Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke

Another stupidly long book, at over 1000 pages. At the start, I thought this was something of a mistake for me, since the pacing wasn't up to much, and I found the faux-19th-century novel thing more than a little grating (yes, including the excessive footnotes - if I want that kind of thing I have plenty of academic texts). Fortunately, it kept a certain amount of momentum going, and by the end it had built up an enjoyable story in an entertaining world.

In retrospect, the slow start appears to be emphasising the dullness of Mr. Norrell, but reading through initially this isn't obvious, which is somewhat disconcerting. If you want a fairly light and fluffy story that nevertheless will absorb an excessive amount of your free time, this is it. And far more enjoyable than Alistair Reynolds's doorstops.

Posted 2006-03-01.