I don't usually review audio books, but I feel compelled to create one for this story. If you can make it through the first part of this story, the background really sets the stage for the second half of the story. There is a point to all of the history and foot notes. Susanna Clarke weaves a fictional history of english magic that provides an amazing depth to the story.
This was a lot of fun, and kept me glued till the end. The start is slow, many characters are introduced and then are gone. Once you get into the 8th or 9th hour you will not want to put it down.
A world contained in a rather big book. I highly enjoyed both the story and the narrator. My wife and I listen to this through several long trips in the car, and found it amazingly complex, and engrossing. Not the same kind of writing I found in Dan Brown's thrillers (which I also enjoyed), but dense, layered description. The plot wanders, but through interesting territory onward to a very satisfying ending.
Truly enjoyable! This is the first audiobook that I've listened to twice in quick succession. The story is wonderful, and the narration is superb.
I wasn't able to finish this book, even tho I tried very hard. I got almost to the end of the 2nd download when I just gave up the ghost. I just couldn't see the point of going on, there was no plot, no reason to continue, no nothing, other than just plain BORING.
I couldn't gain an interest in the book until right at the very end of the first download and then there was this 'spark'. The style of writing would have been excellent had this been a TRUE rendition of past events but it would have still made very DRY reading. I'm tabling the rest of the book (haven't totally given up on it) for a time when I'm out of something to read waiting for the time I can download more from my membership. While, I still have that 'spark' of interest in some of the characters, I have a hard time seeing just what made this book so interesting that some could not put it down.
I listened to this book spellbound over the course of about three weeks. It was wonderful. The book is well written and the narration is excellent. I would highly recommend it.
I liked Jonathan strange & Mr. Norell, but at times I found the story somewhat rambling. The author goes off on numerous sidetracks, which sometimes is interesting and other times annoying. The footnotes got to be old after awhile. Also, I felt that Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell weren't that easy to empathize with. Don't get me wrong. This is a nice meaty book. But some of the characterization needed work.
This work is as close to a living masterpiece as any of us are want to find. What Ms. Clarke has achieved here is both rare and beautiful. Very few times in your lifetime do you come a cross a piece of fiction that makes you reconsider all that you have judged before it.
With Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell, I believe I have found the greatest novel I have ever read. The narration is nothing short of masterful. There is absolutely NO REASON in the world why you should not purchase this title. None whatsoever. Buy. Enjoy.
Go for the abridged version. As one reviewer said, this was an 8 hour book stretched to 32. The story is not interesting enough and the characters not engaging or sympathetic enough to warrant this much of your time, unless, of course, you have nothing better to do like 19th century ladies and gentlemen of leisure.
The end is a really not worth wading through all those pages. It sort of just finishes, in a vague sort of way.
I also thought Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was slow. I liked Harry P. I like David Morrell very much. I am 71 but I read like I'm still a kid.
This book is slow and at least cumbersome (in a British sort of way). I liked the Harry Potter series and bought this because other reviewers said it was as good or even better than Potter. Some of the story paths are good with a lot of imaginary history, but the author has so much needless detail that it loses much of the punch of a good novel. I have to admit that I finally abandoned it after about 10 hours of listening, so it may get good after that.... but, I doubt it.