There is a story in all the words, but it is quickly lost. An abriged version is needed that wouls remove 9 out of 10 words. Even then it may be too long. Pass it by.
Wow, I am more hesitant to rely upon others' reviews. I took a gamble hoping for a very long interesting novel about magic. What I got was a confusing mish-mash of bizarre conversation. I am about 8 hours in and find I am having a headache from the endless on and on. I pray for another long Gabaldon Novel. This long novel is just that..... long. No point - save your credits.
I am a steady reader and a listener of all types of books and really enjoy a range of writers. I was looking forward to listening to this book while driving across country particularly after reading the many wonderful reviews. After the second hour was completed I began to get a uncomfortable feeling that the writer was going to go no where; after 4 hours my son, also an avid reader and listener, begged me to change stories and after 5 hours he plugged in to his own IPOD; after eight hours I had to give up on this book for all time. I have never given up on a book before this book. What was wrong with this story, in my opinion it was just DULL writing.
Save your credits, this novel is over done and not very clever. If you're looking for Harry Potter for simple minded adults, this may be for you. The interesting phases of victorian england are totally lost with this one.
I listened to the whole thing. It is phenomenally well-narrated. However, it does not escape the genre it is part of; no particularly deep understanding of psychology or social interaction is demonstrated and our understanding of the real or unreal world is not expanded. One of the professional reviewers compared its world to that of Tolkein -- not by a longshot; it falls several dimensions short. I found all of the characters eminently forgettable. This would of course be essential reading for those fascinated by the world of magic. I doubt that this will add many converts to the genre.
No - but I would never read or listen to anything else by this author.
The story not the narrator detracted from the book - it was an idiotic story.
The whole book - there is nothing redeemable about this book.
This was an idiotic book that rambled here and there like a slow moving river. Neither the plot nor the purpose of the book were clear, and the character development was horrible as well. The mystery to why I listened to the whole book is that I kept telling myself, "It has to get better." Sadly I was wrong.
I tried to listen to this story two separate times. This was actually one of my first purchases with Audible, but I just couldn't get into the story and so I let it linger in the back sheves for a few years. Recently, having gone through my store of new reads, I tried it again but could not manage to keep going. I probably listened to about 2 hours altogether, and it is just deadly. Buried in period detail, minutiae, and yes --- footnotes --- as part of the story line, I just could not keep going. I am sure that I read wonderful reviews of the novel prior to getting it, but I have to say that this was truly deadly, stultifying, and dull.
Some like this book, some hate it. I am leaning towards hate just because it feels like a waste of time. The story is as bland as the cuisine of the country in which it's based.
One of the most jarring things in the books is the beginning. You're quickly introduced to two characters whom the author spends a lot of time on, then mentions that they are not the chosen ones, and throws them in a closet. They're brought out whenever something needs to be done and it might as well be done by a familiar name. I feel this is the case with every character besides one and as time goes on, one character that was initially interesting is turned into a milquetoast for no other reason than to ensure the reader doesn't wish the book was instead about him.
The plot plods along with the characters just doing whatever comes naturally to them in the face of absolutely nothing going on otherwise. The only characters that do have something actually happen to them are tertiary characters. My reaction is "great, now if only the book was titled after them, and they had more chapters of their story."
I'm not the type of person who needs every character to be likeable in a story, but if they are not likeable they at least need to be interesting. Mr. Norrell is neither likable or interesting. We establish the negative aspects of his personality pretty quickly and every scene he's in after that just rehashes these traits. He doesn't do anything new or interesting. In contrast, Strange is interesting, he grows and changes as the book goes on and has real human reactions to what is done to him.