Sean's Reviews > Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
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Oct 30, 12

bookshelves: fantasy, historical, frequently-reread
Read from December 16 to 21, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 7

I bought Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in 2005, and since then I have read it multiple times (quite a feat, considering the book's length) and written several reviews of it. I am surprised I've never reviewed it here.

JS & Mr N was a triumph when it came out in 2005, and it remains a triumph today. Susanna Clarke's wit sparkles, her prose delights and her storytelling enthrals; her many characters orate, ponder, strut and caper from page to page (to page to page to page—this is a LONG book) and ensnare the reader's fancy and tender feelings with their worries and troubles and machinations. It is a mistake to simply call this a "fantasy," as it is in reality a three-volume novel in the best tradition. My only fear is that, having put this masterpiece on paper, Clarke can have nothing more to say. I sincerely hope this is not the case.
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Reading Progress

12/16/2010 page 47
6.0% "I already own a physical copy of this book, which I have re-read religiously at least once a year since 2005. And yet I just bought it and am reading it AGAIN on Google eBooks. I have a sickness."
12/18/2010 page 68
9.0% "This book is hilarious. Cracks me up constantly. I wish I could communicate that to more people. HILARIOUS."
12/20/2010 page 438
55.0% "Wishing with all my heart that someone would make this book into a miniseries."
12/20/2010 page 482
60.0% "One of my very favorite parts of this very favorite book: when Childermass gets unstuck from reality and performs a magic spell."
07/20/2012
25.0% "Alternating between reading one of my very favorite books (this one) and one of my former favorite books (The Shining)."
07/22/2012
39.0% "I never seem to be able to explain to people how *funny* this book is. If I say it is occasionally even more laugh-out-loud hilarious than Pride and Prejudice, will that convince you? Say yes."
07/23/2012
100.0% "It's over. AGAIN. *sob*" 3 comments
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Comments (showing 1-8)




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message 8: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Oh yes, I entirely agree - even though I have so many new books to read, re-reading this one is high on my list of things to do.

If we take some of the other books I've given five stars as a point of comparison, this one ought to have six. Or seven. At least.


Sean Oh, absolutely. It's not really fair to compare a normal 5-star novel to Jonathan Strange. It breaks the curve, in more ways than one.


Richard Apparently Clarke is working on a sequel. Have you read her short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu: And Other Stories?


Sean I have read The Ladies of Gradieu, but I didn't know there was going to be an actual sequel! I hope it won't take her as long to write it as Jonathan Strange did. :P


message 4: by Richard (last edited Jul 14, 2012 11:45AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Richard Sean wrote: "I have read The Ladies of Gradieu, but I didn't know there was going to be an actual sequel! I hope it won't take her as long to write it as Jonathan Strange did. :P"

I hope not either, or I will be too old and senile to enjoy it! :)


message 3: by Todd (new) - added it

Todd You recommended this to me a couple years ago. I never picked it up. Maybe it's time to bump it up the list... So glad I discovered Goodreads.


Sean I'm glad you did, too. :)


Richard Todd wrote: "You recommended this to me a couple years ago. I never picked it up. Maybe it's time to bump it up the list... So glad I discovered Goodreads."

Todd, it's a great book. I second Sean's recommendation.


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