Heavy, man!

Here goes my first attempt at blogging. Thanks to my pal doulicia for giving me the idea!

I'm about two-thirds of the way through Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clark. It's a combination of historical fiction & fantasy, set in England during the Napoleonic Wars. I can't help comparing the author to Patrick O'Brian, who has pretty much cornered the market in Napoleonic-era historical novels. Clark relies on archaic spellings ("shew" for "show," etc.) to provide historical authenticity, rather than the slang and speech rhythms that make O'Brian so fun to read. In this one, you never forget it wasn't written in the time period in which it takes place. Can't yet comment on the plot, because I haven't finished it, but so far it's suspenseful, interesting, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, the gamut. And it's full of little peripheral stories in footnotes that are quite wonderful.

One big criticism, though: this book weighs a
ton! It's 800 pages, hard cover, and it's hard to hold. I can only read it comfortably if I'm lying down, resting the book on my chest. Otherwise I start to get cramps across the palms of my hands. They should have used lighter paper.


  • I agree that Strange & Norrell is entirely too heavy. I'm usually a bathtub reader, but this book is landlocked because of its weight!

    posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 2:38 PM