Re: Susanna Clarke?

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Posted by GaidalCain on July 25, 2006 at 01:27:12:

In Reply to: Susanna Clarke? posted by Jenn on July 23, 2006 at 07:19:47:

: Has anyone read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke? If so, what did you think about it?

I read this last year. I thought it was actually fairly entertaining. She does a great job of creating a sort of "alternate history" with magicians being integrated into 19th century England. There are lots and lots of great "footnotes" along the way with stories and other things that I thought were always interesting. It's definitely not "candy" fantasy that you can quickly read and devour. Rather, it's something to be enjoyed at a slower pace.

As far as the plot is concerned, it does meander quite a bit and (IMO) gets a little too off track with the Napoleonic Wars stuff, but the main plot dealing with the faeries and the Raven King is a pleasure to read. The best parts of the book definitely deal with this material. Also, most people consider Jonathan Strange the much more entertaining of the two main characters, and I have to agree.


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