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Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Audiobook

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

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Publisher's Summary

English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

But at Hurtfew Abbey in Yorkshire, the rich, reclusive Mr. Norrell has assembled a wonderful library of lost and forgotten books from England's magical past and regained some of the powers of England's magicians. He goes to London and raises a beautiful young woman from the dead. Soon he is lending his help to the government in the war against Napoleon Bonaparte, creating ghostly fleets of rain-ships to confuse and alarm the French.

All goes well until a rival magician appears. Jonathan Strange is handsome, charming, and talkative, the very opposite of Mr. Norrell. Strange thinks nothing of enduring the rigors of campaigning with Wellington's army and doing magic on battlefields. Astonished to find another practicing magician, Mr. Norrell accepts Strange as a pupil. But it soon becomes clear that their ideas of what English magic ought to be are very different. For Mr. Norrell, their power is something to be cautiously controlled, while Jonathan Strange will always be attracted to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic. He becomes fascinated by the ancient, shadowy figure of the Raven King, a child taken by fairies who became king of both England and Faerie, and the most legendary magician of all. Eventually Strange's heedless pursuit of long-forgotten magic threatens to destroy not only his partnership with Norrell, but everything that he holds dear.

Sophisticated, witty, and ingeniously convincing, Susanna Clarke's magisterial novel weaves magic into a flawlessly detailed vision of historical England. She has created a world so thoroughly enchanting that 32 hours leave readers longing for more.

©2004 Susanna Clarke; (P)2004 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, and Bloomsbury Publishing

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 2005
  • World Fantasy Award Winner, 2005
  • Audie Award Finalist, Literary Fiction, 2005

"A smashing success....An exceptionally compelling, brilliantly creative, and historically fine-tuned piece of work." (Booklist)
"Extraordinary....Immersion in the mesmerizing story reveals its intimacy, humor, and insight, and will enchant readers of fantasy and literary fiction alike." (Publishers Weekly)
"Ravishing...superb...combines the dark mythology of fantasy with the delicious social comedy of Jane Austen into a masterpiece of the genre that rivals Tolkien." (Time)
"Clarke welcomes herself into an exalted company of British writers - not only, some might argue, Dickens and Austen, but also the fantasy legends Kenneth Grahame and George MacDonald - as well as contemporary writers like Susan Cooper and Philip Pullman." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (6800 )
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4.6 (4545 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-16-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    Story
    "great story "

    I originally watched the bbc show for this story and really enjoyed it. I was hoping the book would expand the world a bit. In a way that is true, however the show and the book are incredibly close. The book is very long and at some points it's somewhat boring. The story is dragged down occasionally by all of the extra details. There is a good deal more story to the book than the tv show; but all of the things that are unexplained in the show remain unexplained in the book. Overall, it's a fun story. Harry Potter meets Pride and Prejudice

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kategreen15 09-22-17
    kategreen15 09-22-17 Member Since 2016
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    7
    1
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    "Extraordinary Book!!"

    This was a random choice for me, but it's one of the happiest reading accidents I've ever had. This has become one of my favorite books of all time. The brilliance, intricacy, creativity, and detail are as breathtaking as the story is compelling. The manner in which folklore and history are cleverly woven into sheer fantasy is astounding. I was hooked by the time I'd reached the end of the first chapter. I highly recommend the recording as well; perfectly and tastefully performed in a manner that keeps the listener engaged. This is one I come back to again and again. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    yoyawan 09-22-17
    yoyawan 09-22-17 Member Since 2017
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    13
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    "Full of magic"

    An ancient story about magic and the price that always has to be paid for using it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    irevraven 09-21-17
    irevraven 09-21-17
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    30
    6
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    Story
    "Better than the series. Listen to this first!"

    The mini series was good but the book goes more into the characters and as usual is much more in depth. Read this first if you haven't seen the Mini Series. If you already watched it, listen and get further into the magic world of Dr. Strange.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley Utah 09-20-17
    Ashley Utah 09-20-17 Member Since 2016
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    1
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    "Great book!"

    Great writing, great narration! It seemed a little slow in the beginning, but picked up and turned out to be a great listen/read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-09-17 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
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    10
    1
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    Story
    "Excellent "

    Since it has been made clear by the awards and such which the story and author have received, I would like to give some acclaim to the narrator (Simon Prebble). He has done an excellent job at the basics of narration and also, what caught my attention, a great job at the many presenting the many dialects in the tale. I will listen several more times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Schauder 09-08-17 Member Since 2016
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    8
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    "A very good performance for a very good book "

    Excellent narration and distinct character voices produce a very memorable and entertaining experience. The story of the rival magicians and the revival of English magic is grounded in a magical yet realistic world filled with complex characters working toward their own goals.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James C. Maddox Marietta, OH 08-31-17
    James C. Maddox Marietta, OH 08-31-17 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    119
    5
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    Story
    "The Book I Wish Would Never End"

    JS&MN is such a large undertaking that upon my first picking it up, I imagined I would be more than ready to get away from it by the last page. However, quite the opposite was true. The world Clarke created for this story is so vast, so complete that I wanted to be able to peer into other dark corners of the story's history and find several other hours of entertainment. This book is a masterpiece that is as good on the fourth read as it is the first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-25-17
    RATINGS
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    "Fantastic"

    A modern classic! One of the greatest literary works in recent history. I hope for a sequel soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stewart Hamden, CT 07-29-17
    stewart Hamden, CT 07-29-17 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
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    41
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Second Time to Try, Second Failure"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I tried reading this book years ago and simply put it down. I thought I would give it another try as a listen instead but I wish I had saved my credit. I still couldn't endure it.


    What three words best describe Simon Prebble’s performance?

    Simon Prebble did an admirable job for the five hours I listened.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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