Every time I go on a long plane ride, I wish I hadn't yet read this book. It's the perfect big, fat novel to get lost in for hours or days. Clarke creates an incredibly rich world, set in the era of Jane Austen but peopled with the Fair Folk of English mythology, with gorgeously strange set pieces of enchantment and a breathlessly compelling story. Driving this action are the nebbish scientist Mr. Norrell and his rakish protege Jonathan Strange, who find themselves pressed into service to fight Napoleon and enduring unexpected crises in their private lives. Delicious reading for long flights or cozy winter evenings.— Jessica
In the Hugo-award winning, epic New York Times Bestseller and basis for the BBC miniseries, two men change England's history when they bring magic back into the world.
In the midst of the Napoleonic Wars in 1806, most people believe magic to have long since disappeared from England - until the reclusive Mr. Norrell reveals his powers and becomes an overnight celebrity.
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. 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.
Susanna Clarke's brilliant first novel is an utterly compelling epic tale of nineteenth-century England and the two magicians who, first as teacher and pupil and then as rivals, emerge to change its history.
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.
"This novel took 10 years to research and write, according to publicity material; for readers at least, the author's arduous task results in a smashing success--it's an exceptionally compelling, brilliantly creative, and historically fine-tuned piece of work. The brilliance of the novel lies in how Clarke so completely and believably creates a world within a world..." - Booklist, starred review
"Clarke's imagination is prodigious, her pacing is masterly and she knows how to employ dry humor in the service of majesty." - The New York Times
"The most sparkling literary debut of the year." - Salon
"An instant classic, one of the finest fantasies ever written." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review