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Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke

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Neil Gaiman said, apparently, that 'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell' is unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last 70 years. That is possible, though it does seem extremely generous, even if by English we take 'coming from England' rather than 'written in the ... Read review
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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (Le Livre de Poche) - Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (Le Livre de Poche) - Susanna Clarke

This book has been printed with two different dust jackets--one black, one white. ... more

Amazon.co.uk is unable to accept requests for a
specific cover. The various covers will be
assigned to orders at random.Any book touted as
the adult Harry Potter runs the risk of attracting
critical parries from swords of the double-edged
variety. If this wasnt enough, Jonathan Strange &
Mr Norrell--the debut novel from Susanna
Clarke--also invites comparisons with Jane Austen.
Set in the early nineteenth-century, the action
moves from genteel drawing roomsalbeit where a
mischievous Faerie king sips tea with the wife of
a very human government minister, to the bloody
battleground of Waterloo, where giant hands of
earth drag men to their doom. The juxtaposition of
perfectly realised magical worlds and the everyday
one with which JK Rowling and Philip Pullman so
successfully captured our imaginations and the
social comedy of Austen and Thackeray can easily
be recognised. But less easy to pastiche is the
ability of these writers to induce sheer narrative
pleasure, and it is Clarkes great achievement that
she succeeds with this hugely enjoyable read. 
Gilbert Norrell is determined to single-handedly
rehabilitate his sanitised and patriotic version
of English magic, which has suffered a
post-Enlightenment neglect after a richly dark
history. He ruthlessly secures his place as
Englands only magician in two marvellously drawn
feats. First, he brings the statutes of York
Cathedral to life and then, to facilitate his
entry into London society, he brings a young
bride-to-be back from the dead--a feat with
terrible consequences. However, another more
naturally gifted magicianJonathan Strangeemerges
to become his pupil and later his rival. Strange
becomes increasingly obsessed with the Raven
Kingthe medieval lord-magician of the North of
England and pursues his desire to recruit a fairy
servant to the edge of madness. Whilst the
differing characters of Norrell and Strange give
the book a central human conflict, it is the
tension between the dual natures of civilised and
wilder magic that lends it a metaphysical texture
that shades the narrative with wonderful and
troubling descriptions of ships made of rain,
paths between mirrors and faerie roads leading out
of England to a bleak yet dazzling realm.
Fortunately, the precision of her storytelling
never reigns in Clarkes prodigious imagination. 
Clarkes broad canvas of charactersincluding
Wellington, Napoleon and Bryon, locations and
tones are masterfully realised. However, sometimes
her own enchantment with them leads her to drop
her pace, although even at almost 800 pages, this
is a book to which youll muster up little
resistance. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is the
perfect novel to take up residence in as the
nights get longer. -- Fiona Buckland

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Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell 1ST Edition White - Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell 1ST Edition White - Susanna Clarke

Hardcover, BLOOMSBURY BOOKS @

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Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell: The Bloomsbury Phantastics - Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell: The Bloomsbury Phantastics - Susanna Clarke

The international bestseller, reissued with a striking new illustrated cover with a new ... more

introduction by Neil Gaiman  Part of the Gothic
series - three books tracing the tradition of
Gothic from Edgar Allan Poe to Neil Gaiman and
Susanna Clarke

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Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Clarke, Susanna ( Author ) Sep-08-2004 Hardcover - Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Clarke, Susanna ( Author ) Sep-08-2004 Hardcover - Susanna Clarke

Hardcover, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

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Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell: 21 Great Bloomsbury Reads for the 21st Century (21st Birthday Celebratory Edn) - Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell: 21 Great Bloomsbury Reads for the 21st Century (21st Birthday Celebratory Edn) - Susanna Clarke

This book has been printed with two different dust jackets--one black, one white. ... more

Amazon.co.uk is unable to accept requests for a
specific cover. The various covers will be
assigned to orders at random.Any book touted as
the adult Harry Potter runs the risk of attracting
critical parries from swords of the double-edged
variety. If this wasnt enough, Jonathan Strange &
Mr Norrell--the debut novel from Susanna
Clarke--also invites comparisons with Jane Austen.
Set in the early nineteenth-century, the action
moves from genteel drawing roomsalbeit where a
mischievous Faerie king sips tea with the wife of
a very human government minister, to the bloody
battleground of Waterloo, where giant hands of
earth drag men to their doom. The juxtaposition of
perfectly realised magical worlds and the everyday
one with which JK Rowling and Philip Pullman so
successfully captured our imaginations and the
social comedy of Austen and Thackeray can easily
be recognised. But less easy to pastiche is the
ability of these writers to induce sheer narrative
pleasure, and it is Clarkes great achievement that
she succeeds with this hugely enjoyable read. 
Gilbert Norrell is determined to single-handedly
rehabilitate his sanitised and patriotic version
of English magic, which has suffered a
post-Enlightenment neglect after a richly dark
history. He ruthlessly secures his place as
Englands only magician in two marvellously drawn
feats. First, he brings the statutes of York
Cathedral to life and then, to facilitate his
entry into London society, he brings a young
bride-to-be back from the dead--a feat with
terrible consequences. However, another more
naturally gifted magicianJonathan Strangeemerges
to become his pupil and later his rival. Strange
becomes increasingly obsessed with the Raven
Kingthe medieval lord-magician of the North of
England and pursues his desire to recruit a fairy
servant to the edge of madness. Whilst the
differing characters of Norrell and Strange give
the book a central human conflict, it is the
tension between the dual natures of civilised and
wilder magic that lends it a metaphysical texture
that shades the narrative with wonderful and
troubling descriptions of ships made of rain,
paths between mirrors and faerie roads leading out
of England to a bleak yet dazzling realm.
Fortunately, the precision of her storytelling
never reigns in Clarkes prodigious imagination. 
Clarkes broad canvas of charactersincluding
Wellington, Napoleon and Bryon, locations and
tones are masterfully realised. However, sometimes
her own enchantment with them leads her to drop
her pace, although even at almost 800 pages, this
is a book to which youll muster up little
resistance. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is the
perfect novel to take up residence in as the
nights get longer. -- Fiona Buckland

 Visit Shop  >
amazon marketplace books
Postage & Packaging:  £2.80
Availability:  Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days...

User reviews »

1-5 of 7 reviews Show all reviews Show most helpful reviews first Newest first

 

Community Level 6magdadh

magdadh

ENGLISH MAGIC REVIVAL

Advantagesinteresting concept, well written, great imagery

Disadvantagestoo long, lack of character development, fails to emotionally connect

"...age - at least until Jonathan Strange appears, to become his pupil and, eventually, his apostate and rival. The book is huge, but it flows well, following the main two magician characters as well as incorporating side stories of all kinds concerning individuals somehow enmeshed in the magicians' actions, notably a certain lady Pole brought to life from death at the beggining of Mr Norrell's public career and several other humans enchanted by inhabitants ..." Read review
01.04.2005

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Strangely Compelling

AdvantagesAn enchanting story

DisadvantagesThe footnotes can annoy and the language can be a bit tricky.

"...is even more worried when Jonathan Strange appears on the scene, not knowing whether to treat him as a student, an equal or a rival. Starting as the former, the two soon develop contrasting ideas concerning magic and are soon in competition. Will it be a fight to the death or will they ever be able to see eye to eye? It's tough to explain what effect this book has. It does sound quite dull and, in truth, in places it can be. But it's almost as ..." Read review
30.07.2006

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 4daisydaisym

daisydaisym

Mr Strange I presume...

AdvantagesGood story, well developed characters,

DisadvantagesVery, very long

"...around the main characters of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel. Britian has a long tradition of magic, however this is now confined to theory rather than practice, and the men who call themselves magicians are simply scholars of magical history, none have managed to practise magic at all - it is firmly believed that magic in Britain is dead - until, that is, that Mr Norrel proclaims himself to be the only living, practical magician of the age! Detemined ..." Read review
28.11.2005

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 4maz2909

maz2909

An alternative, magical history of England

AdvantagesFiction and History linked seamlessly

DisadvantagesLongwinded at times and excessive footnotes

"...gentlemen by the name of Jonathan Strange decides to become a magician after a chance meeting with a street sorceror and Norrell recognising his skill agrees to tutor him in the theory of magic. Soon it becomes apparant that not only is Strange an excellent pupil but he is also a rival to Norrell. Norrell is a cautious man and believes magic should be regulated and controlled, Strange however has different ideas. The two, with their strong personalities, ..." Read review
27.01.2006

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 4DavidBedford

DavidBedford

Are you a Strangeite or a Norrellite?

AdvantagesWonderful prose, very imaginative

DisadvantagesRather long (and thus rather heavy in hardback!)

"...craves, and his first pupil, Jonathan Strange, has rather different ideas about things, ideas which Norrell wants to suppress. Before long, the magicians have become embroiled in the Napoleonic Wars, have met the king and have earned the enmity of a powerful denizen of the fairy worlds. Tensions mount between the two, one of them falls in love, and some of their closest associates betray their trust. From here, the plot twists and turns in unexpected ..." Read review
13.07.2005

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Show all 7 reviews

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Product Information for "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke" »

Product details

Author Susanna Clarke
Title Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Genre Alternate History
Type Fiction
ISBN 0747570558; 0747574111; 0747579881; 0747580693; 0747582092

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Listed on Ciao since 01/04/2005

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