Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
I started to read this back in october for @bibliophilicwitch‘s readalong, then got terribly late and finally managed to finish it after … 10 months??? Tagging @heretherebebooks @masternamerofhogwarts and @birdiethebibliophile who wanted my opinion
The writing is really descriptive (maybe too much?) It succeeds in conveying an atmosphere, but it does so by slowing down the plot…
The plot takes soooo long to start. The second half of the book is better pace-wise, and the last couple chapters really pick up speed.
I enjoyed the way magic was presented and explained, and how the world got unused to practical magic for such a long while.
There are too many secondary characters. At some point I became unable to remember who they were (aside from the main characters, and a few selected secondary characters that felt more fleshed out to me). There are also weird convolutions around these, and it muddles the plot even further.
At first I loved the book for its atmosphere. Then I hated it for its slow moving plot. Then I enjoyed it again, but by then, 400 pages and 6 months had passed. Overall, I liked the book. But honestly, I can only recommend it to people who either really really love long descriptions and plethora of characters, or who know they can soldier through about half of the book. I know that for one, should I ever decide to reread this, I’ll skip straight ahead to part three.