At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England's history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England-until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight. Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear. Time Magazine #1 Book of the Year Book Sense Book of the Year People Top Ten Books of the Year Winner of the Hugo Award A New York Times Notable Book of the Year Salon.com Top Ten of 2004
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by Susanna Clarke
by Guy Gavriel Kay
by Ellis Peters
by Dick Francis
by Stephanie Laurens
by Jo Beverley
by Anthony Horowitz
"In 1806, Mr. Norrell, a plodding pedant, claims to be the last magician (wizard) in England. To prove it, he animates gargoyles and promises to help defeat Napoleon's forces. Jonathan Strange, an up-and-coming magician and the antithesis of Norrell, becomes his pupil. Their friendship and fantastical exploits make up much of the rest of the book. Oxford-educated Susanna Clarke invents a magical nineteenth-century England, replete with the dark, musty smell of old libraries and the stuffy diction of pedagogues. Narrator Simon Prebble creates an impressive gallery of personalities, each distinctive, each believable. Yet even with Prebble's outstanding performance, listening proves difficult. Clarke's copious "faux scholarly" footnotes force Prebble to interrupt often enough that the narrative flow suffers. This is probably best listened to with text in hand. S.J.H. 2005 Audie Award Finalist (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine"
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