I buy most of my new books at Costco because they’re cheap, even though the selection is limited. A couple of months ago I bought Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke for $18.59 (Canadian). It’s about 800 pages, the size of dense homemade loaf of bread, and boring. What a disappointment. Here’s some of the praise it’s received:
It’s convenient to pigeonhole it as Harry Potter for grownups-and grown-up readers of J.K. Rowling will enjoy it-but its deep grounding in history gives it gravitas as well as readability.
A reader more distractible than I am might yawn for 300 pages running and still discover several book-length stretches to enjoy. I never yawned.
Susanna Clarke writes like an angel.
They’re full of shit. I not just yawned; it put me to sleep. The writing is long-winded and pompous, where the author tries to create a world full of magicians and fantasy, which just doesn’t work: the dialogue is humdrum, the characters are dull and predictable, and the environment is cartoonish.
I don’t know why this book is winning awards.