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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
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Group Reads > Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell Discussion (April/May 2012)

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Taylor  (seffietay) This is a long one, but it should be great :)

message 2: by Brianna (new) - added it

Brianna (mamabri) | 6 comments I own this one! Awesome.

Taylor  (seffietay) Me too! It's been sitting there forever, taunting me with it's long-ness.

Taylor  (seffietay) I have been swamped this semester with school, and I don't think I'm going to get to this one in time. Booooo!

Taylor  (seffietay) Totally got sidetracked. Didn't read it = fail! Sorry guys!

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
I read it. I enjoyed it. I found her semi-biographical approach (with footnotes) quite amusing. It's sort of slipping away from me now, though, which is leaving me wondering why so many folks think so highly of it.

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
Yes, there's a quietly ironic tongue-in-cheekness to it that's endearing. But then maybe it's just something about me, that I find footnotes amusing. I was disappointed not to see more of Arabella, and I found the lack of attention to her in the ending a weak note.

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
I was wondering if anyone had read The Night Circus? I've seen a lot of comparisons between it and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I really enjoyed it!

Taylor  (seffietay) I'm a year late, but finally starting this one haha

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
So, keep us posted!

Taylor  (seffietay) Ok so I finished it! It took me a while to get into the writing style, and I have to admit that the footnotes and what I assume are traditional English spellings (connexion, shewed, etc) drove me mental. I found that I stopped reading the footnotes completely by about page 100. The characters were well developed, and the story unfolded very well if maybe a tad slowly. Just when things started to drag for me something magical and creative would happen and I'd be drawn back in. I thought the idea of a more 'mature' Harry Potter type world was intriguing.

Overall I liked the premise a lot, but wasn't really lovey-dovey with the novel on the whole. I would have liked to see it at about 500 pages total and not 900+. I couldn't help but think it would make a good series of movies though!

Did anyone else read it?

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
I actually couldn't quite remember what I thought of it - so I went back and checked. This is what I wrote at the time: "A strange little book. (OK, not so little.) Is it a Dickens satire, or rather an homage? It was delightfully funny in many places, and so studied(?), mannered(?) in others. In the end, as a novel, read for my pleasure, it didn't quite work for me. There's all this wonderful exposition and one feels all set up for a sweeping tale, and yet it isn't quite there. I've decided that characterization is the key to my true reading enjoyment, and here the characters were just a bit too distanced for my tastes."

Taylor  (seffietay) The characters definitely felt distanced. We were introduced to so many, but it felt very superficial... like the reader didn't really get to know any of them, and as a result I found that I didn't really care what happened to them. I would have really liked to see the whole novel tightened up, better development of the characters, but also in a shorter amount of pages. I feel like I'm being very demanding, ha.

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
It certainly evokes the 19th century in an interesting way and is quite atmospheric.

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The Night Circus (other topics)
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (other topics)