Hello, Loyal Readers!
Woo, November was hard but rewarding, and now I’m back to bring you some more good reads.
This week’s title is…
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel is about two rival magicians trying to revive the art of magic, long thought dead by everyone else. The book takes place in the early 1800’s and, as you know, I love a good period piece.
Why I Picked It Up
JS&MN was recommended to me by a friend (a year or more ago) and I’ve just now found myself between books, so I have no further excuse. He spoke VERY highly of this book, so I’m excited to see how it turns out.
What I Like About It
First things first, VOICE. Susanna Clarke nails her voice and its not one that we hear often in contemporary fiction. It’s a voice and narration style that works well, I feel, because it evokes a style used quite a bit by authors in the period of which the action takes place. Romance Novels, like Frankenstein, The Count of Monte Cristo, Les Miserables, and other such masterworks tend to favor more narration and less dialogue, relative to contemporary fiction, which uses much dialogue. And JS&MN is set during the Napoleonic wars–about the same time Frankenstein was written.
This style carries risks, and is really the mark of a craftsman of skill; you can’t let it be too dry, or the readers are turned off.
What Could Be Better, If Anything
Even though I’ve read quite a bit of the sample, I’ve yet to find anything worthy of constructive criticism. It’s been fun and atmospheric. There’s really not a whole lot I DON’T like about it.
I plan to keep reading this one and follow up as soon as I can, so stay tuned!
Have you read JS&MN? Leave a comment and tell us what you thought of it!
As a Side note, I’m officially a nine-time winner of National Novel Writing Month! Woo! Yay me! Now maybe one day I can get off my ass, clean up, and publish one of them…