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Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (2004)

by Susanna Clarke

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,956715100 (3.95)1 / 1088
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.
Recently added byprivate library, Flipico, jdrennen, BellyandKill, bettie, ZetaRiemann, gordongreen, torgnye
  1. 401
    The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke (billiecat, celtic)
  2. 341
    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. 230
    Little, Big by John Crowley (VisibleGhost)
  4. 221
    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)
  5. 212
    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (derelicious, jonathankws)
  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. 216
    Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake (saltmanz)
    saltmanz: Both extrememly atmospheric books, with vivid visuals and memorable characters.
  9. 161
    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.
  10. 185
    His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (Rodo)
  11. 185
    The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (clif_hiker)
  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. 187
    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. 100
    Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (jen.e.moore)
  15. 133
    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (hiredman)
  16. 123
    The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (flissp)
  17. 60
    Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: Books which focus on a fascinating historical Britain, but with added fun like magicians and more.
  18. 126
    The Prestige by Christopher Priest (Patangel)
  19. 82
    Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner (spiphany)
  20. 60
    The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox (Anonymous user)

(see all 60 recommendations)

To Read (12)

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English (693)  French (5)  Japanese (2)  Italian (2)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Catalan (2)  Finnish (2)  All languages (710)
Showing 1-5 of 693 (next | show all)
This is written in an early 19th century tone. Racism and Class-ism abound in historically accurate ways but it is the nature of the characters and the time, not the author's prejudices that add that flavor to the telling of the story.

It is a convoluted story that wanders off in multiple directions. The ending is never obvious until you actually get to it. It isn't "happily ever after" but it is satisfactory.

This is a very good choice for fans of Jane Austen and urban fantasy. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
Endlich fertig!!!

Es gibt vieles zu diesem Buch zu sagen, manch Positives, manch Negatives, vor allem aber eines: Dieses Buch ist zu lang. Viel zu lang!

Der Anfang war noch vielversprechend: die frischen Ideen, die Sicherheit im Umgang mit dem altmodischen Stil, die Detailverliebtheit. Aber schon bald wurde es zäh, so zäh; was am Anfang noch originell erschien wurde zur Masche, wieder und wieder ausgewalzt, ad nauseam: noch eine Fußnote, die den Lesefluß unterbricht, noch eine Szene, ausstaffiert mit Details über Details, die aber den Plot nicht vorwärts bringen. Hier in diesem monströsen Mittelteil, der sicher 3/4 des Buches ausmacht, hätte man sich einen unerbittlichen Lektor gewünscht, der die ungebremste Fabulierlust der Autorin an die kurze Leine nimmt.

Irgendwann nimmt dann die Handlung Fahrt auf, es passiert tatsächlich auf beinahe jeder Seite etwas, Handlungsstränge finden zueinander, und hier konnte ich das Buch nicht mehr weglegen. Obwohl auch hier etwas ganz subtil mit dem Tempo nicht stimmte. Man könnte fast den Eindruck haben, daß der Autorin tatsächlich jemand zu mehr Tempo geraten hat, obwohl sie viel lieber noch 800 Seiten weiter fabuliert hätte. Vieles passiert jetzt ein Weniges zu schnell und gradlinig: Drawlight erschossen, Lascelles für die nächste Ewigkeit kaltgestellt, Norrell und Strange wieder vereint, ...

Das Ende war dann auf erfreuliche Weise offen und fast ein wenig anrührend, so daß ich nahezu versöhnt das Buch abgeschlossen habe.

Fazit: in Teilen brilliant, in Teilen entnervend zäh, macht zusammen und wohlwollend 3 Punkte ( )
  MrKillick-Read | Apr 4, 2021 |
Neen. Fragmentarisch. Gortdroog. Gaat na 160blz nog nergens heen. Laat maar.
  GertDeBie | Mar 22, 2021 |
Glad to check this one off my Hugo winners list. Magical realism where the magic system is not adequately explained is not really my thing. Few of the characters were all that likable and the 782-page length was daunting. In its favor, the final 1/4 of the book picked up to a decent enough conclusion. The preceding 75% however, was a bit of a slog for this reader. ( )
  ScoLgo | Mar 20, 2021 |
Sophisticated, witty, and ingeniously convincing, Susanna Clarke's magisterial novel weaves magic into a flawlessly detailed vision of historical England. She has created a world so thoroughly enchanting that eight hundred pages leave readers longing for more.

English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.
  CarolBurrows | Mar 9, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 693 (next | show all)
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."
A chimera of a novel that combines the dark mythology of fantasy with the delicious social comedy of Jane Austen into a masterpiece of the genre that rivals Tolkien.
added by Shortride | editTime, Lev Grossman (Aug 16, 2004)

» 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
Webb, WilliamCover designersecondary 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."
It may be laid down as a general rule that if a man begins to sing, no one will take any notice of his song except his fellow human beings. This is true even if his song is surpassingly beautiful. Other men may be in raptures at his skill, but the rest of creation is, by and large, unmoved. Perhaps a cat or a dog may look at him; his horse, if it is an exceptionally intelligent beast, may pause in cropping the grass, but that is the extent of it. But when the fairy sang, the whole world listened to him. Stephen felt clouds pause in their passing; he felt sleeping hills shift and murmur; he felt cold mists dance. He understood for the first time that the world is not dumb at all, but merely waiting for someone to speak to it in a language it understands. In the fairy's song the earth recognized the names by which it called itself.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Two odd magicians
restore magic to England
and go kind of nuts.
Don't ever make a
deal with a faerie – it will
not end well for you.

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