Particularly Remarkable

I suppose the story was enjoyable, but it was too short to develop any real characters, the plot felt contrived, and all in all I just wasn’t engrossed in it. The cast though was excellent and did an amazing job bringing an otherwise unremarkable story to life

1 person found this helpful

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missing lyra too much!

performance just as great and professional as the trilogy. story is just not as interesting without Lyra and Will. the plot was just ok, although it IS nice to hear from Lee and Iyorek (sp?) again!

3 people found this helpful

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Great Fun

This was a fun "origin" type story for Yorik and Leif, great background and I enjoyed spending more time with two of my favorite characters.

3 people found this helpful

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In a full relisten of the whole series

While this was written after the main original trilogy, it’s set before the events of HDM and TBoD. And it’s every bit as good as they are. I have such fondness for these characters, and I will always love this reading of the novella.

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Highly enjoyable!

This recording was over way too soon! The voices, performances and story were perfect - it took me back to and helped flesh-out some of the history of the main storyline - highly recommend!!

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Long Time HDM Fan, This Didn't Do It For Me

Nothing in particular stood out about this story and it's not memorable. I love Philip Pullman and his writing was as good as ever, but this fell flat for me.