When the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus is summoned by Nathaniel, a young magician's apprentice, he expects to have to do nothing more taxing than a little levitation or a few simple illusions. But Nathaniel is a precocious talent and has something rather more dangerous in mind: revenge. Against his will, Bartimaeus is packed off to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand from Simon Lovelace, a master magician of unrivalled ruthlessness and ambition. And before long, both djinni and apprentice are caught up in a terrifying flood of magical intrigue, murder and rebellion. Set in a modern-day London controlled by magicians, this hilarious, electrifying thriller will enthral listeners of all ages.More
"Drama, humour and hypnotically engaging storytelling." (The Independent)
"The truly original touch is the way Stroud alternates Nathaniel's story with the djinni's own knowing and irascible first-person narrative." (Guardian Review)
"The narrative slips skilfully from first person to third and back, and Bartimaeus's voice is laugh-out-loud sassy, while Nathaniel's story has an engaging poignancy as he tries to prove himself in a world in which he has always been despised." (Sunday Times)
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Disappointed with abridged version, but great
I've read this trilogy, plus the additional Ring of Solomon, countless times over the years, each time finding the series tremendously enjoyable and entertaining. Not many books in the magic fantasy genre tell the story from the pov of the non-magician. This particular djinni is witty and cheeky. I recommend this book to anyone I know that enjoys any kind of fantasy fiction.
That said, I have to say I'm extremely disappointed this was an abridged version. One unique feature of this book is that the author has included footnotes, where the djinni telling the story has included interesting (and often sarcastic) snippets in them, such as cats having the ability to see up to plane #2, while some extra perceptive humans can see parts of the higher planes, and therefore claim they can see ghosts. Unfortunately, these footnotes are not included in this version. I guess an abridged version is the best way they can include some sense of these footnotes in the narration, but I find the footnotes to be much more enjoyable.
I'll probably stop listening after book 1 and continue reading e-books myself for the rest of the series, so that I can refer to the footnotes.