The Collectors : His Dark Materials

  • by Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by Bill Nighy
  • Series: His Dark Materials
  • 0 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"But the thing is," said Horley, "they didn’t know each other at all. Never heard of each other. It wasn’t about the makers. Only about the works."
On a dark winter's night in 1970, Horley and Grinstead huddle for warmth in the Senior Common Room of a college in Oxford. Conversation turns to the two impressive works of art that Horley has recently added to his collection. What the two men don't know is that these pieces are connected in mysterious and improbable ways; and they are about to be caught in the cross-fire of a story which has travelled time and worlds.
Philip Pullman is one of the most well-loved and admired British authors of the last few decades. He has written numerous novels for both adults and children, most notably the award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy. The Collectors, written exclusively for Audible, serves as a great introduction to this series, while revealing a little something extra to fans of Lyra and her world.
The Collectors is narrated by Bill Nighy, the Golden Globe and BAFTA award-winning actor whose work on stage, screen, and radio has included Love Actually, the Pirates of the Caribbean series and a multitude of TV, stage, and radio appearances.

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What the Critics Say

"Pullman's brief story is a little marvel, and so is Nighy's reading. His narration is so natural, complete with signature Nighy stutters, and his voice so rich and resonant that listeners are immediately ensnared." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wonderful surprise

Oh! Wow!

I listened to this as a way to whittle away at the time before an appointment radio programme. I know Pullman's works, though I've not read them for a while (I must remedy that in the near future), and I lurve Bill Nighy.

When the pennies dropped into place it was a real 'oh!' moment, and I stopped knitting and started grinning (it's okay, no-one was watching...).

A thoroughly enjoyable read, and I'll be listening to it again and again.

Thank you Audible, this was an extremely pleasant treat!
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- Lou

An unexpected Christmas present

Would you listen to The Collectors again? Why?

This story deserves multiple listens. The subject matter and the way in which the story is told is much more adult than the His Dark Materials continuity to which it belongs. Though only 30mins long, Pullman still takes care to richly describe a scene, distinguish characters and have a surprising and rewarding arch.

Bill Nighy's voice is very well chosen.


What other book might you compare The Collectors to, and why?

Out of all of His Dark Materials, in my mind, it is closest to Once Upon a Time in the North, an other short story that deals in conversation primarily over action and addresses ideas in a dry adult manner.


Which scene did you most enjoy?

There are two scene and a denouement. I like it all.


If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

'Art that cannot be kept apart'


Any additional comments?

Pullman introduces some new ideas of his multiple-worlds story; on first listen these stood out as alarm bells. Being a huge fan of Pullman's writing I am intrigued to know how these will fit in with the universes he has already created - but I trust him completely. Pullman does not write lightly. I look forward to The Book of Dust.

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- Richard Grange

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-12-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios