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Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

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Description

Susanna Clarke's brilliant novel is an utterly compelling, epic tale of nineteenth-century England and the way two very different magicians, who, as teacher and pupil and then as rivals, emerge to change its history. In the year 1806, in the throes of the Napoleonic Wars, most people believe magic to be dead in England--until the reclusive Mr. Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey reveals his powers and becomes a celebrity overnight. Soon, another magician emerges; the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's student, and the two join forces in the war against France. But as Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, he risks sacrificing not only his friendship with Norrell, but everything else that he holds dear. An international bestseller published in 31 countries, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is a tour de force that has captured the imagination of readers worldwide.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 12, 2004 – A starred or boxed review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starred or boxed review.JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELLSusanna Clarke. Bloomsbury, (800p) The drawing room social comedies of early 19th-century Britain are infused with the powerful forces of English folklore and fantasy in this extraordinary novel of two magicians who attempt to restore English magic in the age of Napoleon. In Clarke's world, gentlemen scholars pore over the magical history of England, which is dominated by the Raven King, a human who mastered magic from the lands of faerie. The study is purely theoretical until Mr. Norrell, a reclusive, mistrustful bookworm, reveals that he is capable of producing magic and becomes the toast of London society, while an impetuous young aristocrat named Jonathan Strange tumbles into the practice, too, and finds himself quickly mastering it. Though irritated by the reticent Norrell, Strange becomes the magician's first pupil, and the British government is soon using their skills. Mr. Strange serves under Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars (in a series of wonderful historical scenes), but afterward the younger magician finds himself unable to accept Norrell's restrictive views of magic's proper place and sets out to create a new age of magic by himself. Clarke manages to portray magic as both a believably complex and tedious labor, and an eerie world of signs and wonders where every object may have secret meaning. London politics and talking stones are portrayed with equal realism and seem indisputably part of the same England, as signs indicate that the Raven King may return. The chock-full, old-fashioned narrative (supplemented with deft footnotes to fill in the ignorant reader on incidents in magical history) may seem a bit stiff and mannered at first, but immersion in the mesmerizing story reveals its intimacy, humor and insight, and will enchant readers of fantasy and literary fiction alike.

Customer Reviews

One of my faves

This is the most refreshingly entertaining book I've read in a long time. Clarke does a phenomenal job with her descriptive writing and symphony of common-day witty conversationalism of pre-industrial London. Almost steampunk in nature, her design is both aesthetic and entertaining, a wonderful choice for medium+ difficulty readers. Absolutely one of my faves!

This brings back memories

This was one of the first books i read after graduating from college. I read it in hard copy (sadly e-books did not exist) but it was great. It mixes reality with magic in a way that is very easy to immerse yourself in and I found the ending to be quite unpredictable. Its like a fantasy thriller. I hop you enjoy.

Am I the only one?

I couldn't get through the first 1/4 of this book. Writing style is terrible and the plot is absolutely the most boring thing I have ever read. Perhaps it picks up but I can no longer stand to read another page. I am still asking myself how this book got such good reviews.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
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  • $8.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Jun 05, 2010
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Seller: INscribe Digital
  • Print Length: 800 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings