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Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Cover of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
OVER 4 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE

Shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award;
longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

'Unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years ... Funny, moving, scary, otherworldly, practical and magical' NEIL GAIMAN
The year is 1806. centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell, whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country.
Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very antithesis of Norrell.
So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms that between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.
OVER 4 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE

Shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award;
longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

'Unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years ... Funny, moving, scary, otherworldly, practical and magical' NEIL GAIMAN
The year is 1806. centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell, whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country.
Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very antithesis of Norrell.
So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms that between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.
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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Susanna Clarke's debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was first published in more than 34 countries and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. It won British Book Awards Newcomer of the Year, the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award in 2005. The Ladies of Grace Adieu, a collection of short stories, some set in the world of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, was published by Bloomsbury in 2006. Piranesi was a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, and shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award, the RSL Encore Award and the Women's Prize for Fiction. Susanna Clarke lives in Derbyshire.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 12, 2004
    A starred or boxed review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starred or boxed review.

    JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL
    Susanna Clarke
    . Bloomsbury
    , $27.95 (800p) ISBN 1-58234-416-7

    The drawing room social comedies of early 19th-century Britain are infused with the powerful forces of English folklore and fantasy in this extraordinary novel of two magicians who attempt to restore English magic in the age of Napoleon. In Clarke's world, gentlemen scholars pore over the magical history of England, which is dominated by the Raven King, a human who mastered magic from the lands of faerie. The study is purely theoretical until Mr. Norrell, a reclusive, mistrustful bookworm, reveals that he is capable of producing magic and becomes the toast of London society, while an impetuous young aristocrat named Jonathan Strange tumbles into the practice, too, and finds himself quickly mastering it. Though irritated by the reticent Norrell, Strange becomes the magician's first pupil, and the British government is soon using their skills. Mr. Strange serves under Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars (in a series of wonderful historical scenes), but afterward the younger magician finds himself unable to accept Norrell's restrictive views of magic's proper place and sets out to create a new age of magic by himself. Clarke manages to portray magic as both a believably complex and tedious labor, and an eerie world of signs and wonders where every object may have secret meaning. London politics and talking stones are portrayed with equal realism and seem indisputably part of the same England, as signs indicate that the Raven King may return. The chock-full, old-fashioned narrative (supplemented with deft footnotes to fill in the ignorant reader on incidents in magical history) may seem a bit stiff and mannered at first, but immersion in the mesmerizing story reveals its intimacy, humor and insight, and will enchant readers of fantasy and literary fiction alike. Agent, Jonny Geller.
    (Oct.)

    Forecast:
    A massive push by Bloomsbury has made this one of the most anticipated novels of the season. It's convenient to pigeonhole it as Harry Potter for grownups—and grown-up readers of J.K. Rowling will enjoy it—but its deep grounding in history gives it gravi
    tas as well as readability. 200,000 first printing; rights sold in 14 countries.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 3, 2005
    There may be no better marriage of talents than that of Clarke and Prebble. The former spins an enchanting, epic tale of English magic in the age of Napoleon, and the latter brings it to life—footnotes and all—with a full-bodied voice, skill and aplomb that rivals that of noted narrator Jim Dale. Set in a world where the study of theoretical magic is common, but the practice of it is unheard of, this sweeping narrative follows the exploits of England's only two practical magicians, the bookish Mr. Norrell and the affable Jonathan Strange, as they struggle to revive the country's magic in very different ways. Mr. Norrell is content to publish opaque, opinionated pieces on magic's uses and misuses, but Strange is fascinated by the legend and lore of the Raven King, the so-called father of English magic. The voices Prebble lends these two disparate characters nicely reflects their personalities—Norrell's voice is brittle and sometimes shrill, but Strange's is pleasant and ironic. As the two magicians labor together to defeat Napoleon and then separately to pursue their own ends, an elusive faerie known only as the "gentleman with the Thistledown hair" watches and schemes. Clarke's novel likely contains close to 100, if not more, characters, and Prebble juggles them all with ease. Although the heavy price of this audiobook may deter some listeners, there's no better way to experience the material than to hear it performed by such a consummate actor. Based on the Bloomsbury hardcover (Forecasts, July 12, 2004).

  • Sunday Telegraph 'An elegant and witty historical fantasy which deserves to be judged on its own (considerable) merit'
  • Daily Telegraph 'A nourishing, 19th-century-style novel that will warm readers through any number of dark and stormy nights ... Clarke makes her magical story ridiculously engrossing'
  • Sunday Times 'This is, in both the precise and the colloquial sense, a fabulous book ... a highly original and compelling work'
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    Bloomsbury Publishing
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