Monday, February 09, 2009

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.

Okay, so I'll admit that this almost 800-page tome took me almost 2 months to read ... that's not to say it's not a good book. It sorta is. But it's supremely long. And unnecessarily so, in my opinion. It's hard to say if I enjoyed it or not ... I barely remember how it started now. But I'm glad I stuck with it an finished it. It's still an interesting read. If you like magicians and/or 18th century England :) It does get a little tedious however with the excessive use of footnotes, much like The Moneypenny Diaries. Needless to say I'm glad I'm onto something new :)

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