Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

If, like me, you've spent the last two years avoiding Susanna Clarke's "Strange & Norrell" because it's the size, shape & weight of a house brick, please think again.

It's deep, and rich, and wonderful : the most gripping and immersive read I've come accross for ages.

The language is elegant, precise, and witty : if Jane Austen had written a magical "War & Peace" it might come out like this.

With evocative illustrations by Portia Rosenberg, and extensive and delightfully dry footnotes by the author, it is a book you can live in : it's irksome to have to come back to 2006 to, for instance, work, or eat.

Neil Gaiman says it's "unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last 70 years". He's right, as usual.

If you read it & love it, or perhaps want to try something shorter first,Susanna's short fiction collection "The Ladies of Grace Adieu" which is illustrated by the magnificent Charles Vess, is published mid October. I can't wait.

1 comment:

lonewytch said...

i've been meaning to read it for ages and ages as it looks right up my street...but you know how it is, an ever growing list of books that need to be read. but that really is a glowing reccomendation, i shall move it up my list!!