This review is for the audiobook version of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell narrated by Simon Prebble.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is an absolutely wonderful book, definitely in my top ten books for the first ten years of the 21st century. It’s a masterfully written tale of an alternate history world in which magic exists. It’s the story of two magicians, the only two English magicians in centuries, it’s the story of English magic, the classic story of the tragic consequences of deals with faeries set in the era of Napoleonic war, the era of Jane Austen. Susanna Clarke writes wittily and elegantly and with a delightful attention to detail. The book is full of discursive anecdotes and footnotes which color in the history of the alternate Britain Clarke has imagined. This is the perfect book for the person who as a child wanted to go through the looking glass to explore strange other worlds, grew up to love Jane Austen and now wants to have that same sense of transportation and wonder. I can not recommend this book highly enough.
Wonderfully narrated by Simon Prebble (who was perfectly cast and gave wonderful voice and inflection to all the characters in the book), this audiobook may be one of the best I’ve ever listened to. I listened to it before falling asleep at night and it truly made the perfect bedtime story for a grown up. I was completely transported by Prebble’s soothing and drily witty storytelling style. I highly recommend the audiobook version of this book.