On “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell” by Susanna Clarke

jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell I’m not one for reading books that end up as series on TV (Andrew Davies adaptations apart).  There has been a recent adaptation of Poldark which I didnt watch despite much baring of muscular chests.  I havent read the book either.

I read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell back in 2009 and remembered that I rather enjoyed it – to the point where I brought a second copy, having given the first one away. Hearing that the BBC are releasing a TV adaptation, recently confirmed as 17th May 2015, I decided to look up my review which is as follows:

The (softback) edition I have comes in at just over 1000 pages, and this is one of the reasons that it has been sitting on my bookshelf for a number of years now, occasionally glaring at me and daring me to pick it up and read it.
 I am glad that I have read it, and it is not like any book I have read before. Excellent for a first book, there is humour, romance, history (some of which I hope is made up!), and most importantly of all magic, and lots of it. The footnotes are as important  as the main text, and all shows an attention to detail that I dont know if the author will ever achieve again, purely for the amount of time this book must have already taken from her.
 The only book I can realistically compare it to (in terms of length, scope etc) is “The Crimson Petal and the White”, [eta I didnt watch that either!] which I think is another debut novel. Have to admit that whilst I thought “Crimson” finished too soon, in a way I was glad that “Jonathan”  did, although I was satisfied with the openness of the ending and the potential of more.

Perhaps not my best review I admit, especially for a book of this size and complexity. Unfortunately I am unlikely to read this book and write a better review before the adaptation hits the screen.

Elsewhere, there are a number of articles on the program, some of them as follows:

Susanna Clarke on the TV Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: ‘My own characters were walking about!

So have you read the book? Will you be watching the adaptation (currently I’m undecided). Do you watch any book to tv adaptations?


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