Nathaniel is eleven-years-old and a magician's apprentice, learning the traditional art of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a magician of unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace brutally humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to speed up his education, teaching himself spells far beyond his years. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, to assist him. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace's greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder and rebellion.
Set in a modern-day London spiced with magicians and mystery, The Amulet of Samarkand is an extraordinary, edge-of-your-seat thriller with many unexpected twists. Following Bartimaeus and Nathaniel in turn, the story introduces us to two wonderfully memorable characters destined to go through many adventures together and bound by a spell that is nearly impossible to break.
©2003 Jonathan Stroud; (P)2003 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, an Imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
"One of the liveliest and most inventive fantasies of recent years." (Booklist)
"Spun into surprisingly colorful cloth." (The New York Times Book Review)
Simon Jones does an fabulous job as reader, especially when reading the first person chapters as the genie Bartimaeus. In fact, I'd say I enjoyed his reading more than even Jim Dale with the Harry Potter series, or Gerard Doyle reading Eragon and Eldest, both of whom did excellent jobs. The story line itself keeps a good pace with richly described scenes. The characters are relatively one dimensional but interesting and appropriate to the young adult fantasy genre. In short, thoroughly entertaining!
The can listen to this book (and trilogy) over and over. What a great story. The reading by Simon Jones brings the book to life. Truly enjoyable.
For me, this story certainly has enough twists to make things interesting enough to get the next book in the series. The main character, Nathaniel, has a bit too much of an attitude for me sometimes, but that's life (or fiction anyway)!
Excellent reading of a very entertaining book. The voice characterizations are done SO well! The series is appropriate for children who can hear about an imaginary death and still keep it in context. Lots of good action to keep the story moving, and some human element as well. No romance or sexual references.
The Bartimaeus trilogy is really a remarkable set of books, with excellent characters and really well done narration.
The main character is funny and interesting, and I've never felt so on the edge of my seat with an audiobook before. I listen to a lot of "young adult" fantasy for the entertainment value, so I'd really recommend the entire series for anyone looking for their next engaging listen.
This was a great audio book! However; I had to really make myself listen to the beginning of it and I am soooooo glad I did. The cast of characters and the world that the author has made is wonderfull. The story takes you on an adventure your not soon to forget. I found myself glued to my MP3 player waiting to find out what happend next. By the end of the first book I was hooked. I had to find out more. I of course bought the rest of the trilogy, and it has become one of my all time favorites. So, when you find yourself ready to put down the story because of the slow start, or the main character having no spine, stop yourself, you won't be disapointed. I would recommend this entire trilogy to audults, teens and children alike. The story is not only that good, but also has that broad of a range of people that it could appeal too. I only gave this first book four stars, becuase of the slow start it has, however; the other two books I gave a five star rating, and would give them a ten if I could, thats how good they are.
The book is written to be spoken, and the reader is excellent, adding the emotions to the first person point of view expertly. This is just a perfect melding of story and media.
The actual story is well done, and gets better with each book. The fantasy of the story is nicely done, and follows one simple idea: take the history of the world and make one change, magic is possible, but only by summoning magic creatures to do it for you. The interplay of reality and the magic creatures is wonderfully done.
Overall, a great listen for anyone, and a real pleasure for fantasy fans.
This entire series is an excellent listen! The reader is truly a great performer and injects just the right personality into the story. I highly recommend Bartimaeus!!
This book is a fun, well written & expertly read book which I thouroughly enjoyed! That said, it turned out to be the least interesting of the three! If you can't have fun with this story as an adult you may have lost something when you grew up. Plenty of mature fun with a hint of a love story but little to make it inappropriate for a youth around 10 or 11 & up. There's a scene in book 2 that thouroughly creeped me out and I'm 40 years old...
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