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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Novel by…

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Novel (edition 2006)

by Susanna Clarke

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,16556184 (3.96)1 / 778
Title:Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Novel
Authors:Susanna Clarke
Info:Tor Books (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 1024 sivua
Collections:Your library

Work details

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

  1. 321
    The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke (billiecat, celtic)
  2. 291
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman (GreenVelvet, GreenVelvet, GreenVelvet)
    GreenVelvet: Both Stardust and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell are detailed, well-written and riveting explorations of the world of fairie.
  3. 180
    Little, Big by John Crowley (VisibleGhost)
  4. 202
    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (derelicious, jonathankws)
  5. 160
    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (-Eva-, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Magical rivalries are at the heart of these unconventional Fantasy novels, which play out over decades and against elaborate, atmospheric 19th-century backdrops. Their initially relaxed pacing gains momentum as the various narrative threads dramatically converge.… (more)
  6. 172
    The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany (billiecat)
    billiecat: Clarke's descriptions of Faerie share the dreamlike qualities of Dunsany's novel.
  7. 185
    The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (clif_hiker)
  8. 164
    His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (Rodo)
  9. 153
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (majkia)
    majkia: both books evoked the same sort of feeling for me.
  10. 175
    The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (ErlendSkjelten)
    ErlendSkjelten: I don't remember making this recommendation, much less why I did; they are very different books. I think I felt that they both conjured up the same mystic mood, and they are both concerned with a very British magic.
  11. 131
    Lud-In-The-Mist by Hope Mirrlees (TheSpecialistsCat)
    TheSpecialistsCat: Both Clarke and Mirrlees lived briefly in Spain, then returned home to write about fairies and also, ostensibly, what it means to be English.
  12. 131
    Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Both have the same "Jane-Austen-meets-Harry-Potter" vibe to them; "Jonathan Strange" is denser and more grown-up, while "Sorcery & Cecelia" is funnier and more of a romp.
  13. 166
    Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake (saltmanz)
    saltmanz: Both extrememly atmospheric books, with vivid visuals and memorable characters.
  14. 124
    To Say Nothing of the Dog; or, How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last by Connie Willis (hiredman)
  15. 103
    The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (flissp)
  16. 104
    The Prestige by Christopher Priest (Patangel)
  17. 71
    Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner (spiphany)
  18. 50
    Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: Books which focus on a fascinating historical Britain, but with added fun like magicians and more.
  19. 50
    The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox (Anonymous user)
  20. 84
    The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud (clif_hiker)

(see all 46 recommendations)


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English (547)  French (5)  Japanese (2)  Italian (2)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All languages (561)
Showing 1-5 of 547 (next | show all)
This book isn’t just well written, but well written in a unique way. The style of the writing reminded me a bit of Charles Dickens, if Dickens wrote about magic. This writing style contributed to setting the scene and made me feel as though I was in nineteenth century England. However, I’m still going to offer what may be an unpopular opinion of this much-beloved book and say that it really dragged for me. It took a long time for anything exciting to happen and even when interesting things were going on, the writing style, though enjoyable, didn’t convey any sense of urgency or excitement. I was also disappointed that the book didn’t give any explanations for how magic works. The writing made this book feel as though it could itself be one of the magician’s memoirs the characters consult and it would have been enjoyable to learn something about the technical aspects of magic in this world. Although personally, I was mostly just excited to finish this book, I can definitely see the appeal of the writing and recommend checking out the many more positive opinions out there before making up your mind about this book.

This review first published at Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Mar 26, 2015 |
Creo que ha sido el libro que más he tardado en leer en mi vida, teniendo en cuenta que no lo he intercalado con otros y que no he interrumpido su lectura por grandes rachas de tiempo. No habría llegado a la mitad si no hubiera estado tan bien escrito. Clarke es una excelente narradora, la construcción de sus personajes es perfecta. La magia es increiblemente evocadora. Pero es que no pasa nada durante más de tres cuartos del libro. Nada de nada. Simplemente se nos presenta el escenario y el contexto de la ¿acción? que se concentra en las últimas páginas de la novela. Me ha gustado, pero aún no estoy segura de que haya merecido la pena tanto tiempo dedicado a su lectura.
( )
  L0r0 | Mar 22, 2015 |
Since I will not read this book till the end, I'm noti going to rate it. I did not get past 160 pages.
It is not bad-bad, but I can't get into it. Not at 50 pages, not at a 100, not at 150. So... instead of struggling on till page 1006 or so, I'm now giving up.
At this point in time this is not the right book for me.
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 20, 2015 |
In an alternate England of 1806, at a meeting of theoretical magicians, a visitor asks why the magic of the past is described and discussed but no longer actually done. This elicits ridicule and righteousness (it is entirely the wrong question, and we do not sully our reputations), but also prompts a trip to the remote estate of Mr. Norrell, whose library is rumored to include ancient books of practical magic. Mr. Norrell seizes the opportunity for revival, with the assistance of his servant Mr. Childermass. A legal maneuver to dismiss potential rivals, a strategic entry into elite circles of London smoothed by a social climber to mutual advantage, the resurrection of a politician’s fiancee in collusion with a double-dealing faerie, and he is established as magician to the government, applying his skills in the war against Napoleon. Then, surprisingly, he accepts a student, Jonathan Strange, a dilettante who is suddenly fixated on magic after an encounter with a street sorcerer proclaiming cryptic prophesy.

I was quite entertained initially, by the 19th century verbosity, by the pretension and pomposity and fussiness, by the sympathetic characters in fanciful but distressing predicaments. Several hundred pages in the charm was wearing off with repetition, but after a sluggish middle the pace picked up, and confusing storylines began to merge into coherence.
  qebo | Mar 15, 2015 |
the "read" status on this is not quite true. i read through about half and just couldn't finish. i didn't care about what was going on. too many subplots and not enough of a main plot. it was well-written with intriguing prose and notions of an alternate Earth whereon people could do magic. nice- but the story did not match up to those elements in my opinion. maybe someday i will be in the mood to slog through to the end and then maybe my attitude will change. ( )
  keebrook | Mar 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 547 (next | show all)
"Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" has been celebrated as an adult Harry Potter story, but it is more like a flatter and flabbier one. Chapters end with no cliff-hanging urgency, and the book is studded with unremarkable remarks. ...

Somehow, the gargantuan battle for the future of English magic does not become a matter of enormous consequence. But it does become the basis for a brand new fantasy world, an intricate and fully imagined universe of bewitching tricks. Maybe that's enough.
added by Aerrin99 | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Sep 14, 2004)
Her deftly assumed faux-19th century point of view will beguile cynical adult readers into losing themselves in this entertaining and sophisticated fantasy.
Many charmed readers will feel, as I do, that Susanna Clarke has wasted neither her energies nor our many reading hours.
Susanna Clarke, who resides in Cambridge, England, has spent the past decade writing the 700-plus pages of this remarkable book. She's a great admirer of Charles Dickens and has produced a work every bit as enjoyable as The Pickwick Papers, with more than a touch of the early Anne Rice thrown in for good measure.
"Move over, little Harry. It’s time for some real magic."

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susanna Clarkeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merla, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenberg, PortiaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He hardly ever spoke of magic, and when he did it was like a history lesson and no one could bear to listen to him.
In memory of my brother, Paul Frederick Gunn Clarke, 1961-2000
First words
Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians.
At sixteen she spoke -- not only French, Italian & German -- which are part of any lady's commonplace accomplishments -- but all the languages of the civilized (and uncivilized) world. She spoke the language of the Scottish Highlands (which is like singing). She spoke Basque, which is a language which rarely makes any impression upon the brains of any other race, so that a man may hear it as often and as long as he likes, but never afterwards be able to recall a single syllable of it. She even learnt the language of a strange country which, Signor Tosetti had been told, some people believed still existed, although no one in the world could say where it was. (The name of the country was Wales.)
It is also true that that his hair had a reddish tinge and, as everybody knows, no one with red hair can ever truly be said to be handsome.
"Soldiers, I am sorry to say, steal everything." He thought for a moment and then added, "Or at least ours do."
"Can a magician kill a man 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 could."
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0765356155, Mass Market Paperback)

It's 1808 and that Corsican upstart Napoleon is battering the English army and navy. Enter Mr. Norrell, a fusty but ambitious scholar from the Yorkshire countryside and the first practical magician in hundreds of years. What better way to demonstrate his revival of British magic than to change the course of the Napoleonic wars? Susanna Clarke's ingenious first novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, has the cleverness and lightness of touch of the Harry Potter series, but is less a fairy tale of good versus evil than a fantastic comedy of manners, complete with elaborate false footnotes, occasional period spellings, and a dense, lively mythology teeming beneath the narrative. Mr. Norrell moves to London to establish his influence in government circles, devising such powerful illusions as an 11-day blockade of French ports by English ships fabricated from rainwater. But however skillful his magic, his vanity provides an Achilles heel, and the differing ambitions of his more glamorous apprentice, Jonathan Strange, threaten to topple all that Mr. Norrell has achieved. A sparkling debut from Susanna Clarke--and it's not all fairy dust. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:45 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In nineteenth-century England, all is going well for rich, reclusive Mr Norell, who has regained some of the power of England's magicians from the past, until a rival magician, Jonathan Strange, appears and becomes Mr Norrell's pupil.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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