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bryan
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 10:38 am:   

thoughts? is it worth buying the hardcover?
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Luís
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:46 pm:   

Not all of it, I'm still reading, but yeah, it's very good so far.

Best,
Luís
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Peggy Hailey
Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 09:09 am:   

I think it's worth it, Byran. It's a phenomenally detailed work of imagination that manages to be a gripping story as well.
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bryan
Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 09:21 am:   

thanks, i picked it up. have only read a little bit so far (so good).
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Martinus
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 08:57 am:   

Neil Gaiman wrote in his blog that it's the best English fantasy of the past 60 years or something like that, and when Neil Gaiman says something like that, I usually believe him. :-)

I haven't read the book yet -- I'm waiting for the British hardcover -- but I am definitely going to get it.
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EDatlow
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 08:17 pm:   

And here's another pov by John Clute who think it might be the best English fantasy when it's finished (3 book trilogy):
http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue385/excess.html
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Trent Jamieson
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 03:13 pm:   

Well that makes me feel rather smart :-) Lud-in-the-Mist is one of my favourite novels and I was wondering if that was what Neil Gaiman was referring to. Sussana Clarke has done something extraordinary with this book. It's not so much a new voice but a daring refashioning of an old one, with nary a false note anywhere. And it's a delight to read, which came as a very pleasant surprise, because after the hype I was ready to hate this book.

Let me jump on the praise-train and say: buy it now.
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Martinus
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 02:36 am:   

EDatlow: Good Heavens! It's a trilogy? I am both delighted and shocked. Delighted, because after all the nice things I've heard about it i want it to be as long as possible, and shocked, because I was under the impression that it was a stand-alone.

Looking forward to it even more! :-)
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Claude Lalumičre
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 03:37 am:   

On her website Clarke says that she has at least one more book planned set in the same world, but not necessarily with the same characters in the spotlight.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, despite what John Clute says and whether or not more books are written that explore the same world, is indeed a standalone novel. It's a wonderful book, and it has a great ending.
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paulw
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 05:17 am:   

It's a very rich book, not without problems, but with delights and rewards aplenty. It could have used a good editor, not merely in terms of cutting, but to identify certain logical inconsistencies which seem to have escaped the author, including one of real significance . . . unless, of course, the author plans to address this seeming inconsistency in a future volume. I'm reviewing it in my next column for Realms of Fantasy.
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Dflewis
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 07:34 am:   

Fiction that is Magic, rather than fiction that is about magic or fiction that is like magic. A few weeks ago, I wrote a short article on this in relation to JS & Mr N here:
http://weirdmonger.blogspot.com/2006/04/fiction.html
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Dflewis
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 11:23 am:   

yes, I've read both those books - many years ago. I know the 1st one is John Crowley. Isn't the 2nd one Hope Mirlees? Or Hannes Bok? I'll have to revisit them following your reminder. Thanks.

des
http://www.weirdmonger.com
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Dflewis
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 12:06 pm:   

Thanks, -- Bok did write fiction as well. Yep, Mirrlees, for LUD-IN-THE-MIST - I simply know it was a wonderful experience to read in the seventies (Lin Carter's Ballantyne Fantasy), but I can't remember it at all!! A paradox.
des
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Dflewis
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 12:56 am:   

Yes, Bok's THE SORCERER'S SHIP and BEYOND THE GOLDEN STAIR. Types of A Merritt fantasy? I remember enjoying them greatly in the seventies. I'll have to search them out from my age-cluttered eaves cupboards!
des
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Ed Sinkovits
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 08:59 am:   

I read it and enjoyed it, with some reservations. It is easy to understand why some (many?) people don't like it. It's very "Britishy" set in British history with British customs and culture which may not appeal to Americans in particular. And although it's a fascinating story, it's also a very ponderous and slow moving narrative in the old style of writing in contrast to most modern fiction which tends to be fairly lean and fast moving. That being said, it is well worth reading, a very very good book if not everyone's cup of tea. I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, a term too often abused, since I think some test of time is required for that determination.

It is worth noting that Susanna Clarke's next book is now listed on Amazon set for October release, a short story collection called The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories. Ten stories set in the same universe as Jonathan Strange with some of the stories featuring those same characters according to the blurb. Looks like a simultaneous US/UK HC release. They mention that her next novel is due for release Fall 2008, more than two years away.
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 09:39 am:   

I saw it as an ambitious attempt to recreate a nineteenth century novel while writing about an alternative Europe where magic was real. As an alternative history, I thought it was imaginative and coherent; the characters' world-views were those of the period -- Strange and Norrell came across to me as true representations of Englishmen of the Regency, not as twenty-first century men tarted up in period costume.

As a recreation of the style of a Thackerayish novel, it struck me as very well done, except for some small flaws in the language (ending sentences with prepositions, using "them: instead of "him" as a neuter pronoun).

The overall effect I found to be quite delightful. I think Ms. Clarke achieved what she set out to achieve, and is to be commended for writing something distinctive, rather than what everyone else is writing.

Matt Hughes
www.archonate.com
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Dflewis
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 01:12 am:   

I'd call it genuinely 'weird'. If Weird Fiction has any meaning at all, this is it. I don't think I've read true weird fiction before I read this novel.
'Weird' as well as its usual connotations carries a colloquial 'controlling of fate' sense. A Weird is also a spell or charm.
If you have dreams from reading books, with this book, you'll probably have a 'real life' instead.
des
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Dflewis
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 08:39 am:   

Or a geas.

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