August 1st, 2005

breaking bad

The North Will Rise Again

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susannah Clarke is on the shortlist for both the fantasy and Hugo awards. My short comment - I have almost finished it, and I think it's a wonderful book. However, it is quite stylised and measured, it's a long book, and the first 100 pages are slower and less interesting than the rest - all this in the way of a warning. If you don't like Austen's writing style (you know who you are) you may not like this.

Coincidentally this is the second book in a row I have read that is written in the English of the Napoleonic Wars period (the previous being Fire Down Below). JS&MN is the more mannered of the two. It also has a lot of footnotes and a lot of digressions into short 'folk stories' and 'urban legends'. I like all that sort of thing a lot, for example in House of Leaves - which shares, oddly enough, one or two other similarities with this otherwise very different book. However, you know for yourself whether that sort of thing gets on your nerves or not.
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