Strange & Norrell

The hardcover edition of the book
Most were put off by the heft of it...

Book club meeting earlier today. My wife and her friends started it ages ago, and it’s been around long enough to have had more than one name; they started out as the “Acid Free’s” and now it’s know as “Everything But The Book” – ‘coz that’s what we tend to talk about.

So far, so very ungeeky right? Well since joining I’ve been trying to get them to read more sci-fi and fantasy, but my first recommendation, a Neal Stephenson book, was not well received as I mentioned in a previous post. Ironically, my next successful recommendation happened at a meeting that I didn’t even go to; I’d stopped going because I already had a pretty long reading list of my own, but bless ’em, the clubbers decided to pick something from my list.

We talked about Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke, which I already reviewed over on my personal blog (this is before I started GeekReads). Most of the guys didn’t actually get through it, daunted by the sheer size of it. Becky, was smart and got the trilogy edition which was spread out over 3 volumes. She was also one of the ones to have gotten the furthest along.

So there didn’t end up being much discussion about the book (in keeping with the name of the club), but it was generally agreed amongst the 3 who finished it (me, my wife Jenny and Leanne) that it was good mostly towards the end, but the first part was a slog1. Leanne’s comment was something like that “it would have been twice as good if it was half as long” – i.e. Clarke would probably have benefited from a better editor.

At least they didn’t hate it, even though they haven’t read it :-) My quest to enlighten them to the wonders of our preferred genres continues…

The next book is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

1 And the footnotes were really annoying.

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