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The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories [Paperback]

Our Price $ 13.60  
Retail Value $ 16.00  
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Item Number 379515  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 2, 2007
Publisher   Bloomsbury USA
ISBN  1596913835  
EAN  9781596913837  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Presents an anthology of stories set in a mysterious, fantastical version of England populated by petulant princesses, vengeful owls, and endless paths in the dark woods, and features the Duke of Wellington and other colorful characters.

Publishers Description
From the author of the award-winning, internationally""bestselling "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, " an enchanting collection of stories. Set in versions of England that bear an uncanny resemblance to the world of Strange and Norrell, these stories are brimming with all the ingredients of good fairy tales: petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time in embroidering terrible fates, endless paths in deep, dark woods, and houses that never appear the same way twice. Their heroines and heroes include the Duke of Wellington, a conceited Regency clergyman, an eighteenth-century Jewish doctor, Mary, Queen of Scots, Jonathan Strange, and the Raven King himself. "The Ladies of Grace Adieu" is the perfect introduction to a world where charm is always tempered by eerieness, and picaresque comedy is always darkened by the disturbing shadow of Faerie.

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More About Susanna Clarke

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Susanna Clarke is the author of the" New York Times" bestseller and multiple award winner" Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell." She lives in Cambridge, England.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > General   [5889  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Contemporary   [1073  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General   [7724  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Audiobook version  Oct 30, 2008
I'm in agreement with all of the 5-star reviewers here. I'd just like to make a few points about why I love Susanna Clarke's writing, and I'll mention the audiobook:

* "The Duke of Wellington Misplaces his Horse" was a particularly delightful piece not only because it was so whimsical, but mainly because the main character is a real historical figure. One of the aspects of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell that I particularly enjoyed was Susanna Clarke's use of several historical events and people. She gives them personalities that are completely believable. Imagining The Duke of Wellington in this particular magical situation was highly entertaining.

* In addition to mentioning true history and geography, Ms Clarke's use of footnotes, introductions by the "editor," and fictional references to other works and theories about faerie give her world detail, background, and richness similar to Tolkien's Middle Earth. I read a lot of scholarly research, so I'm not easy to fool, but I certainly felt like I was reading someone's dissertation. An entertaining dissertation.

* I particularly appreciate Susanna Clarke's use of dry humor (the English do that so well, don't they?). If you're into Xanth, Ronan, Discworld, or The Belgariad, it may not be your thing, but to me, it's hilarious.

I listened to The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories on audiobook. I guess Susanna Clarke ranks high with her publisher because this book is read by two of the best readers in all of audiobook-dom: Simon Prebble and Davina Porter. Simon Prebble is up there with Simon Vance (who read Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series) and comedian Lenny Henry (who read Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys). Davina Porter reads Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana Gabaldon (and a lot of historical fiction) and I can't think of any female reader who's better than Davina Porter -- I could listen to her read accounting textbooks and be entertained for hours as long as she read each chapter in a different voice (and I bet she could). She's particularly good at Cockney.

We have only two major works by Susanna Clarke so far, but in my opinion, there is no better writer in all of fantasy fiction. For that matter, her prose is on level with those authors who we recognize as the greatest in all of literature. I hope there is much more coming from Susanna Clarke!
a wonderful follow-up to JS&MN  Aug 4, 2008
I loved Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, so naturally I wanted to read this book as well, and I enjoyed it greatly. The stories were fun and exciting, and all very well written with great dialogue, interesting plots, and fun characters. I especially liked the stories "Mrs Mabb", "Tom Brightwind", and "John Usglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner."
Not as good as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell  Mar 19, 2008
I enjoyed Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell because it was so unique. It was a slow read at times but made up for it with some fascinating characters placed in an alternate history where magicians work with the military to fight Napoleon. This collection of short stories however, I found odd, boring and very very slow to move through. Just didn't capture my attention. I read another four books while forcing myself to finish this one. I give it two stars which to me means save your money. I didn't like this one for the most part. One story reminded me a bit of Strange and Norrell and that is Tom Brightwind. this site recommeded "His Majesty's Dragon" to me because I enjoyed JS and Mr. Norrell. I enjoyed reading about the English using talking dragons to fight Napoleon. If you are looking for something similar to JS and Mr. Norrell, you might look there.
Somewhere between "Stardust" and "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell"  Sep 25, 2007
Susanna Clarke won me over with Strange & Norrell, which I confess is my "favorite book that I hate" (it was painfully verbose at times, and rambling at others, but somehow it was also highly enjoyable). It should be no surprise that her short stories are the best of both worlds: the same highly literate representations of Fairy, the same well-crafted world of magic and wonder... but condensed nicely into more easily consumable portions. More adult than the lovable and whimsical Stardust by Neil Gaiman, but as easy to digest.

I give 2 enthusiastic thumbs-up, or five stars, or whatever (I'd give five thumbs-up if I had five thumbs).
Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susana Clarke  Sep 19, 2007
While Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is not required reading for this short story collection, it provides a fuller and more complete background to the stories you are reading, nevertheless, one can certainly enjoy them and understand what's going on without having read the aforementioned 600+ page book.

Clarke spent a decade writing Jonathan Strange, so it is not surprising that in her spare time she wrote some stories set in this magnificent world, which while not directly involved in the actions and events of her opus, do play by its rules and restrictions. Some of the stories may even have been cut from the massive manuscript that was Jonathan Strange and now find themselves in this collection, finally in print.

These eight stories run the gamut of what Clarke might want to tell about her world, from what a couple of ladies with magical ability must do (from the title story); to a tale of Mary, Queen of Scots; to a story involving the same Jonathan Strange of her book. What links all these stories together is the reality of magic, whether the characters in the stories choose to accept its existence or not. The result is a delightful, seemingly romantic, and entertaining change to the glut of fantasy filling the book world these days. Magic in Clarke's world cannot be done by everyone; it is subtle, exhausting, and hard to do. Like the Bartimaeus Trilogy, Clarke's magical world presents something new and therefore captivating in its own way.

While my complaint of Clarke is that she can often be long winded and due for some heavy editing - both in this collection and in her weighty novel - in the end one is left with the wonderful feeling that one has just read something special and will delight in reading it again some day. Not to mention Ladies of Grace Adieu also features mesmerizing black and white illustrations by Charles Vess (who illustrated Neil Gaiman's Stardust), the book is a worthy addition to anyone's library. The question remains now: how long will it be before Clarke publishes another collection or novel? Does she have a box full of cut stories and material from Jonathan Strange waiting to be viewed by a reader's eyes? Only time will reveal this truth.

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