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.
The book was good, but the excess of foot notes seemed to get in the way of the story. This one might be better in an abridges form.
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.
Simon Prebble gives a masterly reading. Each of the many characters is rendered with his or her own distinctive personality. Every nuance of mood, including the abundant wry humor in this book, is rendered perfectly.
So I'm giving this five stars for the reading, which really sucked me in, though the book itself could benefit from some abridgement.
I have to say that I truly loved this book. It is filled with great sites, incredible characters, magic, a flawless narration?.. I have to say that after 30 hour I was still deeply into it. Never lost the desire for more?. But?. I also fell like it left some loose ends? like maybe there is a part 2, that is my only quarrel? I sat down one day to listen and it was over? I didn?t see it coming, and expected a lot more?..
But.. It any case?. This is still a great book? all the aspects that make an audio book great are here? and the reader will enjoy it?.
This excellent book, filled with imagination and excellent writing, probably should have been in two volumes. Listening to it was a bit of a chore, because I never wanted to stop - I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. I ended up spending more time sitting in my car than I usually prefer.
The reading was particularly excellent, and a joy to listen to.
I can't wait for the sequel - I just hope it's of a more managable length.
I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and this is one of my all time favorites. The only drawback to listening to Jonathan Styrange and Mr. Norrell is that it is very hard to stop listening to it. Narrator Simon Prebble's plethora of voices bring the story's characters to life and Ms. Clarke's extensive research, knowledge and imagination envoke a world that I would love to visit.
This is the type of book that is more fun listening to than reading. The reader, first of all is excellent. However this book is not for everyone. It tries to imitate 19 century English literature style with all the English snobbery, ego, coldness, and often borishness that you would expect. The story is definately to long, written like a doctorate thesis with loads of imaginary footnotes, and can be very dry. All this, however, almost makes you believe the fiction you are reading.
This book breaks new ground as historical fiction and fantasy combined. Unlike most fantasies it also has complexity, rich character development, and a richness that comes from the 10 years of dedication to a project by a great author.