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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is a fantasy set in 18th century England (with bits in Italy, Spain, Germany). An 18th century Europe with magic of course.

It was a long book and at times I was very entertained by it, at others a bit bored. There's something quite episodic about it. I think maybe, along with the rather 19th century voice adopted by the narrator, there was an old-fashioned approach to story development. It reminded me of those Victorian stories which were originally published as weekly or monthly serials. It rambled a bit and I liked some plot threads more than others. Another old-fashioned touch, quite a nice one, is the way the narrator passes judgement on the characters as were going along. I am getting so bored with the 'show and never ever tell' thing and a bit of personality and opinion from the narrator was welcome. Sometimes I thought the style was just too polite for the darkness and wildness of the ideas being raised and that wasn't able to exploit those elements as I would have liked.

In the end, I was left with a lot of nice vignettes in my mind and the thought that I might read it again some time.