Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sad to say, I simply could not finish this book and I feel terribly guilty about that. Its fanciful world and level of quirky erudition ought to be right up my street, but as a (very) casual fiction reader, I found it impossible to move the narrative along. Total philistine. 100 lashes. Next time I’m on a desert island, I’ll give it another go.


  1. Really long books I enjoyed all the way to the end:

    The Brothers Karamazov
    Gravity’s Rainbow
    Life and Fate
    The Man without Qualities

    Really long books that I couldn’t stomach and never bothered to finish:

    A la recherche…
    Moby Dick
    Tristram Shandy


  2. It is a very challenging book for many readers. If you can langorously steep in it, it really seeps in and unsettles, though. And the slowness (and erudition) isn’t all that much for anyone who has read at least a smattering of 19th century novels.


  3. After getting about 2/3rds of the way through it, I gave up and skipped to the last chapter or two to see how it ends. I find that I read a lot of books from back to front these days. Unless it’s an author I know and trust, I now prefer checking to see if the conclusion is worth reading all the way through to get. The ending of “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell” was okay, but I didn’t feel much need to read everything that I skipped.


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