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)
Y.A. fantasy novels, especially the trilogies or series, usually captivate me. This one does not. The narrator's lock-jaw delivery is extremely annoying. His performance takes a turn from character-acted to cloyingly overacted quickly and persists in a drone throughout. The story, itself, is unremarkable. The character of Bartimaeus, which you can infer from the title is quite central, is obnoxious in a way probably meant to be funny, but comes off as unsympathetic and irritating. The author takes over 6 hours of the narration to get to the point and by the time it arrived, I didn't care whatsoever to hear it.
I listened to the whole book hoping it would get better, but all I ended up with was a lot of commutes filled with eye-rolling boredom. I wasted a credit on this one.
Try Angie Sage's "Magyk," Terry Pratchett's "The Wee Free Men" and "A Hat Full of Sky" instead. I recommend that you pass on this book.
This is a terrific book and Simon Jones' narration makes it come alive. Truly excellent.
Great book and reading. My seven year old son and five year old daughter were very intrigued with this story. They liked the all the images from the magic. The five year old did have some troulbe following the storyline at times, but still enjoyed the way the reader told the story. I highly recommend this book.
My son (age 10) and I enjoyed this audiobook together - and were hooked. I don't know which of us enjoyed it more! After book one we purchased The Golem's Eye (even better!) we look forward to the release of the last book in the Trilogy. The combination of the writing and excellent narration make this book great fun - an all time favorite audio book.
I purchased this book for my kids to listen to during an upcoming trip. I thought that I would check it out before letting them listen just to make sure that is was age appropriate for my 6 & 9 year olds. What I found was that I was hooked and couldn?t stop listening. I can?t wait to order book 2.
Well written, great sense of humor and vivid imagination. I was afraid that this storyline would be too close to Harry Potter, but it is a fresh and new approach to a world in which magicians wield their powers.
Wow. I love multi-book stories and this is a great one. The reader is one of the best I have heard and he fits the story. The wit is fast and fun and the story is original. My only complaint is that the 3rd is not out yet and I want it NOW.
Avid in Car listener who commutes about 3 hours per day. Audible keeps me sane in LA traffic.
This book very quickly introduces you to this new world of wizards and holds tight you as you plunge in. The author has a very deft way of making you like and dislike the persons in the book by showing both their good and less savory sides. This will be often compared to the Potter novels but it stands on its own and is a excellent listen. I give it 5 stars because when I finished it, I had to get the next installment.
Audiobook addict with eclectic interests.
My 11 year old thought this book was very interesting and has now listened to it at least twice. The narration is exceptional.
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