Sunday, April 19, 2015

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Every aspect of everything in my life is about magic. The study, exploration, and application of magic is the primary driver for everything I do. So this book caught my interest. I didn't expect much, I was thinking it would be something like a dark Harry Potter for grown ups, but this was something different. And what makes it different is its unusual approach to the nature of magic. In the story, practical magic has been largely forgotten, replaced with an ivory tower study of the theory of magic. Much of the story is about the exploration of this difference, which to me felt charged with a sort of symbolism. The most vivid parts of this fascinating book involve the descriptions of how magic actually takes place. The part that makes no sense is that it would seem that just about anyone in the story world with an inclination would be able to do some very useful magic... but as it goes, in stories, that just doesn't happen. The dark world of the faeries, and the dark side of using magic are what really keep the story going, and make it truly interesting. I really enjoyed this long book, from beginning to end. A filmed version is in production -- it is hard for me to imagine it will be captured properly, but you never know... sometimes, magic can surprise you.

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