Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Audiobook CD - 2004
Average Rating:
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The year is 1806. England is beleagurered by the long war with Napoleon, and it is hundreds of years since practical magic faded into the nation's past. The reclusive Mr. Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey is the one practicing magician still remaining. Challenged to demonstrate his powers, Norrell causes statues to speak and sing, and sends a thrill through the country. He proceeds to London, where he raises a beautiful young woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Norell is challenged by the emergence of another magician, the brillant novice Jonathan Strange. Norrell agrees to take Strange as a pupil and the young magician joins England's cause to lend the army his supernatural skill on the battlefield. Strange becomes obsessed with the found of English magic, the Raven Kin and risks sacrificing his partnership with Norrell and everything else.-- (Source of description not identified).
Publisher: Hampton, NH : Sound Library/BBC Audiobooks America, ℗2004
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780792735311
0792735315
Branch Call Number: CD Fiction CLARKE
Characteristics: 26 audio discs (32 hr., 5 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Prebble, Simon

Opinion

From Library Staff

This realistic fantasy novel is written in a style that echoes that of Dickens or Dumas, and which is set in England and France in the 19th century. The two characters in the title are both magicians, but with very different views about the role of magic in their society.

the author's arduous task results in a smashing success--it's an exceptionally compelling, brilliantly creative, and historically fine-tuned piece of work. The brilliance of the novel lies in how Clarke so completely and believably creates a world within a world: the outside world being early-nin... Read More »


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LibraryUser53
Dec 16, 2015

Some say this book is sort of a Harry Potter for adults. Perhaps, but that misses the point. A better description is an extended Sherlock Holmes mystery written by a Conan-Doyle on goof-weed ... lol ..You've probably never read a book like this before. Ambiguities abound. Even the characters often don't understand what is happening. I liked that the magic doesn't always go as planned, or there's unintended consequences. Like when Strange is commissioned to upright a listing British Navy ship that has run aground on a sand bar. He's successful in digging the ship out and re-floating it, saving the lives of the crew; but then other ship's officers using the same channel begin to complain that where he's placed all that sand he dug up has created new and uncharted sand bars they are now running into. These people are hard to please. There's 3 basic plot themes, derived from well known stories: The Faustian Bargain; Orpheus' rescue of Eurydice from Hades; and Faerie Mythology per Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". This isn't a book where you'll likely learn something that will help you in your present situation. Instead, think of it as endlessly fascinating entertainment. Especially so if you have a bent for magic.

f
FVReader
Jun 28, 2015

Magical, mystical, wonderfully told. This is like Harry Potter for adults because the world that Clarke portrays is so real and seamless. Magic and "normality" blend perfectly.
The footnotes are a wonderful way of telling the reader the history, tales, fables and lives of magicians of ancient times. It brings the past into the current story.
I read the paper book years ago and now listened to the audio. Both are great. The footnotes are read here in their entirety and the narration is wonderful.

k
kiyoshkbob
Jun 29, 2011

excellent book, most enjoyable reading

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