Thursday, December 09, 2004

 

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

I finished this today. After what I felt was a very slow start this turned out to be a very good read. I found it to be a bit slow for the first one hundred pages but after that I couldn't put it down. Especially in the last part of the book. The story is based on two unlikely characters who get together to try and restore magic to England. While this story is being told we are also given some details into the history of magic and mans relationship with fairies. It is set during the early 19th century and so tries to put across some of the atmosphere of those times. There are some phrases in there which I am sure would never have been found in the book had it really been written in those times. I think that was part of the charm though. I liked the fact that the author freely expressed herself using modern terms when she felt the need to. Other than the slow start the only thing I found irritating was the footnotes which I found to be a little excessive. They gave a history to the idea of magicians in Britain but at times I found them to be irritating. It is my own fault though. Occasionally I would be paying too much attention the actual interaction between the characters that I wouldn't notice that there is footnote mark until I see the actual footnote at the bottom of the page. I would recommend it though. You don't have to be a fantasy or even a Harry Potter fan to enjoy it. As long as you enjoy a good long read then you might get something out of it.

I am now reading "I Capture The Castle" by Dodie Smith. I haven't read much of it yet so don't want to judge. I have heard from a few people that it is a great read so I am looking forward to getting into it.

I am also reading "Christmas Mystery" by Jostein Gaarder. I learned about this one last Christmas but it was too late to begin it. So this year I made a point of buying a copy before December. With this book you are supposed to read a chapter a day up until the last one which lands on Christmas Eve. Every day a little boy is opening the doors to a magic advent calendar. In each door he finds a sheet of paper which tells part of a tale. It's a very sweet story and I am very much enjoying it. I am also trying my hardest not to just finish it rather than read a chapter a day.

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