Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kelly A. Harmon, Book Review: *Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, *Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell is an alternate-history that’s set in 19th-century England during the Napoleonic Wars. It’s based on the idea that magic once existed in England and that it will be brought back with the help of two practicing magicians: Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange. The story centers on their relationship (or lack there of) as they make England into a land where anyone can perform magic.

I looked forward to reading this book, particularly because it is a Hugo winner. In the end, I was disappointed. I could not finish the book fast enough. I found it completely intolerable.

Wordy, wordy, wordy. It felt very unfocused (until the last 100 of almost 800 pages).

See my blog for a complete review (JS&MR does have some redeeming qualities).

Recommended? No.


Jen A said...

I did like this book, but I agree that it was really wordy. Wordy doesn't always bother me, but there were parts of JS&MN that made me fall asleep every time I picked it up. Thankfully, there were only a couple of those parts in the book for me, and the rest of the story redeemed it. I found the writing to be almost Dickensian...possibly she was trying to do that? Not sure.