What a delightful book! While I must confess that Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell hardly left a deep impression on me, I liked it immensely. The plot wasn’t all that remarkable; rather, it was Clarke’s playful way of stringing words together that had me turning page after page. I thought that her use of archaic spellings was a particularly nice touch. ‘Choose’ was spelt’ chuse’, and ‘show’ as ‘shew’. It was very Dickensian, and I don’t know why that appealed to me, because I absolutely detest Dickens.
To be honest, this was merely another ‘light’ book that I picked up on a whim. I don’t have all that much to say about it, except that I liked it. Also, normally I walk right away from books like these. Anything to do with enchantment and sorcery and ravens gives me the creeps. But a friend lent me her copy a few weeks back; it was so fun that I finished it in two nights, and now I’m back to Cloud Atlas and War and Peace.
I’m not that far into Cloud Atlas; so far, it hasn’t been too horrible (the prose is not as “smug” and “I’m-oh-so-clever” as I expected it to be) but it hasn’t been entirely compelling either. In fact, it’s rather bland so far. The Tolstoy, on the other hand, has taken me completely by surprise. Perhaps it’s the translation? Compared to my ordeal with Constance Garnett’s Anna Karenina, W&P is turning out to be a very nice experience.
» This was my Free book for the 9 Books for 2009 project. For this particular category, we were asked to pick a book that we had somehow acquired for free, whether it be a gift, or a stolen library copy (just joking). I originally planned on reading Winton’s Cloudstreet, but then a friend lent me her copy of this book.