Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Boxed Three Volume Collector's Edition

Paperback, 1024 pages

English language

Published Oct. 20, 2005 by Bloomsbury USA.

ISBN:
9781596911536
OCLC Number:
86128440

View on OpenLibrary

3 stars (7 reviews)

Published in 2004, it is an alternative history set in 19th-century England around the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Its premise is that magic once existed in England and has returned with two men: Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange. Centred on the relationship between these two men, the novel investigates the nature of "Englishness" and the boundaries between reason and unreason, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Dane, and Northern and Southern English cultural tropes/stereotypes. It has been described as a fantasy novel, an alternative history, and a historical novel. It inverts the Industrial Revolution conception of the North-South divide in England: in this book the North is romantic and magical, rather than rational and concrete.

22 editions

Review of "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Boxed Three Volume Collector's Edition" on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I really wanted to like this, given all of the good reviews. I tried the written book, I tried the audio book. There was a review that said it got better about 8 hours in. I just couldn't make it - there were interesting moments, but it felt like a chore to keep trying to come back to this book.

Review of "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Boxed Three Volume Collector's Edition" on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Sadly, I didn't care for this book - it just didn't engage me. I found the setting interesting, but not enough so to carry the book - and for me, the characters and the meandering plot were both lacking. I found it slow going, and it's only because I'm too stubborn to abandon a book half-read (unless it's TRULY awful) that I finished it at all.

This is not to say that it's not a good book, and I'm sure there are plenty of readers who will love it. It just wasn't for me.

Review of "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Boxed Three Volume Collector's Edition" on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

It's a gorgeously written book and the world-building and attention to detail is phenomenal, but the narrative is simply far too slow. I don't really need a five-page footnote to provide every bit of backstory that didn't fit into the main novel and - about half way through - gave up on these entirely just so I could slog through to the end of the book.

avatar for AbominableDrH

rated it

5 stars
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rated it

5 stars
avatar for Daylight

rated it

5 stars

Subjects

  • Short Stories (single author)
  • Fiction
  • Fiction - Fantasy
  • Fantasy - Historical
  • Fiction / General
  • Fairies
  • Magicians
  • Teacher-student relationships