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Archive 08-19 GR Discussions > Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell with READING SCHEDULE

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message 1: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Our summer read! Who is in? I will post the reading schedule very soon


message 2: by Nell (new)

Nell This has been languishing on my shelf for a while. I'm in.


message 3: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Great


message 4: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Just ordered a copy!


message 5: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I am in.


message 6: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Great group forming!


message 7: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments READING SCHEDULE

May31 Start reading! Read through to Chapter 8 page 104
June 7: Discuss through pg 104 Read to Chapter 18 pg 204
June 14: Discuss through pg 204 Read to Chap 26 pg 313
June 21: Discuss through pg 313 Read to Chap 32 pg 435
June 28: Discuss through pg 435 Read to Chap 39 pg 533
July 5: Discuss through 533 Read to Chap 45 pg 637
July 12: Discuss through pg 637 Read to Chap 51 pg 732
July 19: Discuss through pg 732 Read to Chap 58 pg 831
July 26: Discuss through pg 531 Read to Chap 64 pg 927
August 2: Discuss through pg 927 Read to finish the book
August 9: Discuss end of book


message 8: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Anyone want to lead the discussion and/or co-lead with me?


message 9: by Irene (new)

Irene | 4083 comments I will look for a copy I can borrow.


message 10: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Quoted from Amazon:

Most fantasy books are merely bad ripoffs of Tolkien, or other well-known (though not always great) authors. Hero's journey, quests, stock characters, etc.

But Susanna Clarke dazzles in a subtle way in her debut novel, "Jonathan Clarke & Mr. Norrell," a sprawling historical-fantasy opus that took a decade to write. Think if Jane Austen had written fantasy about feuding magicians, and you'll have a pretty good idea of how this reads -- a slow-moving and intricate story, presented with a delicate, sumptuous style like a bejeweled silk gown transformed into words.

It's the early 19th century, in England. The Napoleonic wars threaten England, but that's not the only struggle going on. Magic is all but dead in England; the so-called magicians don't actually want to handle it, but want to leave it to old books and stories. Once the English magicians were powerful and respected, but now they just write boring essays about magic. Except for Mr. Norrell, a cautious little Yorkshire man who taught himself how to do magic.

However, things take a twist when he gives his help in the battle against Napolean -- a new magician enters the scene, the enthusiastic and charming Jonathan Strange. The two magicians begin to work together, but things begin to go awry when Mr. Norrell realizes that Jonathan is attracted to all magic -- including the more dangerous varieties. He's increasingly fascinated by the legend of the Raven King, a changeling child who ruled Faerie and Earth...

Historical fantasies have rarely been as detailed and rich as this one -- usually either the "historic" or the "fantasy" is abused


message 11: by Petra (new)

Petra This was such a good read. I hope you all enjoy it.


message 12: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Got my copy. It is certainly a "chunky" one!


message 13: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Ha ha not as bad as Ulysses


message 14: by Nell (new)

Nell BBC America is broadcasting a mini-series this summer based on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. The first of seven episodes airs June 13th. Episode 1 hopefully will not cover more than the scheduled reading up to that date.


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (purplesun) I have a copy. I hope that I can keep up with you. I am looking forward to trying. :)


message 16: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments We can always adjust if reading schedule is too demanding. Looking forward to having you join us


message 17: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Just checking in, everyone have the book and ready to read?


message 18: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Got my copy all marked and ready to go!


message 19: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cattylou) Yay, finally going to try and participate around my work and school schedule, looking forward to reading this! Thanks!


message 20: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I read chapter 1 last night just to get a feel for the book. I think this is going to be an interesting one! And it was easily readable, which is a plus. :-)


message 21: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I am still on the wait list for mine but will join in as soon as I can. I am still trying to read Invention of Wings and Once the future king so I am hoping I can do this one. :)


message 22: by Nell (last edited May 31, 2015 10:43AM) (new)

Nell I pulled my copy off the top shelf and dusted if off. I started reading this on a trip about five years ago. I had read more of it than I remembered. My bookmark is on page 250! It's been so long that I will start over from the beginning.


message 23: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments For anyone having trouble getting the book and you have a kindle:
Kindle Unlimited: free
Amazon Prime: $2.99
Regular Kindle: 7.99

If this helps anyone


message 24: by Petra (new)

Petra I read this years ago and really enjoyed it. I'm waiting for the audio version to join in with you all. In the meantime, I hope to pick up the book from the library tomorrow so that I don't fall behind.


message 25: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Yay Petra! This is going to be an awesome group!


message 26: by Nell (new)

Nell Just noticed that there's a giveaway for this book here on GR. Those who don't already have a copy can enter through June 8th. You can submit an entry from the book page.


message 27: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Thanks Nell!


message 28: by Petra (new)

Petra I'm going to be a bit late in reading this one. Someone signed the book out before I got there and I won't have the audio for about 2 weeks.


message 29: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments No worries Petra, I am sure you will catch up1


message 30: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Great!


message 31: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Sheila I am glad to know that. Has anyone completed the reading yet?


message 32: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I read the first week's section. I am interested to see where this is going. I like Mr. Norrell, but who is Jonathon Strange? I guess we haven't met him yet. :-)


message 33: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I am going to have to read this one later.


message 34: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments No we haven't met him yet but I know he is coming!

So here are some preliminary questions. What role do you think magic played in people's lives back in the 1800's?
What exactly was defined as magic?
Remember those little road shows in the US where people sold these "magic" serums that cured all sorts of things? Was that magic?


message 35: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I see that BBC America has a Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell series that will be starting June 13th:

http://www.bbcamerica.com/jonathan-st...


message 36: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments How timely are we????


message 37: by Nell (last edited Jun 08, 2015 03:49AM) (new)

Nell Sheila wrote: "I see that BBC America has a Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell series that will be starting June 13th:

http://www.bbcamerica.com/jonathan-st..."


I posted that info at message 14. Guess it was overlooked. There will be 7 episodes. With the magic and the Napoleonic war it should make a good miniseries.


message 38: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Nell wrote: "I posted that info at message 14. Guess it was overlooked. There will be 7 episodes. With the magic and the Napoleonic war it should make a good miniseries. "

Now that you mention it Nell, I do recall you posting about it, but for some reason I was thinking it was just on BBC in the UK.

I'm a little worried to watch it, as I think it will go faster than we are reading, but the photos and clips from the website for the show do look intriguing. :-)


message 39: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I see now also that you can actually watch the Series premier/first episode online already on that website. I just clicked the link that said watch now and it opened up the whole show, 55 minutes long. Might have to break down and actually watch it! :-)


message 40: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments I feel the same way you do sheila


message 41: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cattylou) Meg wrote: "No we haven't met him yet but I know he is coming!

So here are some preliminary questions. What role do you think magic played in people's lives back in the 1800's?
What exactly was defined as ma..."


I love that Magic is just another area of study, and while it seems most "magicians" have not been able to demonstrate actual acts of magic like Mr. Norrell has, they are still considered "magicians."
I also find it interesting that Mr. Norrell is so caught up in his own studies and opinions, that he doesn't recognize the potential or possibility of other magicians (Vinculus).


message 42: by Cathie (new)

Cathie (catitude) | 41 comments I read this book last year and loved it! Great storyline. Looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks :-)


message 43: by Renee (new)

Renee (elenarenee) | 275 comments I read this book when it first came out. I found it surprising. It was different from what I expected. I would love to hear suggestions on other books that are similar


message 44: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Caught up for this week. I have to say I am finding this book very interesting. Like Catherine mentions, I enjoy that for Mr. Norrell magic is what he is learning in all his books. He is a scholarly magician, and doesn't seem to see that there may actually be other types of magicians too.


message 45: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (last edited Jun 14, 2015 07:35AM) (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Broke down and watched the first episode of the BBC series last night, even though it was on damned late (till 11:30PM). I enjoyed seeing our characters, though now my favorite is Childermass! LOL He's a bit of a hottie! Dark and mysterious and clever.

Did anyone else watch it?


message 46: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments No one has attempted my first few questions so I am reposting it. Anyone?
So here are some preliminary questions. What role do you think magic played in people's lives back in the 1800's?
What exactly was defined as magic?
Remember those little road shows in the US where people sold these "magic" serums that cured all sorts of things? Was that magic?


message 47: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I don't know that 'magic' played much of a role in lives in thew 1800's, any more than it does now, but I could be wrong. I see this book as being fantasy magic, along the lines of Harry Potter and the magic in those books, and don't picture it being anything realistic for that the period it is set in.

Did people then actually believe in this type of magic? Such as statues in churches being made to talk, fairies bringing the dead back to life, etc?

I think magic serums then were just scam attempts at medicine, no different than 'coconut oil cures all' fads of today. I don't picture that as being 'magic', I think that was just scam artists and charlatans, not 'magicians'.


message 48: by Petra (new)

Petra Sheila wrote: "I read the first week's section. I am interested to see where this is going. I like Mr. Norrell, but who is Jonathon Strange? I guess we haven't met him yet. :-)"

I've just started the audio book and am already chuckling at some of the comments and descriptions in the book.

We've kind of met Jonathan in that one quote referenced by Footnote #1. To paraphrase, it went something along the lines of: "the magicians' purpose of meeting was to argue and learn as little as possible about magic". LOL!
If I remember correctly, Jonathan's book was written in 1816 (what year is it in the beginning of this book?....this is the hard thing about audio books, it's too hard to go back and double-check on things). Therefore, by 1816, Jonathan is an expert in the field of magic....enough so that he's qualified to write a magic book in a time when magicians didn't perform magic and magic was deemed to be "too low" for a gentleman to perform. :D
Anyway, we know that Jonathan has strong opinions about magic & how magicians conduct themselves by 1816.


message 49: by Petra (new)

Petra Renee wrote: "I read this book when it first came out. I found it surprising. It was different from what I expected. I would love to hear suggestions on other books that are similar"

Renee, have you tried any of Haruki Murakami's books? They've got a magical feel about them that is in a similar vein to this book: a world that is slightly akilter from our world...but it works logically in the story. I recommend 1Q84.

There's also:
Neverwhere
American Gods and Anansi Boys
Amnesia Moon
What these books have in common are that twist of the unreal that blends well with our normal world.


message 50: by Petra (new)

Petra Meg wrote: "No one has attempted my first few questions so I am reposting it. Anyone?
So here are some preliminary questions. What role do you think magic played in people's lives back in the 1800's?
What exactly was defined as magic?
Remember those little road shows in the US where people sold these "magic" serums that cured all sorts of things? Was that magic?..."


Meg, do you mean the real 1800s or the 1800s in this book?
In the real world, I suppose magic was anything that seemed to be real and unexplained (a coin disappearing). I'm not familiar enough with the 1800s to really know and I think they were scientific enough already to realize that some things could have explanations but that we just didn't know them them. Magic because Scientific Theory & Exploration at some point in time.

I think magic is the unexplained, plausible and fantastical things that happened and people needed to find a way to explain them.

No, I don't think that the serums were magic. They were concoctions (usually with a pain-killer) that gave suffering people hopes on their sorrows and pains. They were "cure-alls" for people who had no other method of getting rid of pain and/or illness.


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