Patrick's Reviews > Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Jilid II

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Jilid II by Susanna Clarke
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's review
May 15, 11

Read from April 23 to May 15, 2011

The story in this book is set during the early 19th century in England during their war with Napoleon. Although magic hasn't been performed in England for hundreds of years, there are theoretical magicians who spend their time philosophizing about magic. Gilbert Norell emerges as the only practical magician actually able to do magic and is successful in disbanding almost all theoretical magic in his attempt to be the only magician in England. Eventually he is joined by Jonathan Strange, yet another practical magician, who becomes his pupil. Norell and Strange are each others opposite and soon Strange joins the English forces in their battle against the french led by Napoleon.

I thought that Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell was elegantly written and very realistic because of the way (and how rare) magic is used. In the beginning I enjoyed the numerous and sometimes huge footnotes, but eventually they became annoying and towards the end I felt that it was something the book could have done less with.

After reading a few chapters I felt like this book had potential to be something great and I waited for that extra spark that would get me really hooked and bring the story to a higher level. Unfortunately the plot never takes off, which is a shame because it's an otherwise well written book. I disliked the ending which felt like the author realized that the book was now almost 800 pages and decided to end it with 2 chapters.

This book is better than average, but too long and a little heavy to read.

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