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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 10 - 02:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 10 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,nickp (cookieless) 26 Oct 10 - 03:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 10 - 04:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 10 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,Lighter 27 Oct 10 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 27 Oct 10 - 09:55 AM
Ernest 27 Oct 10 - 12:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 10 - 03:09 PM
janemick 27 Oct 10 - 03:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Oct 10 - 03:34 PM
Desert Dancer 27 Oct 10 - 05:03 PM
Burke 27 Oct 10 - 05:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Oct 10 - 01:10 PM
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Subject: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 02:32 PM

I've just finished reading this, all 1006 pages.

An amazing book.

"A triumph of traditional imaginative storytelling" was how the Irish Times summed it up, and traditional there means the kind of spell shanachies used to spin. Think Eddie Lenihan.

And then think "Jane Austin".

Strange indeed.


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 02:33 PM

Maybe that should be BS. But I'd say it belongs up above the line as folklore.


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: GUEST,nickp (cookieless)
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 03:08 PM

Hard going but I'm glad I read it. Not sure I'd read it again though. Clever 'period' style.


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:18 PM

Hard going? I'd say fairly easy going, but a lot of it. But after all there's no hurry about things like that. One chapter a night and it's a couple of months, takes you through to Christmas.

After all, it is what they used to call in the days it's set in "a three-decker" - it's just that the three volumes are bound together as one book.

Amusing reading the reviews tucked away somewhere on that link I gave including the Guardian reviewer's rather silly comment: "As for sexual attraction, forget it: Clarke's protagonists are chaste to the bone, and their flesh never intrudes. There are many less crucial but annoying flaws..."


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 09:10 AM

Maybe down in BS might have been better...


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 09:30 AM

It's a lot of fun, McGrath. Recommended!

Now for the latest on Jane Austen (as he steps back out of the way):

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20101023/ten-jane-austen-novels-polished-by-male-a56114e.html


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 09:55 AM

I thought that it was an interesting and original book - but far, far too long though.


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: Ernest
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 12:33 PM

Yes, liked it too - funny in a very subtle way. Interesting development of characters, esp. Childermass.

And almost modern: nobody cares about the consequences of the technology (wizardry) he uses.


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 03:09 PM

Too long? There's no need to keep reading a book past the point it loses your interest.


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: janemick
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 03:12 PM

got a third of the way through and started to lose the will to live. Found something else to read


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 03:34 PM

By my bedside table. May be the next one I read. A bit heavy for the bed, but sounds like one well-worth reading.

I have been buying for winter reading. (Alberta, 8 months cold, dark and drear).


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 05:03 PM

I enjoyed it, have it on my list to reread.

(I'm not sure this discussion is particularly folklorical, though...)

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: Burke
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 05:44 PM

I started it once, maybe I should go back to it.


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Subject: RE: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 01:10 PM

The folklore aspect lies in the stories Susanna Clarke slips in as cod-footnotes - and also in some of the episodes. I imagine sometime there may be an edition with a learned folklorist providing genuine footnotes to these, indicating traditional oral stories which Susanna has used.

And in rather a good set of ballad verses at one point -

Not long, not long my father said
Not long shall you be ours
The Raven King knows all too well
Which are the fairest flowers

The priest was all too worldly
Though he prayed and rang his bell
The Raven King three candles lit
The priest said it was well

Her arms were all too feeble
Though she claimed to love me so
The Raven King stretched out his hand
She sighed and let me go

This land is all too shallow
It is painted on the sky
And trembles like the wind-shook rain
When the Raven King goes by

For always and for always
I pray remember me
Upon the moors, beneath the stars
With the King's wild company.


(I didn't type that out myself - just put the first verse in Google, and up came - this blog by someone enthusing about the book. Saves the fingers.


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