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Dept. of Books

I Forgot To Mention

I have been meaning for some time to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I finally took the time to get it from the library, and I'm enjoying it a great deal. It's sort of Austenian, but that's probably a very lazy way to describe Susanna Clarke's intricate and elegant tale of magic in a Regency England that is almost, but not quite, ours. So far, I'm finding Mr. Norrell both pathetically unlikeable and fascinating. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of Jonathan Strange.


This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/361495.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.

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( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
a_phoenixdragon
May. 19th, 2015 02:46 am (UTC)
Ohhh, another book I have heard of and have yet to read, lol!!

*HUGS*
kaffyr
May. 21st, 2015 02:10 pm (UTC)
I'm reading it far more slowly than I'd planned to, because there are competing recreations capturing my interest (Teh Intarwebz, anime), but I'll keep at it, because it's really enjoyable.

*hugs back*
scripsi
May. 19th, 2015 05:00 am (UTC)
I read it last year and liked it very much. I had a hard time with the footnotes at first, but got used to them eventually. And the do have importnace for the plot.
kaffyr
May. 21st, 2015 02:11 pm (UTC)
I had a hard time with the footnotes at first

They do take up a surprising amount of space, do they not? I'm finding, however, that I enjoy them a great deal; they certainly add context to Clarke's world.
lost_spook
May. 19th, 2015 07:40 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm glad you're enjoying it! I really loved it - it's one of those books to get lost in - the tone, the whole world, the humour and strangeness. Lovely. (And, btw, the BBC adaptation that started on Sunday is so far being pretty wonderful, too, especially with the casting. Everyone's perfect, even if Jonathan's hair isn't the right colour.)
kaffyr
May. 21st, 2015 02:13 pm (UTC)
It was word a year or so ago that the BBC was planning this adaptation that made me aware of the story; since I'm a sucker for magic as it might be practiced, either in our world, or a reasonable facsimile of our world (and Regency England is a reasonable facsimile to my way of thinking), it seemed Relevant to My Interests. Heh.
lolmac
May. 19th, 2015 12:55 pm (UTC)
I loved Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell! I think the best part is the language, which is pitch-perfect. Norrell's character is definitely intended to rouse reader antipathy.
kaffyr
May. 21st, 2015 02:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, the language is such a wonderful blend of wry, deadly serious, and louche fascination, you betcha.

I'm glad that I'm not the only person to be irritated by Norrell (even as I feel sorry for him.)

Also, icon love!
liadtbunny
May. 19th, 2015 03:27 pm (UTC)
I'm watching the TV version and so far Mr Norrell is "I hate parties, let's go back to York," and Strange isn't the super cool dude I thought he would be.
kaffyr
May. 21st, 2015 02:18 pm (UTC)
Since I haven't yet met Strange (although I've come to the chapters building up to his introduction,) my knowledge of his character is extremely limited. However, if he is going to be a worthy foil of prissy, but powerful, Mr. Norrell, I expect he will be extremely cool, at least in the book.

Edited at 2015-05-21 02:21 pm (UTC)
liadtbunny
May. 21st, 2015 02:39 pm (UTC)
Strange hasn't really done anything yet so I guess he has to build up supercoolness? Or it'll be a case of nobody's perfect, even powerful magicians.
sallymn
May. 19th, 2015 09:40 pm (UTC)
I keep meaning to get to it (Sis has said several time I will like it) but oh, my to-read pile...)
kaffyr
May. 21st, 2015 02:20 pm (UTC)
Well, thus far I'm enjoying it, although I'm taking it in small bites until my "Austen" brain kicks in - by which I mean, the ability to enjoy a slower literate pace than today's rather conceptually break-neck literacy, in which plots must gallop ahead speedily at all costs, and the language describing the plot must be equally hasty. It's starting to do so now; now all I must do is find more lengthy chunks of time in which to enjoy it.
sallymn
May. 22nd, 2015 11:05 am (UTC)
I'll put it on my (tottering) to-read pile...
tardis_stowaway
May. 20th, 2015 05:27 am (UTC)
Oooh, I love that book! Amazing worldbuilding and beautiful language. There are also some fantastic, memorable scenes, though most of my favorites come later. I hope you enjoy it all the way through.
kaffyr
May. 21st, 2015 02:22 pm (UTC)
If any of the scenes match up to the elegant terror of the statues speaking at York, I shall consider myself well rewarded. Heh.
azalaisdep
May. 20th, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC)
I *loved* it. The Resident Geek and I were both trying to read the same copy at the same time and fought over it. A TV adaptation has just started in the UK, though I've not caught up with it yet!

Wait till you get to the Napoleonic Wars bit - I got very confused because I kept expecting Richard Sharpe to show up...
kaffyr
May. 21st, 2015 02:24 pm (UTC)
I don't think my BB will want to read it; he's more of a non-fiction fan, and has never read any Regency era novels, so I think my library copy of the book is safe from him.

And oh, yes, the Napoleonic Wars do seem to engender thoughts of Richard Sharpe ... Heh.
maruad
May. 21st, 2015 04:34 am (UTC)
I own it and I know I read it but I remember nothing of the story. I am not certain why it didn't make more of an impression.
kaffyr
May. 21st, 2015 02:26 pm (UTC)
I've had experiences like that with books; unfortunately, when that's happened, I've even forgotten the titles of the books, so I can't list any of them out to you. It's not a case of disliking a tale; it's a case of the tale sliding off one's mind without catching. I suspect it has more to do with the mind than the tale - some stories aren't going to appeal to one human, where they will to another.
lolmac
May. 21st, 2015 04:25 pm (UTC)
TBH, the writing and the style made far more of an impact on me than the actual story. I'm not sure I'd whoop with joy over another work in the same fictionverse, as it were, but I have definite plans to read more work by the same author.
flowsoffire
May. 21st, 2015 08:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is an excellent book! I really loved it :D Do let us know what you think! ♥
kaffyr
May. 23rd, 2015 06:56 pm (UTC)
So far I'm enjoying it, for "having my heart broken" values of enjoying it. (In the midst of Steven Black's story, and truly disliking both Faerie and Mr. Norrell.
flowsoffire
May. 25th, 2015 07:02 pm (UTC)
Mr. Norrell is excellent to loathe! ^_^
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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