23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Strange by name, strange by nature,
This review is from: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Paperback)
The main virtue of this book is the way in which it portrays the magical, the surreal and the ridiculous whilst still assuring the reader of the seriousness of the overall endeavour. Whether its painting a scene with lashings of black humour, or dwelling casually on the gruesomeness of the living dead, we are convinced of the writer's commitment to genuine realism both in the characterisation and in the dynamics of the narrative. Whilst the Regency England depicted in the novel is a magical one, there is an internal consistency and wonderful focus on detail which draws us in to an experience which is the ultimate in escapism. The style and orthography of the writing makes you feel like you are entering a different world every time you open the book. The pseudo-eighteenth century style and orthography isn't quite authentic but gets about as close as the setting does to the historical one and creates the same kind of effect - the sense that you have happened upon some artifact of the past, but which doesn't quite match up with the reality we've always been told about. At some points in the book you almost find yourself believing that sorcery was a respected academic discipline in the early nineteenth century - they did wear those ridiculous wigs after all.
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Initial post: 7 Jan 2012 11:22:27 GMT
Why do you take it as being a "pseudo 18th century" style, when, as you say, it's set in the earlly 19th Century?
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