Shravanthi's Reviews > Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

it was amazing

The book that made me exercise my biceps. The book that made me LOL without a break. The book that is an epitome of dry humor and sarcasm.

What I felt about it
A completely unique and original story from an author who knows what she's doing. It was a slow-burner and had lots of little tidbits in the footnotes. It is an elaborate read, but I liked it. It was a nice change of pace from all the murder mysteries I've been reading. I liked the fact that there were no dirty words or stuff and the story was clean of double entendres. I think that this book deserves more popularity and more praise. Amazing piece of work, Susanna Clarke. I could kiss you for writing this beautiful story.

There is no question in my mind about the brilliance of this book. It deserves five stars and more stars and more awards and more accolades than what it has received right now. JSAMR is the story of the titular magicians striving to bring back (lost) magic to England in the 1800s. What is not to like about this premise? It has magic, it has humor, it has elaborate narrative AND it is set in the best age of British history.

The first thing that strikes you about the book is how heavy the thing is from all of its 1000 pages and its humor. The book oozes sarcasm. The narrative thrives on dry humor. The story exudes clever witticism. Naturally, all credit goes to the brilliant, BRILLIANT author, Susanna Clarke.

I mean, if I had to talk about her narrative then I'd need a whole day. Seriously. Her use of premonition in revealing key characters, plot twists and story elements is insanely clever! The novel is rich in footnotes that tell us more about this world she is building. The footnotes give us lots of insights into our characters and many, tiny branching stories.

It's like a thousand stories within one big story

Mr. Norrel - The one that is secretive - secretly jealous, secretly afraid, secretly sincere.
Jonathan Strange - The one who is likable, friendly, jovial and talented.
Childermass - The one who appears very rarely but the one you miss the most.
Arabella Strange - The one who sets the bar for wives all over England.
Lady Pole - The one who looks like a butterfly but stings like a bee.
Mr. Honeyfoot - The one who should have had his foot in his mouth, honey.
Drawlight, Mr. Lascelles - The ones who are supposed to be comic reliefs but whom you hate.
Vinculus - The one that shocks you with his story.
John Uskglass - The one you want more of.
The Fairy - The mean one that you were happy to see defeated.
Stephen - The one you root for.

JSAMR in short:
Length : 1000 pages (!!!)
Author : The Sarcastic Susanna Clarke
Genre : Historical Fiction
Tone : Funny-as-hell
Why you should NOT read JSAMR: Only for the plot
Why you should read JSAMR: Purely for the sarcasm
6 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
Sign In »

Quotes Shravanthi Liked

Susanna Clarke
“And how shall I think of you?' He considered a moment and then laughed. 'Think of me with my nose in a book!”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Susanna Clarke
“Can a magician kill a man by magic?” Lord Wellington asked Strange.
Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. “I suppose a magician might,” he admitted, “but a gentleman never could.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Susanna Clarke
“For, though the room was silent, the silence of half a hundred cats is a peculiar thing, like fifty individual silences all piled one on top of another.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
tags: cats

Susanna Clarke
“It has been remarked (by a lady infinitely cleverer than the present author) how kindly disposed the world in general feels to young people who either die or marry. Imagine then the interest that surrounded Miss Wintertowne! No young lady ever had such advantages before: for she died upon the Tuesday, was raised to life in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and was married upon the Thursday; which some people thought too much excitement for one week.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
tags: humor

Susanna Clarke
“Mr Norrell determined to establish himself in London with all possible haste. "You must get a house, Childermass," he said. "Get me a house that says to those that visit it that magic is a respectable profession - no less than Law and a great deal more so than Medicine."
Childermass inquired drily if Mr Norrell wished him to seek out architecture expressive of the proposition that magic was as respectable as the Church?
Mr Norrell (who knew there were such things as jokes in the world or people would not write about them in books, but who had never actually been introduced to a joke or shaken its hand) considered a while before replying at last that no, he did not think they could quite claim that.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Susanna Clarke
“Ha!' said the tall man drily. 'He was in high luck. Rich old uncles who die are in shockingly short supply.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Susanna Clarke
“Drawing teaches habits of close observation that will always be useful.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Susanna Clarke
“She wore a gown the color of storms, shadows, and rain and a necklace of broken promises and regrets.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Susanna Clarke
“To be more precise it was the color of heartache.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Susanna Clarke
“..The argument he was conducting with his neighbor as to whether the English magician had gone mad because he was a magician, or because he was English.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Susanna Clarke
“He gave her his heart. She took it and placed it quietly in the pocket of her gown. No one observed what she did.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Reading Progress

July 21, 2015 – Started Reading
July 21, 2015 – Shelved
July 21, 2015 –
0.0% "ooooo I'm so excited to start this !!!!"
July 24, 2015 –
July 27, 2015 –
July 30, 2015 –
9.0% "Not only the main plot but the sub-plots and titbits are also interesting!"
August 5, 2015 –
12.0% "I love it so far!!"
August 15, 2015 –
15.0% "Wow!! That was an astounding magical feat, Mr.Norrel\n \n The imagery is in my head...and's grande!"
August 20, 2015 –
16.0% "Oh C'mon that was the most boring chapter... I expect more sass... more humor ...more magic!!"
March 10, 2017 –
page 77
7.65% "Restarted it and loving it! So many laugh-out-loud moments so far hahhahaha!"
March 10, 2017 –
page 154
15.31% "Ooooooooohhhhh! A Prophecy! Could it be....? yes! yes! yes!"
March 11, 2017 –
page 181
17.99% "Funny and Spooky! awesome combo"
March 11, 2017 –
page 222
22.09% "Susanna, I could kiss you 💋"
March 11, 2017 –
page 250
24.85% "Oh,no. I think I know what's gonna happen and WHO is gonna do it!!!!"
March 12, 2017 –
page 283
28.13% "Mr.Honeyfoot. 😂😂😂"
March 19, 2017 –
page 477
47.42% "Oh My God! The story takes a dark turn"
March 22, 2017 –
page 506
50.3% "That is such a dull, boring and unremarkable name for the Raven King! :("
April 8, 2017 –
page 633
62.92% "Whattttt?! Don't do this! Don't spring this on me like that!"
April 9, 2017 –
page 755
75.12% "It's like reading a hundred different stories in one big story."
April 11, 2017 –
page 1000
99.4% "Omg.. I have so many questions!!"
April 11, 2017 –
page 1005
100.0% "THIS is how you decide to end it? Abruptly and mysteriously. :'("
April 11, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sr3yas (new) - added it

Sr3yas lol! Great review! But 1000 pages!

Shravanthi Thanks !! Yeah 1000 pages, but it hardly feels so. you should give it a try.

back to top