HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by…
Loading...

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel (2004)

by Susanna Clarke

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
20,72764070 (3.95)1 / 914
  1. 351
    The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke (billiecat, celtic)
  2. 311
    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. 200
    Little, Big by John Crowley (VisibleGhost)
  4. 202
    The Book of Lost Things: A Novel by John Connolly (derelicious, jonathankws)
  5. 191
    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. 182
    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. 183
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (majkia)
    majkia: both books evoked the same sort of feeling for me.
  8. 206
    Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake (saltmanz)
    saltmanz: Both extrememly atmospheric books, with vivid visuals and memorable characters.
  9. 185
    The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (clif_hiker)
  10. 141
    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.
  11. 185
    His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (Rodo)
  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. 176
    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.
  14. 133
    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (hiredman)
  15. 103
    The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (flissp)
  16. 71
    Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner (spiphany)
  17. 60
    The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox (Anonymous user)
  18. 105
    The Prestige by Christopher Priest (Patangel)
  19. 50
    Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (jen.e.moore)
  20. 61
    Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (nnicole, Jannes)
    nnicole: Magic during the English Regency.
    Jannes: Evokes the same sort of magic in a historical setting (is that a genre yet?) without straying too far inot fantasy/alt-history territory.

(see all 55 recommendations)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (625)  French (5)  Japanese (2)  Italian (2)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All (639)
Showing 1-5 of 625 (next | show all)
To be honest, I didn't complete this book. I had heard a lot of good things about it at the time and I figured I might as well try it out. However I soon found that it was absolutely one of the dryest, most drawn out and uninteresting stories I have ever read. I will admit that I have no idea if towards the end it got better, but I will never know because I have tried several times to read it but have never succeeded. ( )
  sasta | Feb 1, 2017 |
An amazing book, a masterpiece. Not action packed, but very engaging. Infused with a sly, dry sense of humor, yet capable of tugging at the heart at the same time. The kind of book that begs for sequels. ( )
  jeddak | Jan 27, 2017 |
An ok book. It is written in an old fashion style. Shew for Show. I knew Mr. Norrell's not specifying which half of Emma's life the fairy would have would come back to bite him.

Favorite quote:

"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." ( )
  nx74defiant | Jan 21, 2017 |
This was a very uniquely told fantasy story. It’s set in England (mostly) in the early 1800’s, and the author tells it in an authentic-sounding manner. It mixes in a bit of the real world with the fantasy world, and uses some archaic words like “shew” (show) and “chuse” (choose) to add flavor. There are also a lot of footnotes that add depth. The tone of the story, combined with the footnotes, often made it feel a little more like I was reading a historical text rather than a fictional story. Well, aside from all the magic and stuff, of course. :) There’s also some humor. It’s a somewhat dry humor that comes in large part from the despicable characters populating the story.

The basic story is that true magic hasn’t been seen in England for a very long time. When the book begins, we’re introduced to a bunch of argumentative men who call themselves “magicians” but in fact have never cast any sort of spell. They just study the history of magic, but they don’t practice it themselves or know of anybody who does. Then we meet Mr Norrell who, much to everybody’s surprise, is a “practical” magician – he can actually do magic. Mr Norrell has decided to make it his goal to bring magic back to England. But Mr Norrell does not have the type of personality you might expect, nor does he go about things in a way that might seem most effective to a rational reader.

It was an interesting story, and the writing was impressively done, but I was never very absorbed by it. It’s far more character-based than plot-based, which isn’t a problem for me, but there weren’t too many truly likeable characters in this book and some of them were downright awful. The book is broken up into three parts. The first part features mostly despicable characters, the second part gives more page time to some of the more likeable characters, and the third part picks up the pace of the plot more significantly. I thought the book steadily got better and better, but I still found it easy to put down. For all the depth and authenticity the author put into the setting and the characters, I wasn’t too thrilled with the magic itself. There seemed to be no real or consistent rules and, at times, it seemed terribly overpowered.

This book is 850 pages, not counting the footnotes that were all counted as page 850 in my Kindle edition. The footnotes made up the last 7%, which would be about 64 pages. So yes, this book was slightly tome-ish! If anybody reads this on a Kindle, be careful because some of the footnotes get cut off in the pop-ups. Many of the footnotes are quite long, some being practically short stories rather than ‘notes’. When reading on the Kindle, you can follow the link to go directly to the footnotes to make sure you’re seeing it all. In my case, I chose to read the book on my tablet instead, even though I don’t normally use it for reading. It was just a little easier, plus the footnote indicators stood out better on a color screen with their blue numbers and I didn’t want to miss any. I’ll be very happy to get back to my Kindle, but my tablet did give a slightly more realistic “weight” to my tome. :)

I have a couple of more specific comments that I’ll need to put within spoiler tags:
I thought the most interesting parts involved secondary characters. I was very interested in Childermass. I wish he’d played a more prominent role in the book, but the air of mystery surrounding him was part of his appeal. I also enjoyed the parts with Stephen Black quite a bit. Segundus was also interesting, what little we saw of him.

Jonathan Strange was somewhat likeable, certainly far more so than Mr Norrell. He was rash and a bit self-absorbed, but I liked his openness and his desire to spread knowledge. He seemed to have good intentions, even though his carelessness was sometimes a problem. Mr Norrell, on the other hand… ugh! Setting aside the fact that most of the problems in the book were the result of his selfish choices, he just had a horrid personality. I hate information hoarders, and he took it to extremes. He tried to suppress other magicians not out of genuine concern that they might cause harm, but because he was afraid somebody might equal or surpass his skills and siphon off some of his credit. He wanted all the glory for himself, and he cared more about his own pride than the greater good. He irrationally worked against his own stated objective of bringing Magic to England by actually suppressing it. Ok, yes, he struck a nerve with me. :) I guess that says something for how well-written he was if he managed to evoke so much dislike from me.

It was a little surprising to me, at least at first, that Norrell became so fond of Strange’s companionship, but I guess it makes sense that he would enjoy his first opportunity to converse with somebody who shared his interest in and aptitude for magic. Given Norrell’s history of dishonesty and selfish behavior, I imagine he will hinder Strange rather than help him solve their little curse of darkness, out of a desire to keep Strange all to himself.


Whew… I guess my review was a bit of a tome itself! ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Jan 15, 2017 |
While this is a very fun book to read, if you're looking for depth, symbolism, a moral to the story, etc, read the Harry Potter books. This is much more like the Cecy and Kate books by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. ( )
  aurelas | Dec 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 625 (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 editionscalculated
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merla, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenberg, PortiaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
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.
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Haiku summary
Two odd magicians
restore magic to England
and go kind of nuts. (marcusbrutus)

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:06 -0400)

(see all 6 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.

» see all 8 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
61 avail.
205 wanted
5 pay15 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.95)
0.5 28
1 146
1.5 29
2 296
2.5 94
3 852
3.5 260
4 1765
4.5 326
5 1887

Audible.com

5 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 112,491,896 books! | Top bar: Always visible