Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

I read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke for two challenges. I chose to read this book for Book Awards III Challenge, it won the Hugo Award in 2005. And also for 101 Fantasy Reading Challenge.

The blurb was taken from Amazon:
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.

I struggled with this book, not only because of its size but also because it was so dull. I forced myself to finish reading it, and it was painful every time I picked up the book. I would read the same paragraph numerous times and not register what it said, my mind kept on wandering. Maybe it was a preconceived notion that I had right at the beginning but I just could not get into the story. And I tried people! I truly did! I wanted to be sucked in and enjoy the story, like so many other readers before me. I've been hearing great things about this book, but, I truly don't understand what all the hype is about. Thoughts anyone?

Ok, I did enjoy some of the book, mainly the historical fiction part. But I think that the author was trying too hard to fit the magic with history and politics. I found a few characters interesting enough but by the long run I was wishing they would get on with it already. Yes, it was to purply for me...

Well, at least I can say that I didn't give up...and I didn't throw the book out a window, either.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (2/5) Historical Fiction; Fantasy; Published: Bloomsbury USA (8/2004); New Author; Book Awards III (5); 101 Fantasy Reading Challenge (4); 2009 100 + Reading Challenge (140);


She said...

Ahg, I bought this book a while ago and have yet to pick it up due to the size. I think I'll have to wait a little bit longer to bring up the courage to read it ;)

Leya said...

She - The size is really scary, but you never know you may just enjoy it.
Good luck. :) Thanks for stopping by Wandeca Reads. :D