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Looking For Recommendations > Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

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message 1: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) | 382 comments Okay, so Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is on clearance for like five bucks. Tell me about it. What makes it great? Should I pick it up? It's HUGE! Is it worth the read?

Advise me, please!!!!


message 2: by Marsha (new)

Marsha I loved it. It's been more than a year since I read it and I do agree it took some getting into, but once I was hooked I couldn't put it down. It only took me 4-5 days to read it, which means I was doing late nights- but I'm also a big fantasy reader. There aren't many books that keep me up past 11:00 though, and if I recall correctly, this one did.



message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) OMG the reasons....I could go on & on about this one.

It's smart, sarcastically funny, even when it goes off about war/historical moments that don't thrill me, it does it in such a humorous way, that it makes it interesting.

Plus - it's intelligent, it's magical, a mystery (but not in the traditional sense), it's English (a score, in my book), it's an epic work. You can tell it took the author 10 years to write it.

I've heard it described as Harry Potter for adults, but it's more like this: if Jane Austen & Charles Dickens got together to write a book about English magic, this is what it would be like. With a LOT more tongue-in-cheek humor.

OK to sum up - it's like I said in my review of Pride and Prejudice. You just HAVE to read it. It's hard to describe. If you go to amazon, you can read the first few pages, and I would recommend that you do that, here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/B000E...

If you like what you see, it gets better. You will LOVE the book.

(My god, I sound like (G)Emma about A Great and Terrible Beauty ! LOL)


message 4: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments :D! More power to ya Laura, more power to you!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments I thought it was fabulous (I finished it earlier this month).

It struck me as a bizarre combination of the English Faerie tradition with the novel of manners.

It's almost certainly not to everyone's taste, but it most definitely was to mine.

It is the best book I have read this year, I think.


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura | 56 comments I couldn't finish it either - maybe I should give it another try though.


message 7: by Liz (new)

Liz (arcanepenguin) | 285 comments It took me a while to get into Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, but once I did I could hardly put it down.

Any 19th century fantasy novel that works in flying pineapples is good with me.


message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) LOL GEmma!


message 9: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments Heheh!


message 10: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 224 comments I didn't like this book at all. I don't have a problem with fantasy, but I just couldn't follow this book. The footnotes made me crazy too. I don't normally mind footnotes, but I found it strange that they were in a fiction book.


message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Hey if anyone has a hardback copy in good condition they'd like to sell, PM me :)

I can see why it's not everyone's cup of tea, but this is one of those rare fiction books I'd like to read over & over again.

Has anyone read The Quincunx? I understand from the Strange & Norrell website that it is very similar to JS & MN.


message 12: by LeAnne (new)

LeAnne (early-riser) It's got all the right elements, but I could not finish it. Painful....


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments I haven't read The Quincunx yet, but it's been recommended to me, and sounds quite interesting.

It's definitely on my "list."


message 14: by Ami (new)

Ami (amina09) I stopped reading when i reached the 70th page... As Jenna mentioned earlier, the footnotes are huge and all they do is add to the confusion in my mind.

I will probably give it another try sometime in the future...


message 15: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Mostly, I've been audio-ing it. That might make a difference, I don't know. When I'm not doing something else, I read the book, but I find the audio is fine. And the reader is really good!


message 16: by Heather (new)

Heather (andshewontsleep) This book has been sitting on my shelf for ages now.. Can't decide if this thread is pushing me further towards reading it or away from it. It looks so daunting!


message 17: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) | 382 comments Thanks for the comments. I agree with Heather, it does look so daunting.

Keep the recommendations (or not) coming...


message 18: by Renata (new)

Renata | 67 comments I loved it. Read it a while back, but it was definitely one of the most memorable books I've ever read. I can see how it's not for everyone. Quincunx is also on my TBR list - Ive had it for ages, but haven't read it yet. I seem to be distracted by all the new books coming out.


message 19: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Woo hoo! Someone posted a copy on Paperbackswap today! I'm so excited!!

Iki, if you like Dickens and magic, I think you would enjoy JS & MN. Seriously. And who knows? You might LOVE it. If you're not sure, pick up a copy at the library, I bet most libraries have it.


message 20: by Val (new)

Val (valz) | 367 comments it took me 2 years to read this book -- the longest ever for any book. But the last 1/4 went really quickly and overall I enjoyed it but I am not sure I'd recommend it as I felt it to be uneven and I'm not quite sure why it had to be so long. Can anyone tell me why? I thought quite a lot could have been left out. Sorry to anyone who loves this book -- my daughter among them.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments I think because the pacing is intentionally Victorian, and that takes time and length. That would be my guess, anyway.


message 22: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (nachomammaslibrarian) | 11 comments I loved it but listened to it on audio which I highly recommend...because the reader's accent lends more to the flavor of the Victorian era.


message 23: by Mosca (last edited Jan 16, 2009 02:38PM) (new)

Mosca | 828 comments This book is worth the effort it takes to glide into the rhythm that the author establishes. Her style is smart and very funny. She is clearly imitating, honoring, and satirizing the nineteenth century writing style. The style seems to me to be very like Dickens (who I have read); others say she is more like Jane Austen (who I have not read).

She also establishes a very consistant and intelligent fantasy/magic world along with a plot, that once it takes hold of you, takes you on an alluring and dangerous ride.

It is also a very funny "comedy of manners". Much of what she writes is very sarcastic. I really enjoyed reading this.



message 24: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10095 comments Mod
Uhm... Ikiwiki.... We are currently reading this as a group. If you want to be sold on it, just check the threads in the Group Reads Discussions folder..... Im sure you will find tons of reasons to pick it up! Just a suggestion :)


JG (Introverted Reader) This is a resurrected thread from October--we weren't reading it then. :-)


message 26: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10095 comments Mod
Oh my god... why the heck didnt I catch that??? I must have been preoccupied OR half asleep.. HA!


JG (Introverted Reader) It happens to the best of us... and you are THE BEST!

I know...it's cheesy...but stilll...


message 28: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10095 comments Mod
Ha! I'll take it!


message 29: by Angela (new)

Angela | 1934 comments Iki has been MIA for quite some time... I wonder what happened to her!


message 30: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) I've been wondering about Iki too. It's so weird when regulars drop off the face of the earth and leave no trace. I really chastised Ken for that. Speaking of Ken, his Eagles are playing today, hope they win .... :) and hope my Ravens win too.

Sorry, back to Jonathan Strange, truly one of the greats.


message 31: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinsullivan) | 997 comments I really really really struggled with this book - I only finished it because it was a reading for this group. It is well written - but dense and slow moving. By the end it got "better" but I won't really recommend it. That being said - many people LOVE this. If you like dickens type writing then you might like it more than if you like "quick fun" reads.


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