This historical fiction/ fantasy delivered a compelling, quasi-plausible accounting of ancient magic of the British isles. The story covers more than ten years in the lives and societies of two English Magicians move between different levels of acquaintance and dependance upon each other. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell has action, humor, heartache, triumph, with fun takes on alternate history of the first 17 or so years of the 19th C. . You'll like this one very much or your money back, not really...
This came highly recommended and I really wanted to love it, but I just never got into it. Maybe it was because I listened to it as I was falling asleep so I only listened in short segments, but I do that with a lot of books.
Simon Prebble and his amazing ability to channel 20+ characters.
I started listening and couldn't stop. I had absolutely had no idea where it was going and couldn't guess the ending.
Love the opening chapters, the descriptions of the Man with the Thistledown Hair and the satisfying ending for many of the characters, especially Stephen Black and Lascelles. And the stupendous footnotes!!!!! After a few hours, I actually started to believe in the "golden age" of English magic and the Raven King.
You can pick just about any chapter at random in it and enjoy. If you love Jane Austen or Patrick Obrian, give it a try. After 100+ audiobooks, it's still my hands down favorite.
Most excellent. Warm, complex, and charming. Definitely worth the listen. Performance was most excellent as well.
A wonderful inventive story that had me at times smiling and at other times quite angry. I enjoyed the footnotes which I believe some folk find distracting, but which I thought didn't distract from the narrative.
The fact that Clarke managed to write in the exact same stuffy British quality throughout the entire book- including the climax- was both a blessing and a curse. On one hand it provided consistency, but when the climax came and went I felt very indifferent to it. There was a lot of opportunity for humor that the author passed up, but she usually chose good, informative options that while not furthering the story, didn't detract from it and helped to flesh out the universe. One plot point- I still do not really understand what this universe's Magic is. It's stated often enough but both main characters are unreliable at best, and at the end I'm left suspending my disbelief of the magic system.
However it was very interesting, the characters are nothing like what's hinted in the publisher's blurb, and the typical ideal of antagonist/protagonist is set aside for a mixed cast of characters who strive for magic as an ideal rather than for good or evil.
I don't want my title to dismay any readers, but I have had this book on my shelf for 7 years ago and could not manage to get through the first few chapters... HOWEVER, I decided to buy the audible version for driving and become completely enraptured in the story. Although the beginning maybe be a little much to get through, it is the start of a great journey which I am so very glad I traveled.
The characters are great, nice story.
When I started the book I loved the world and never wanted it to end, about half way through I thought it never would. The story needs an editor, you could cut at least 1/3 of the book out and never miss it.
Easy to listen to
Overall good story, I'm glad I listened to it.