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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 26 July 2014
Love, love, love this book
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on 7 February 2005
This is an imposing book at just under 800 pages and, I confess, I was almost reluctant to start it for that reason. However when I did I found it difficult to put down. It relates the tale of the reintroduction of practical magic to an alternative Regency England. The author makes great use of footnotes and, to an extent, this combined with a certain wry wit brought Jack Vance to mind - praise indeed! I was half expecting that the book may peter out with an unsatisfactory ending but I was quite satisfied although it did leave me wanting more! If there was a button for 6 stars I would be tempted!
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on 10 March 2010
This is simply one of the finest pieces of literature I have had the fortune to read in years. Imagine if Neil Gaiman and Jane Austen were to have a child, then this would surely be the book their child would write. Although it begins very gently, it develops into a wonderfully dark fairy tale populated by a host of fascinating characters. Although I haven't finished it yet, I would thoroughly recommend it. Don't worry about snapping it up - this book will be with us for decades, and deservedly so.
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on 11 March 2011
I cannot say enough in praise of this astonishing novel. All the imagination of Tolkien, the wit of Pratchett and Adams (only the wit is drier and more cutting), and the beautifully polish prose offers paragraph after paragraph I wish I had written myself. It's long, but it's dazzling.

I can also recommend the devastatingly brilliant audiobook - an unabridged 31 hour reading by the world's finest voice actor, Simon Prebble.
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on 18 October 2007
This book effortlessly achieves a seamless mix of the magical and the 'ordinary' world. It's long and meanders a little during the first two thirds but then the final third takes off and it's hard to put down. The world that Susanna Clarke invents is funny and scary and sometimes spine tinglingly amazing and she never puts a foot wrong. I love this book and I nearly cried at the end and not only because it was finished.
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on 20 June 2007
Having noticed the excitement surrounding this book when published, I finally got around to starting it recently. The length of it didn't put me off - I was looking forward to immersing myself in it. Unfortunately the length seems due to the slow slow pace and superfluous footnotes.

I've only given up on a few books ever without finishing them, but I've reached page 360 and now decided reluctantly that life's too short to continue with this. If it was a person, I'd call them "nice but dull", and guiltily avoid spending time with them.

*Pick this book up in a store and read a sample page before spending money on it.*
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on 24 January 2005
I must admit I was put off a lot by the "Harry Potter for Adults" tag that was given to this book, as I am not a fan of Mr Potter or his adventures.
But the book is wonderfully written and very descriptive of the period. I really enjoyed reading this book the other night, when it was cold and windy outside. cogsworth on here put its Jane Austin with Magic, and I would fully agree with that description.
My only problem is the size of the book, its quite heavy for reading in bed!!
Very Good Read
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on 23 November 2005
I was given this book as a present and had never even heard of it before. On reading it I found it the best book I have read for years, I was engrossed from the first few pages, the writing is inspred and creates a sense of belonging to the world she is creating. People have talked about the books length, and it is long, but like any book you become immersed in, the end seemed to come all too soon. Roll on the next book by Susanna Clarke - if it's half as good as this I will be first in the queue.
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on 22 October 2004
I agree with every word the reviewer from Boston Lincs said! I too, am only a little way through the book, but it is by far the best thing I have read in years! Every page is a sheer delight. The olde-world atmosphere conjured up is a wonderful cross between Dickens and Austen. The characters are meticulously drawn, and the precision of the language is superb. Sentences will ring in your head days after you have read them. I am in no hurry to finish this book, because it is such a pleasure to read. I take it with me everywhere so that I can have quick fix of reading a couple of pages now and then throughout the day!
Even if she never writes another word, Susanna Clarke should be celebrated as a literary genius. Buy it and buy it quickly and buy everybody you know a copy for Christmas this year!
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on 1 February 2005
Spending Christmas at home for the first time in many years, I thought I should prepare myself with a good long read. This is certainly a long read. Whilst not everyone's cup of tea, I found that although I was not afraid to put the book down, yet I had no problem in coming back to it. The only problem I had was to ask why something that was apparently easy, if distasteful, for one protaganist fairly early in the book should be so hard for the other much later on.
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