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Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Lu par : Simon Prebble
Durée : 32 h et 30 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 notations)

Prix : 53,67 €

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Description

Shortlisted for Audible's Listen of the Year, 2006.

English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

But at Hurtfew Abbey in Yorkshire, the rich, reclusive Mr. Norrell has assembled a wonderful library of lost and forgotten books from England's magical past and regained some of the powers of England's magicians. He goes to London and raises a beautiful young woman from the dead. Soon he is lending his help to the government in the war against Napoleon Bonaparte, creating ghostly fleets of rain-ships to confuse and alarm the French.

All goes well until a rival magician appears. Jonathan Strange is handsome, charming, and talkative, the very opposite of Mr. Norrell. Strange thinks nothing of enduring the rigors of campaigning with Wellington's army and doing magic on battlefields. Astonished to find another practicing magician, Mr. Norrell accepts Strange as a pupil. But it soon becomes clear that their ideas of what English magic ought to be are very different...

Sophisticated, witty, and ingeniously convincing, Susanna Clarke's magisterial novel weaves magic into a flawlessly detailed vision of historical England. She has created a world so thoroughly enchanting that 32 hours leave readers longing for more.

©2004 Susanna Clarke (P)2004 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, and Bloomsbury Publishing

Critiques

"A smashing success....An exceptionally compelling, brilliantly creative, and historically fine-tuned piece of work." ( Booklist)
"Extraordinary....Immersion in the mesmerizing story reveals its intimacy, humor, and insight, and will enchant readers of fantasy and literary fiction alike." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Ravishing...superb...combines the dark mythology of fantasy with the delicious social comedy of Jane Austen into a masterpiece of the genre that rivals Tolkien." ( Time)
"Clarke welcomes herself into an exalted company of British writers, not only, some might argue, Dickens and Austen, but also the fantasy legends Kenneth Grahame and George MacDonald, as well as contemporary writers like Susan Cooper and Philip Pullman." ( The New York Times Book Review)

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Notations

Global

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Performance

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Histoire

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

A magic story with a difference

I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the voice and the length of the book. It was a magical experience all the way. Every chapter is loaded with little fairytales, like raisins throughout the bread. The unconventional creativity of the author is astounding. Granted, some readers might find the progress of the story very slow and meticulous, I welcomed the details for a very deep immersion into the author's world of English gentlemen, magic, wars, politics, quarrels, and absurdity.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 06/01/2006

An awesome masterpiece

The only problem with this book is that it was much too short, even at 32 hours. It is an awesome achievement on the part of both author and narrator. I don't think I have ever experienced such a credible alternate world, full of totally believable characters involved in such a fascinating and gripping and wonderfully-woven story. This is compounded by Susanna Clarke's outstanding writing -- the quality of her English puts many other modern authors to shame.

There are few other works of modern literature you could compare it to -- Neil Gaiman's American Gods, perhaps, which it certainly equals and possibly exceeds, and Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast saga. Comparisons with Harry Potter are unfair, however -- Susanna Clarke is as far in advance of J.K. Rowling as Dickens and Balzac are of Enid Blyton.

This first novel immediately puts Clarke in the same literary level as Dickens, Austen, the Bronte sisters and others. She is at least their equals and has other qualities, qualities of world-creation and vision, that they did not have.

Simon Prebble's narration is worthy of Clarke's wonderful book. Every character is perfectly deliniated, coming to life with the first couple of words they speak. It was a joy to listen to and contributed to the feeling that the book was much too short. I would have loved to have gone on living in this fascinating world.

Five stars is not enough for this book. I wish I could have awarded eight or ten. An instant masterpiece, a classic, a jewel.

15 sur 15 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ravi
  • 06/09/2005

For the love of language

This is a book for people who like to dwell in language. It is descriptive and the choice of language and phrasing matches perfectly the period of the setting: the early 1800s. It reflects, too, the types and class of people who it describes. The story is compelling, gently unfolding, drawing the listener into the world, both through the description of events, and the weaving in of magical "theoretical" texts which anchor the story into its bigger mythology of lost English magical traditions.

This is a long audio book and not suited to people who want to be swept along by a fast-paced narrative. If you are the kind of person who claimed that Tolkien's Lord of The Rings was too long or tedious, then you should avoid this book. For those who like deeply formed characters and a narrative that builds momentum steadily then this is a wonderful choice (& extremely well performed in this audio version).

7 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Madeleine
  • 02/12/2011

Outstanding!

I cannot begin to praise this book highly enough. It was wonderful in so many ways.

The book has an interesting structure. The main protagonist doesn't put in an appearance for the first few chapters. A fantasy tale about the 'restoration' of English magic, it is set during the time of the Napoleonic wars, in the early part of the 19th Century.

The characters are just so rich. You love them, hate them, are confused by them, but ultimately, there is charmingly absurd quality to all of them that really does answer to why this book is not your run of the mill fantasy novel. It's a very literate piece of fiction.

I have to say something about the writer's use of language. It's just spectacular. This book has a neverending stream of sentences that are delicious on the ear. Clarke's use of metaphor is fresh and breathtaking.

Finally, the narration is absolutely perfection.

5 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Binia
  • 19/08/2008

fabulous!

I've given this book 4 rather than 5 stars because I find it to be slightly lacking in the story/plot department. However I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys superb writing and a dry, witty, arrogant, sense of humour. If you like your fantasy in the good-versus-evil, prince defeats dragon and carries off damsel in distress with the aid of naughty but charming fairy style, then stay away from this one. But if you can handle a cast of slightly vile, beautifully flawed and unapologetically selfish characters scheming their way through the prim and devious world of the English Gentleman, and if you can imagine the entertainment value of magic put to "proper" use, then you will definitely get your money's worth from this title.

4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jay
  • 02/09/2005

Enthralling and immersive

I have heard this book described as 'Harry Potter' for adults, but I think it is better to say 'His Dark Materials' for adults, if that makes sense.
The book is long (!) and involved, and not all of the sub-plots/side stories are relevant but they do immmerse you in this alternate history.
That is exactly what the flavour of this book is: historical fiction. It feels like it was put together from eyewitness accounts and this is what made me enjoy it even more - it feels so real!
Yes, the book is long, but I would recommend you stick with it and stifle the urge to fast forward - it is a rewarding read and one that you will probably want to hear again (one day!).
The end, however, was slightly disappointing and felt rushed, to me, and as if the author had just run out of steam.
The narrator does an EXCELLENT job with the reading, and the voices are superb - Norrell sounds pedantic and persnickety, Vinculus sounds common, dirty and supercillious, and Arabella strange is loving, supportive and the rock on which her husband relies. The gentleman with the thistle-down hair sounds downright creepy on the whole, and there is never a time when you are left wondering who is speaking because the changes in tone and inflection are so good.

4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Meg
  • 17/03/2010

Magical

This is one of my favourite books of all time, so when I saw it in Audiobook format, I HAD to buy it. And I wasn't disappointed either. The narrator was excellent. I couldn't fault it (though perhaps my love for the story itself makes me somewhat biased).

The story is long and with much of the background information presented as 'footnotes', it might become somewhat tedious to keep going back to for those of you who prefer quicker paced books with plenty of action in them. This is a fictionalised account of a time when magic was non-fiction, with the story examining and reviewing magical theory and practice to great depth. Like Tolkien's masterpiece, JS&Mr.N is a history of England's fictional past, but is so vibrant that it might be almost believable...

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ralph Doyle
  • 03/02/2015

Original, compelling, fresh.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. If someone enjoyed this genre I would recommend it as something entirely new and very enjoyable.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell?

Strange scrying the future of the battle of Waterloo. Can't say anymore with spoiling it. But the whole book is full of interesting moments.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, I think so. There are better narrators out there, but maybe that's personal preference. The narrator didn't get in the way of the story and that often a sticking point for audiobooks.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laughed at times, didn't cry but it certainly has unusual depth and depth of character development for the genre.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vanessa Hutchinson
  • 12/06/2011

Now a favourite book

I've been tempted to buy this book a number of times but was put off a little by the size of it in paperback. I'm not sorry that I waited to find it as an audiobook. As an audiobook it runs for about 32 hours and those are 32 hours I enjoyed immensely. You will enjoy this book if you like Dickens, Jane Austen and things that are funny and quirky. I laughed a lot while I listened to this. Simon Prebble is a superb narrator, I particularly like the way he interprets the fairies' voices.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Greg
  • 14/08/2008

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

It is difficult to write anything about Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell that has not already been written, but Simon Prebble's reading takes this already superb modern fantasy and provides it with a tone and dramatic quality that makes a print copy almost redundant.
I listened to this book on my phone, my iPAQ or my iPOD, whenever and where ever I could get the time.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 15/07/2007

A meandering and energetic tale.

What has happened to English magic? This is the question at the Society of York Magicians, a club of theoretical magicians who are no more than the intellectual and curious, for real magic has left the world, or perhaps it is practical understanding that has gone. Once fairy walked the world of man and visa-versa. Once magicians influenced the course of events, but no more. Enter Gilbert Norrell, a strange, arrogant and reclusive man who claims to be a real magician. “My intention”, declares Norrell “is to return magic to England”. The skeptical gentlemen of the Society challenge him to prove his claims and prove himself he does. Norrell is a rational and highly learned magician (although as we latter learn also gullible and easily influenced) who aims to re-establish magic under his rules. Meanwhile in the countryside Jonathan Strange, an unfocused man of privilege discovers by accident that he is a natural and intuitive magician, and in doing so finds purpose. When Norrell and Strange meet there are mixed emotions for in each other they find a peer but for Norrell there is an element of professional jealousy and a desire to shape and control Strange for his own purpose. Strange, on the other hand, is a man who is learning to trust his instincts. He chaffs under Norrell’s tutelage and his hidebound and insular ways. As the instinctual and rational circle each other debating the future course of magic, here enters the Fairy King of Lost Hope let loose into the world through Norrell’s ambition, and at last the story fair roars into life. This is a meandering and energetic tale set in a fully realized parallel world, wonderfully produced and narrated.
(While this novel is classified as Fantasy it is important to note that the magical and fairy elements are more of the Shakespearian variety than of the Tolkein).

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tilman
  • 17/09/2016

Great story, poor quality

A fantastic story, a great narrator. However, the audio quality is very poor. Although I set the quality to high, the sound was muffled like a 56kbit MP3.

9 sur 9 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • BikerJoe
  • 01/11/2016

Mediocre Adult Fantasy for the Patient Reader

This is not a “Harry Potter” for adults, nor is it an “alternative history” novel, it is fantasy of its own kind, but with very brittle charm. Overall Susanna Clarke does not make it easy for you to warm to the novel’s main characters. For me it is still hard to understand, how and why this novel received the prestigious “Nebula Award”.

Some readers might find beauty and entertainment somewhere in this lengthy meandering story, but it is a challenge:
1) It is not really adult fantasy, because the characters appear to be infantile and simple minded and devoid of real emotions
2) There is no real story line, it is a compilation of events with endless deviations and sidelines. Of course the story is spiced with a multitude of great and funny scenes and pictures, but somehow Susanna Clarke does not manage to weave them into a gripping narrative, in general the reader just gets bored and wants to get to the end of it.
3) The prose intends to reflect the language of the 19th century, but after a while, this effort is rather annoying, because it is simply too clumsy. To compare Susanna Clarke’s style to one of the great authors, as some of the reviews do, is just embarrassing.
4) Fantasy gets away with a lot and everything is possible, but there has to be some logic and consistency. In Susanna Clarke’s world the wizards can do the most incredible things, they move cities and rivers, let stone figures talk and revive the dead, but fail to do the most obvious and simplest things.

Without giving away too much, the main story line is as follows:
The great wizard, Mr. Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey, wants to bring magic back to England. He moves to London and takes the young and rich Jonathan Strange as a pupil. Together they entertain England with incredible, but mostly useless deeds of magic and wizardry. While Mr.Norrell prefers the study of books to actual magic, Jonathan Strange wants to help England and its people, he wants to do useful magic. Their initial friendship falters and turns into animosity gradually. This leads to some rather unpleasant consequences for their private lives and the repercussions even affect the country itself.

It is a long book and if you have the time and patience, you might get some entertainment out of it. I admit, I struggled with it.

2 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Luis
  • 28/04/2019

Slow, peculiar, fascinating

First up: Yes, the audio quality is bad - which is a shame, because the performance of the reader is quite superb. Should such a thing bother you, don't buy the book. However, you'd miss out on a unique and interesting fantasy novel. The story might start out quiet slow, but have patience, it'll all be worth it.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Denise Maibaum
  • 24/03/2017

Nette Geschichte, aber etwas langatmig

Haben Sie die Zeit genossen, in der Sie dieses Hörbuch gehört haben? Warum oder warum nicht?

Teilweise ja, teilweise aber auch nicht. Generell gefällt mir die Geschichte sehr gut, allerdings ist das Buch teilweise sehr langatmig und verliert sich in Nebenschauplätzen. Das mindert den Spaß am Hörbuch erheblich.

Wie hat Ihnen Simon Prebble als Sprecher gefallen? Warum?

Sehr gut, seine Stimme passt perfekt zum Erzähler.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour A. B. Q. Tocino
  • A. B. Q. Tocino
  • Spain
  • 29/01/2017

Too cumbersome for an audio book

Was genau hat Sie an Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell enttäuscht?

It is too complicated to follow it up as an audio book. For example, the list of names is quite long and it is difficult to follow who is who. It includes the reading of footnotes, which I found as a rythm-breaker, an "interruptus" short to speak. I am sure it works better as a normal book.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Efaun
  • 28/09/2016

Just astonishing

The best book I ever read. I cannot recommend this highly enough. Beautiful writing, excellent Characters and a great plot.