Susanna Clarke - Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

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Posted by Sulkyblue (1st Apr 2005, 00:00)

This book was a long hard slog (I started reading it 3 months ago and took a huge gap reading it 'cos I couldn't be bothered to lug it around with me) but was well worth the read. The uncovering of the world is beautifully done so that it only gradually becomes clear how alternate its history is. The book is written more as a historical novel than as fantasy which makes it's slow centre section logical if a rather tedious. Personally I feel that the book would have been a much more enjoyable read (and less likely to induce hernias) if it lost 200 pages from the middle, but I can see why others may feel this a cruel cut.

The story and characters are fascinating and carefully revealed over the course of the book, so the reader is still guessing about motivations and decisions up to the very end. The footnotes are cleverly written to maintain the feel of the historical novel although I didn't think the pictures added anything at all. I might recommend waiting for the paperback, but I would certainly recommend reading it, can't wait to see what else this author comes up with.

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read biography for - Baz

 Baz ( 3rd Apr 2005, 17:29, Rank: Jhereg )  reply

Agreed. Damned good book.

Only issue I had was that one character was repeatedly reffered to by a title up until his real name is mentioned - after which everyone is referring to him by his real-name. Small quibble but it bothered me.

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