Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

July 11, 2005

Jonathan_strange_and_mr_norrellI just finished reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke and I quite enjoyed it. It has an ironic distance and wit that make for fun reading and the author has clearly adopted Tolkien’s goal of creating a uniquely English mythology. I particularly enjoyed all the parts involving the Duke of Wellington, since I am also a big fan of Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe series (the books, as well as the movies starring Sean Bean, are excellent…if a bit repetitive and formulaic in a James Bond sort of way). Clarke’s book is also being adapted for film, which I’m not sure I think is wise since so much of the charm is in the footnotes and tangents. Regardless, it’s definitely worth a read (if you read quickly, you can probably finish it before picking up Harry Potter in a few days – if not, remember it for the long wait between the Half Blood Prince and book seven of that series).

UPDATE: If you want a taste of the book, there’s an excerpt on the publisher’s site and a short story at the book’s official site.

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