Bradley's Reviews > Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, top-one-hundred, 2018-shelf
Read 2 times. Last read November 9, 2018 to November 11, 2018.

Re-read, 11/11/18:

The only real review for this book is one that fully experiences it from the inside. In other words, take the roads, listen to the rocks, and above all, DON'T TRUST THE FARIES.

This was a classic when I first read it and it's just as good on any re-read. That's why I put this in my top-100 list. :) It will stand the test of time.

Let's fight with Wellington and defeat Napoleon with magic! Let's get into major trouble, get majorly paranoid, and do it with arrogance and style!

Above all, this is a buddy novel that starts really rocky, continues worse, ends in mistrust, and yet, is quintessentially English. In other words, polite and often uplifting. :)

Brilliant book. I think it will always be. :)
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 25, 2013 – Shelved
March 27, 2013 – Shelved as: fantasy
September 18, 2015 – Shelved as: top-one-hundred
November 9, 2018 – Started Reading
November 11, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-shelf
November 11, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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Trish Let's fight with Wellington and defeat Napoleon with magic!

What I liked so much about that was Strange's observation that even without an actual magician, Napoélon exercised his very own kind of magic with which he enthused the masses.


message 2: by Justine (new) - added it

Justine It's in my TBR, I received it for Christmas! Might read it before the end of the year (fingers crossed) or in 2019!


Bradley Trish: so much DID happen without magic. And that's something of the point. :) Other than the whole thing about not needing the Fae at all, of course. :) A dual message that somehow becomes the same one. :)

Justine: Don't hesitate to read it. It's one of the very best books ever. :)


message 4: by A. (new) - rated it 5 stars

A. B. Neilly For me it was like a satire of what happens with magic right now. There are places like the University of Amsterdam, where the History of Magic is studied, but practicañ magicians, we are a bunch spread around the world without any credibilility. Also I loved the tone and the characters. I read it in a Spanish traslation so I think I will reread it in the original now. I have read it like three or four times. Hilarious.


Trish Bradley wrote: "Trish: so much DID happen without magic. And that's something of the point. :) Other than the whole thing about not needing the Fae at all, of course. :) A dual message that somehow becomes the sam..."

Well, yeah, but some people have more of a flair than others and Bonaparte was definitely charismatic as hell. Since magic was real in the context of this novel, I thought this was a very important observation and more strongly underlined that any of the other things that have happened without magic.


Bradley Not arguing that point. It's very multi-layered. :)


message 7: by Jesslyn (new)

Jesslyn This is one of those books that everyone loved, but I couldn't. IDK, maybe it's a black thing, but I think in the end, I just don't care for Brits. At least not how most write them. I could barely get thru Novik's dragon books and just gave up in the end


Bradley Novik's books were a bit of a problem for me after a few, too, but this one was pretty awesome. For me.

Did you have a problem with how Stephen was portrayed? Or was it really just England in general?


message 9: by Adrian (new) - added it

Adrian On my TBR as well, and I'm looking forward to it, as in general I like Brits (being one ) lol 😳


Bradley :) :)


Trish Adrian wrote: "On my TBR as well, and I'm looking forward to it, as in general I like Brits (being one ) lol 😳"

Would be a pretty bad case of self-loathing otherwise. ;)


Bradley That's more of an American trait.


Jonny Parshall One of my all-time favorites of recent years :)


message 14: by Adrian (new) - added it

Adrian Yeah, not a Brit thing, we just have stiff upper lips or something I think


Trish Adrian wrote: "Yeah, not a Brit thing, we just have stiff upper lips or something I think"

And bowler hats and LOTS of tea.


Trish Bradley wrote: "That's more of an American trait."

You've never met Germans in real life.


message 17: by Susan (new) - rated it 1 star

Susan Sigh. I'm really going to have to give this book another try some day. It just didn't resonate with me at all when I tried to read the hard back not long after it was published. But since I've read a couple of Naomi Novik's Temeraire books and enjoyed them, I might appreciate this one more due to understanding a bit more of the time frame.


Bradley Novik's England is a lite version. :) I'll always prefer JSaMN for that. :)

I agree it takes knowledge of context to enjoy these, but fortunately, there's a LOT of books that will help with that. :)


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