Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Book - 2004
Average Rating:
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Long ago when magic still existed in England, the greatest magician of all was the Raven King.
Publisher: London : Bloomsbury Pub., 2004
ISBN: 9780747574118
0747574111
Branch Call Number: FIC Clark 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 782 p. :,ill
Alternative Title: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

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s
SAM HRANAC
Jul 05, 2017

I came to this through watching the BBC series. I'm so glad I did both. Each takes full advantage of its format to please the viewer/reader. I'm not sure about all the Jane Austen comparisons, but I kinda get it.

Loved the self-indulgent footnotes. It makes me wish J.K. Rowling had done the same.

s
Sublurbanite
May 02, 2017

This book was recommended to me, and I am so happy I chose to read it. I'm not a Jane Austen fan, nor someone who reads fantasy novels, but I absolutely loved this book. The author does a fabulous job creating a robust setting for the reader and incorporating historical events to create a fiction book that is unlike any other I've read. The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is because I found the ending to be a bit abrupt and personally unsatisfying. But still well worth the read. I'll be sure to recommend this to others (I've heard the audiobook version of this book is quite good, too).

r
RaquelMaria
Apr 06, 2017

One of my favorites! I always mention this book if someone asks for a recommendation.

This book blends Jane Austen and Harry Potter for lots of fun.

c
clairelisabeth
Feb 15, 2017

Jane Austen meets magic and folklore. What could be better! Wonderful classical novel!

s
sfarber5300
Oct 17, 2016

Anyone who enjoys Jane Austen will absolutely love this novel. It is all of the best qualities attributed to Ms. Austen with the drama and punch of a modern scifi/horror adventure.

I recommend it without reservation.

t
tesstlc
Aug 24, 2016

I came across this book by first watching (most of) the BBC mini series. I found it delightful to read at the same time as watching the show.
The show is fast paced and suspenseful. The book is quite different, more along the lines of Norrell's character in that it's pace is slow and thoughtful and very interested in minor details (the footnotes are a collection of mini stories).
It is one of those books like a gentle river that you glide along rather than a rushing creek full of waterfall-style cliffhangers.
I loved getting into all the details and the little stories behind the main plotline.
If you are more like Mr Strange and prefer a faster pace, try the BBC mini series.

c
catostorm
May 27, 2016

I don't know how the author got this book published. Dry and much too long. Footnotes alone could make a short story. Full of unnecessary details.

ForgottenSeptember Apr 18, 2016

I adored this book. I heard of it some time ago, but I didn't think I would like it, as I thought it was one of those books that splash some magic around in the real world, and that really isn't my favorite kind of fantasy. It wasn't until I read a quote from it on the Internet that I realized what this book actually was, and that I HAD to read it. Boy am I glad I did!
This book is written purposely to mimic the style of books written at the end of the 18th century/beginning of the 19th (think Jane Austen ((In truth, the style sometimes reminds me of books written earlier than that, for example the spelling of "choose" as "chuse" (a commonplace usage in the 18th century), and the use of "discover" in ways we modern English speakers find odd)). For me, that was one of the best parts. The authors keeps a lighthearted tone that made me laugh out loud several times. Then there was the setting, Early Regency England. This book is like reading a well researched and written historical fiction in which magic just happens to be real. I adore the 18th century and the periods just before and after it, so this was my kind of book. Then there are the characters! Ms. Clark is a fantastic judge of human nature, and her characters, with all their truly human eccentricities and failings had me laughing and tearing up by turns. The ending sealed it for me, though. It had me in tears, and I'm not sure I've ever read an ending so perfectly bitter sweet. For me, it fit the characters very well, and just worked, for some reason.

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CMLibrary_gjd_0
Apr 17, 2016

Once upon a time--I was the only person I knew who enjoyed this book. What a difference 10 years and one BBC mini series make. Thanks for joining me in giving this book all your love!

I am not a fan of this kind of fantasy. The conclusion was frustrating and confusing. The evil acts of the bad fairy were random and the stilted Victorian social norms under which the magicians practiced just did not jib with the spells and injunctions which underpin the plot and character development. The writing is beautiful, the descriptions of the scenes are charming and i did finish the book but it left me unsatisfied overall

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Quotes

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k
kmarushy
Aug 26, 2015

"He understood for the first time that the world is not dumb at all, but merely waiting for someone to speak to it in a language it understands."

k
kmarushy
Aug 26, 2015

"To be more precise, it was the colour of heartache."

k
kmarushy
Aug 26, 2015

"There is nothing in the world so easy to explain as failure - it is, after all, what everybody does all the time."

k
kmarushy
Aug 26, 2015

"She wore a gown the colour of storms, shadows, and rain and a necklace of broken promises and regrets."

k
kmarushy
Aug 26, 2015

"Can a magician kill by magic?" Lord Wellington asked Strange. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. "I suppose a magician might", he admitted, "but a gentleman never would."

SPL_STARR Jun 16, 2015

"Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians."

a
andreareads
Feb 15, 2013

It has been remarked (by a lady infinitely cleverer than the present author) how kindly disposed the world in general feels to young people who either die or marry. Imagine then the interest that surrounded Miss Wintertowne! No young lady ever had such advantages before: for she died upon the Tuesday, was raised to life in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and was married upon the Thursday; which some people thought too much excitement for one week.

a
andreareads
Feb 15, 2013

what the other servants did not know was that the new manservant had a temper . . . that he was sometimes sarcastic, often rude, and that he had a very high opinion of his own abilities and a correspondingly low one of other people’s. The new manservant did not mention his failings to the other servants for the simple reason that he knew nothing of them. Though he often found himself quarrelling with his friends and neighbours, he was always puzzled to discover the reason and always supposed that it must be their fault.

a
andreareads
Feb 15, 2013

On the second day Strange sat down to write another fifty of so pages and immediately got into difficulties because he could not think of a rhyme for ‘let love suffice’. ‘Sunk in vice’ was not promising; ‘a pair of mice’ was nonsense, and ‘what’s the price?’ merely vulgar. He struggled for an hour, could think of nothing, went for a ride to loosen his brains and never looked at his poem again.

a
andreareads
Feb 15, 2013

The pattern of the pools had meaning. The pools had been written on to the field by the rain. The pools were a magic worked by the rain, just as the tumbling of the black birds against the grey was a spell that the sky was working and the motion of grey-brown grasses was a spell that the wind made. Everything had meaning.

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clairelisabeth
Jul 19, 2017

clairelisabeth thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

t
Tytusmk
Jul 27, 2015

Tytusmk thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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