Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
By Susanna Clarke
I was a little apprehensive about this one, both because of an inherent distrust of popularity and because I'd gotten a somewhat bad review from a friend, but I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. The first two parts of the novel were witty and fun--somewhat like what I imagine a Jane Austen novel would be if I had ever been able to laugh at a Jane Austen novel. (Mind you, I haven't read any Austen since high school--maybe I'd like her work better if I revisited it today.) The third part was darker but no less engaging. I think it's quite an accomplishment that Clarke was able to write a novel in over a thousand pages that never felt slow or boring to me. In fairness, though, I must admit the possibility of some bias--since I first started the Hornblower series I've been becoming more and more enamored of fiction set in Napoleonic-era England.
Started: 6/18/2007 | Finished: 7/11/2007