Read a sample of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

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"An elegant and witty historical fantasy which deserves to be judged on its own (considerable) merit." Sunday Telegraph

"A genuinely original story, beautifully told." Fantasy Book Review

Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and 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 opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one 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. logo logo

Reader reviews

from Canada


It's incredibly to me that anyone liked this steaming pile. Hateful characters, inert plot, and the most lifeless treatment of magic anywhere in literature.

from Germany


I have read this book shortly after it came out and I very much enjoyed reading it. It is written beautifully, full of style and wonderfully drafted characters. The book is not boring but one certainly has to be able to enjoy the art and craftmanship that went into this book. Yes, it is not action packed but that's what makes this book so special! For years I keep checking if S. Clarke has written another book and to my disappointment she hasn't yet. Believe me, there are not many authors I keep checking on.

from US


I forced myself to finish it. I just saw a promo for a film. I guess the next movie to be produced will be a documentary about sewage treatment. Just an aside, I bought the book at the dollar tree!

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