Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Think of me with my nose in a book!

I finished Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell!  I feel like I should get an award.  Not because it was hard or painful to get through but because I feel like I've been reading it for so long it feels anticlimactic to just not be reading it anymore.  I kinda feel that way after long car trips as well so I think I just feel like I should get recognition for all kinds of simple tasks.* I'm not really ready to be finished reading it.  Isn't there more?  Give me another thousand pages, I'll keep reading!

I don't want to go ahead and say this is my new favorite book and perhaps my happy fuzzy feelings will dissipate over time but right now I can say this is in the top 10. I liked the book through the first 2 volumes, painting a vision of this alternate history, introducing the characters, setting up the conflict but the 3rd volume is where the action was lurking.  I couldn't put down the book as I neared the end.  I had to see what happens next, and unlike book-of-the-month thrillers, you actually care about the characters and stories for longer than four seconds so it makes the action that much better.  

I feel like I've already said so much about the book that there really isn't too much more I can say other than I loved this book and you should check it out.  Next up: the book club book What's My Name, Fool?: Sports and Resistance in the United States.

Update: Since I wrote a number of Strange and Norrell entries I figured it would make sense to include links back to those posts. 
In short, he wished to know why there was no more magic done in England
As everyone knows, no one with red hair can every truly said to be handsome
I believe Mr Strange will do very well in the war, sir. He has already out-manoeuvred you
"I am sure you are a very different sort of magician from Mr Norrell," [Stephen] said. "I hope I am," said Mr Segundus, seriously.

*See the Hyperbole and a Half blog entry This is Why I'll Never Be an AdultI'm not quite that bad but I relate to the entry more than is probably healthy.

Title quote from page 1006


  1. I borrowed this once from the library, and couldn't risk reading the hefty book and not like it. I think I will borrow it again!!! Thanks.

  2. BookQuoter - The size of the book deterred me before I finally gave in and bought it and I'm very glad I finally picked it up. I hope you give it another chance!

  3. You'll be glad to know that Suzanna Clarke is working on a follow up ...

    from jonathanstrange.com:

    What’s next for you? What’s next for Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell?

    The next book will be set in the same world and will probably start a few years after Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell finishes. I feel very much at home in the early nineteenth century and am not inclined to leave it. I doubt that the new book will be a sequel in the strictest sense. There are new characters to be introduced, though probably some old friends will appear too. I’d like to move down the social scale a bit. Strange and Norrell were both rich, with pots of money and big estates. Some of the characters in the second book have to struggle a bit harder to keep body and soul together. I expect there’ll be more about John Uskglass, the Raven King, and about how magic develops in England.

  4. Paradoxus - I'll have to keep an eye on this next book. I hope Arabella and Childermass show up!

  5. Excellent review, Alley! I really think it is an 'instant classic' too. It was just so seductive how Susanna Clarke pulled me into the novel; dare I say, even magical? And I've heard this from just about everyone else I know that has read it.

    I am really looking forward to her next offering too. You might like to read her "The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories." It is wonderful, and contains several short stories that tie in directly with 'JS&MN.' Have a wonderful weekend! Cheers! Chris

  6. Christopher - I'm looking forward to checking out her next work, especially seeing how she does with the short story format. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Hi...thanks for stopping by my blog. I've enjoyed reading yours..I am commenting here because I have been intrigued by this book for some time now...something about the cover always catches my eye, and then I put it down because it is so unlike anything I would usually pick for myself. After reading your review, I think I will grab it the next time I see it at the used bookstore.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.