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3:44pm on Friday, 4th November, 2005:

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell


I've been reading a book that was recommended to me recently, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I maybe wouldn't have started it if I'd have known it was hyped as "the adult's Harry Potter", but actually it's not really in the same vein at all. It reminds me much, much more of The Master and Margarita.

The thing is, I've reached the end of the first sub-book (of three) and it's just slow. I don't like Mr Norrell, I don't care a great deal about Jonathan Strange, and the whimsical writing style with its cod-Victorian spelling ("surprize", "chuse", "shew") is too whimsical at times, especially in its frequent changes of viewpoint. I'm wondering whether I should read the remaining two sub-books, or just set it quietly aside.

Competing for my leisure time with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is Knights of the Old Republic. I've persevered with this, and it's got better, but I'm still disappointed. I'm hopeless at one of the sub-games (sloop racing — the vehicles don't go where I want them to go) and I keep getting into fights I have to replay multiple times over to tedious length just to win through to the next plot point. I'm considering abandoning this, too.

So should I give up on Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, or Knights of the Old Republic, or both?

I think the fact that I received my copy of Civilization IV in the post today answers my question...

Referenced by Prophecy.

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).