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Magic Flutes Paperback – Unabridged, 1 May 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Young Picador; Main Market Ed. edition (1 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330462636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330462631
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 351,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eva Ibbotson is one of the best-loved children's writers in the world.

Her first children's novel was published in 1975, and her most famous story, JOURNEY TO THE RIVER SEA, won the Smarties Gold Prize in 2001.

Her books have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, and many other literary awards.

Eva died at the age of 85 in 2010

Product Description

About the Author

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, but when the Nazis came to power her family fled to England and she was sent to boarding school. She became a writer while bringing up her four children, and her bestselling novels have been published around the world. Her books have also won and been shortlisted for many prizes. Eva died peacefully in October 2010 at the age of eighty-five.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Booklover on 23 May 2009
Format: Paperback
If you already like Eva Ibbotson then the only recommendation you need is that this book shows her at her glorious best. If you don't know her, then you have such a pleasure in store.

Tessa is an elfin, enchanting girl who is working her fingers to the bone as the under wardrobe mistress for an opera company in Vienna in the 1920s. The whole chaotic company relies on her and everyone adores her. One day Guy Farne, a hugely talented and successful English businessman, comes to visit the opera company to hire them for a private performance of Mozart's Magic Flute. The funny and touching story which follows evokes beautifully the glorious Austrian countryside, and the impoverished aristocrats who inhabit its increasingly dilapidated castles. There is the usual supporting cast of charming but wilful children, wayward dogs, devoted retainers, and eccentric artists. And a few awful snobs to throw obstacles in our heroine's way. Lots of plot and lots of humour.

My thirteen year old daughter and I thought it was absolutely wonderful.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MY on 26 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
'Magic Flutes' is the first book of Eva Ibbotson's that I have read and it is certainly not going to be my last! I absolutely LOVED it and would reccomend it to teenagers and adults alike. It is a powerful and moving read and left me wanting more. While browsing for other titles I was delighted to find a whole range of more books. To me, it seems like a delectable tray of chocolates, to be savoured but so tempting to be devoured. Forgive the metaphor.

This book was supposed to last me the week - after two days, I'd finished it. Now that it's finished, I'm suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Little Tessa is the most likeable of characters and I found myself yelling at the pages for her to stop being so ridiculously selfless. As for Guy Farne, he is one of the best heroes I've read in a novel. Even Nerine, who I was determined to dislike, had my pity. I thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout the novel and kept finding myself laughing at funny moments; I even had tears in my eyes at one point. That is no easy thing - only Lion King has ever made me cry.

The way Ibbotson creates such vivid, real characters is genius. It's like I was in Vienna with Tessa and Guy and experiencing all they experienced. She describes the scenery so beautifully that I could see it clearly in my mind's eye. Also, the way pieces of music and song are described had me looking up the same songs - 'The Merry Widow' for instance, is now one of my most played on my iPod.

Definitely read this. Don't even hesitate. You will all love it, I know it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr Gumby TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It is spring 1922 in Vienna and Tessa, a princess who owns a fairy castle, runs away to work back-stage at the opera. As in most fairy stories, there is a prince - well, not quite, actually just an Englishman who has managed to acquire money and status. There are, of course, obstacles in the way of their relationship but, guess what, they manage to overcome them.

This is a love story that I (or, rather, my wife) very much enjoyed as a lovely romantic novel. Opera, fireworks, the beautiful fiancée of the "prince" and some history - all are thrown into the pot.

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, knows its history well, and it shows. The book is aimed at younger adults but is delightful and will appeal to a wide audience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anna Tigg on 2 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I am so glad this book has been reissued, bringing this timeless romance to the attention of more readers. Eva Ibbotson's adult novels retain the imaginativeness of her fantastic childrens books, and this is no exception.

The book's protagonists are superbly introduced, and the reader is swiftly drawn into the story. Ibbotson's Viennese childhood clearly influences her marvellous descriptions of the city in the years between the world wars, and the landscape of rural Austria is also wonderfully described. As always, the book is steeped in Ibbotson's extensive knowledge and deep love of music (specifically opera in this case), literature and art.

This is a fairytale of a love story but also one that is peopled with brilliantly drawn characters, from the princess in disguise Tessa and the foundling turned millionaire Guy down to the cast and crew of the opera company where Tessa now works for nothing. The impoverished aristocracy of twenties Austria rub shoulders with the snobbish relatives of Guy's social climbing fiancee, and there are scenes of wonderful humour as well as realistic romance.

I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 14. I have lost count of how many times I have re-read it and enjoy it just as much every time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Roberton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 July 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A lovely gentle read, wholly evocative of the 1920's and of the ethos and manners of Vienna.

I had no expectations when I opened this book, but once begun it was a delight, such lovely characters and a story which leads to a not unexpected but happy ending.

I enjoyed this book so much that I immediately ordered another of the author's books. It's the sort of story that requires no effort to gain enjoyment.

If you want a read that is easy yet enjoyable, interesting, full of details and gorgeous characters with excellent hostorical detail, this is the book for you. Five stars from me.
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