- Mass Market Paperback: 1024 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (1 August 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765356155
- ISBN-13: 978-0765356154
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 4.1 x 17.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – 1 Aug 2006
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“What kind of magic can make an 800-page novel seem too short? Whatever it is, debut author Susanna Clarke is possessed by it.” ―USA Today on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“Ravishing...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...What really sets Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell apart is its treatment of magic. Clarke's magic is a melancholy, macabre thing, confabulated out of snow and rain and mirrors and described with absolute realism ... Clarke has another rare faculty: she can depict evil ... [she] reaches down into fantasy's deep, dark, twisted roots, down into medieval history and the scary, Freudian fairy-tale stuff. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell reminds us that there's a reason fantasy endures: it's the language of our dreams. And our nightmares.” ―Time
“Clarke's imagination is prodigious, her pacing is masterly and she knows how to employ dry humor in the service of majesty.” ―The New York Times on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“Unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years. It's funny, moving, scary, otherworldly, practical and magical, a journey through light and shadow--a delight to read, both for the elegant and precise use of words, which Ms. Clarke deploys as wisely and dangerously as Wellington once deployed his troops, and for the vast sweep of the story, as tangled and twisting as old London streets or dark English woods. Closing Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel after 800 pages, my only regret was that it wasn't twice the length.... From beginning to end, a perfect pleasure.” ―Neil Gaiman, author of Anansi Boys, American Gods, and the Sandman series
“Immense, intelligent, inventive...Clarke is a restrained and witty writer with an arch and eminently readable style.” ―Entertainment Weekly on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“Over the course of nearly 800 pages Clarke channels the world of Jane Austen, the Gothic tale, the Silver-Fork Society novel, military adventure à la Bernard Sharpe or Patrick O'Brian, romantic Byronism and Walter Scott's passion for the heroic Northern past. She orchestrates all these fictive elements consummately well...Many books are to be read, some are to be studied, and a few are meant to be lived in for weeks. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is of this last kind.” ―The Washington Post on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“Combining folklore and fantasy with horror-story imagination, [Clarke] creates a Napoleonic-era England alive with the promise--and danger--of uncontrollable forces...Clarke's sober style keeps the fantasy grounded, and meticulous historical research brings the magical episodes to terrifying life.” ―People (Critic's choice, four stars) on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“The most sparkling literary debut of the year.” ―Salon on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“Mesmerizing.” ―Harper's Bazaar on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“This 800-page work of fantasy--think Harry Potter sprinkled with the dust of Tolkien and Alasdair Gray--posits an extraordinary alternative history of England where magic, fairies, spirits and enchantments were once part of everyday life...This incredible work of the imagination, which took Clarke more than 10 years to write, ends all too soon.” ―New York Post (four stars) on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“Here is a writer who remembers that true fairy tales carry a sting and the creatures themselves were never properly domesticated to the nursery. Her uncanny book is an object lesson in the pleasures--and risks--of enchantment.” ―Village Voice on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“Gorgeous...A terrific, phenomenally ambitious book.” ―The Onion on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“An instant classic, one of the finest fantasies ever written.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“Extraordinary...Will enchant readers of fantasy and of literary fiction alike.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“A smashing success...History and fantasy form a beautiful partnership in this detailed, authentic, and heartfelt novel.” ―Booklist (starred review) on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“Wonderful. At almost 800 pages, it is an immense, densely plotted story, peopled with a a vast cast of extremely well-drawn characters, filled with unexpected events, ancient prophesies,varied and exotic settings, and all manner of human and inhuman conflict, and it is built one splendid scene upon the next.” ―Toronto Globe and Mail on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell comes across as equal parts Jane Austen and Charles Dickens flavored with Rowling and Tolkien. It's inarguably one of the year's best and most original works.” ―National Post (Canada)
“Combines the wit of Jane Austen with the subterranean spookiness of the works of Arthur Conan Doyle.” ―Seattle Times on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“An enthralling, unique read.” ―Baltimore Sun
“Witty dialogue, cunning observations, and intriguing footnotes...[A] sweeping adventure full of telling details, mixing history and fantasy to create worlds of deep imagination that seem as real as our own.” ―San Francisco Chronicle on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“While Jonathan Strange is every bit as whimsical and playful as the Harry Potter books, it is also grave and upsetting, the very opposite of comforting children's entertainment...Clarke has delivered a book of universal truths and unexpectedly heartbreaking acuity.” ―Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Utterly enchanting. [Clarke's] union of historical fiction and fantasy is fresh, it is surprising, and it will appeal to those who want nothing more than to be carried away to a world crafted by a superb storyteller.” ―Denver Post on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
“Extraordinary...If Harry Potter is the kind of book that makes you want to be a kid again, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is the kind of novel that will remind you that being an adult should be a whole lot more fun.” ―Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“I found it absolutely compelling. The narrative drive is irresistible and I could not stop reading until I had finished it. The narrator's tone is beautifully judged. It's full of wonderfully deadpan humour and its reticence leaves the reader to make up his or her mind about the characters. I loved all the invented scholarship and was fascinated by the mixture of historical realism and utterly fantastic events. I almost began to believe that there really was a tradition of 'English magic' that I had not heard about. The author captures the period and its literary conventions with complete conviction. And a large part of the fun is seeing how an early nineteenth century novel copes with the impact of magic. It's an astonishing achievement. I can't think of anything that is remotely like it.” ―Charles Palliser, author of The Quincunx, on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From the Back Cover
BOOK SENSE BOOK OF THE YEAR
A PEOPLE MAGAZINE "TOP TEN" BOOK
WINNER OF THE HUGO AWARD
WINNER OF THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD
"Ravishing…Combines the dark mythology of fantasy with the delicious social comedy of Jane Austen into a masterpiece of the genre that rivals Tolkien."―Time
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England's history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England―until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight.
Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.
"What kind of magic can make an 800-page novel seem too short? Whatever it is, debut author Susanna Clarke is possessed by it."―USA Today
"From beginning to end, a perfect pleasure."―Neil GaimanSee all Product description
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After reading the description of this book, Christopher Priest’s ‘The Prestige’ (or the more popular film of the same name which was made by Christopher Nolan) came to my mind. But the plot of ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’ is quite different. The relationship between the 2 is mainly observed from the view of the people around them like spouses, friends, servants, advisors, etc. Hence, these secondary characters play a prominent role.
The world created by the author is quite majestic and an alternate reality of magical England is quite convincing. The use of footnotes greatly enhances our view of the history and scope of this England as well as the evolution of magic within it. Considering the timeline (early part of 19th century), the language is that of old English. Its effect is delightful as there are several hilarious dialogues and moments.
The final quarter of the book takes a dark turn which is quite different when compared to the rest of the plot. My problems with the book were minor. While I found the footnotes very useful and interesting, some of the plot itself felt too stretched out at times. It could have been edited better. Instances like the war in Spain and Stephen Black’s dealings with the Fairy King were dragged too long.
This is an excellent fantasy tale which is surprisingly thorough for a debut. Do check out Zen Cho’s ‘Sorcerer To The Crown’ which also runs along the same lines. Both are fantastic books.
The two well-written protagonists, Jonathan Strange and Gilbert Norrell, are the major vantage points of the reader to view this alternate reality, filled with fairies, ravens, and magical kings; through their conflicting views, we see both sides of the same coin. The other characters, though there are many, have their parts to play in the 'restoration of English magic'. In the end, it is their story as much as it is anybody else's.
The author, through footnotes and separate anecdotes, builds the world of the magicians and the worlds within them with beautiful prose and wonderful detail. Finally, when the last page is turned, one tends to hope for the return of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, as Childermass puts it, in another generation.
I got quite enamored by the new book cover art (the original edition art though classy, is a bit too subtle for my taste). As is the case for most of us bibliophiles, I immediately ordered one for myself. Upon receiving the book, I was very surprised to find it significantly different from what I expected. Amazon lists the book as a paperback but it's a mass market paperback at best (maybe a B-format edition). I now wonder whether it is a good option to go for British paperback editions at all.
The pages used are cheap and yellow tinted. The cover itself is not glossy at all and believe me, it takes the charm out of the beautiful cover art. It also renders the book susceptible to dirt stains and related wear and tear. The spine is humongous as expected, and the binding isn't anything to talk home about. I suspect the book will start falling apart after two to three reads. The font size and print quality is decent.
To add to my woes, the book that I received looks like a used one, with rumpled cover and dirt spots all around. And somebody has scribbled something with a pencil at the back. I think Amazon should do better than that. Sigh.
Well, my expectations of a durable paperback could not be met by this edition. I had hoped that Bloomsbury Modern Classics would be nicer editions, but alas, they're cheap and in this case, unwieldy.
Also for those of you who love fantasy but don't want to plunge yourselves in epic series' like GOT or the stormlight archives...this is the best stand alone fantasy book there is after Guy Gaveriel Kay's works(Tigana and Under heaven specifically)...for me.
The quality of the paperback edition is pretty cool...and durable...so no probs there.
P.S.For those of you who want a fast paced 'grimdark' read and/or expecting it to be a harry potter styled plot with a lot of wand duels this might not be to your expectations...But give the book some time and you will find it deserved the time u gave it!!!...Happy reading guys!👍
The novel itself is very well written, unusual, wicked, Gothic, slow but exciting at the same time, long (very long ) but well tied and it’s about old English magic! What more could one ask?
It is the only novel that I have read which is not directly or indirectly inspired from Tolkien in the same genre.
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