Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our Fantastic Favorites: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

Historical fiction, comedy of manners, and sprawling fantasy epic: Susanna Clarke's tale of two English magicians and how they changed the early 19th century is a masterpiece. The dry humor, though incredibly understated, is hilarious, and the characters are all very much alive, each meeting a fitting end (or beginning). In the course of its telling, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell manages to be witty, surreal, sumptuously detailed, and compelling.