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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

*quivers with tentative anticipation*

Magic galloping sand horses hurrah!

The book was fab, and I'm so glad that the job of bringing it to the screen has gone to the Beeb, rather than Hollywood. Looking good so far, I must say! Although Strange is supposed to be a redhead. And they say "Norrell" wrong. And I would have liked to have seen a little more of Stephen Black in the trailer. But there's time for that latter one yet.


( 24 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Apr. 25th, 2015 04:00 pm (UTC)
Ooh, it does look pretty good! *fingers crossed that it is* You're right, though, about Strange being red-headed and people saying Norrell wrong (posh people always put the emphasis on the last syllable of people's names, but it's just weird).

Apr. 25th, 2015 07:39 pm (UTC)
A guy over on the Who forum has seen the first couple of episodes, and he says it's superb. So it does look like there's cause to be properly optimistic. *crosses various bits*
Apr. 26th, 2015 08:56 am (UTC)
Well, it's a gorgeous trailer! I mean, it's one of those where it's bound to be difficult if you've read the book, but if it's that well done, and if they really get the spirit and the tone of it, it ought to be marvellous.

And, as you say, magic sand-horses on TV!! ♥ (There ought to be some awesome vids!)
Apr. 26th, 2015 04:22 pm (UTC)
I hadn't thought about vids, but yes, with a bit of luck something pretty will turn up courtesy of Festivids. The people there can usually be counted on to do something splendid. I imagine there will be bits that don't look right to our respective headcanons, but I can live with that, obviously. I'm an uneducated southerner, so I'm afraid I'm guilty of the NorrELL pronunciation, but it's a northern story, so I suppose I shall have to get used to Mr Voiceover Man's version. But I will live with this (dreadful hardship) for shiny magic and good storytelling!
Apr. 26th, 2015 04:42 pm (UTC)
The emphasis on the second syllable was something I only encountered moving North and thought it was a weird northern thing. Maybe only people from Somerset pronounce people's names the right way? V strange. or possibly's it's a class thing, it could be. :-)

I think vids should happen sooner than festivids, but, yes - ten to one someone uses it! Even if a series isn't all that great, it can be useful for visual sources for a book fandom. And this looks promising...
Apr. 26th, 2015 08:30 pm (UTC)
It can't be a class thing. I don't have any class. :)
Apr. 25th, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC)
I have this book, but only got as far as page 100. I will have to try and finish it.That is, before i watch the TV version.

Edited at 2015-04-25 07:05 pm (UTC)
Apr. 25th, 2015 07:45 pm (UTC)
It's an amazing book, although I do know a few otherwise voracious readers who couldn't make any headway with it. The recreation of a nineteenth century novel is to exact for some, I think! Which I guess I can understand. It is very intricate and wordy. And very long! Good though. :)
Apr. 25th, 2015 04:53 pm (UTC)
Not familiar with the book but this looks awesome! Especially the sand horses. :D
Apr. 25th, 2015 07:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, very hopeful that they'll do the book justice. Certainly the visuals are promising. As to the book, I do recommend it, but it does have its critics. It's very much in the style of nineteenth century literature - very long, very wordy, and full of sizeable footnotes, which does tend to put some people off! Very much worth a go though, if you fancy something to lose yourself in.

Or you can just watch the TV series. ;)
Apr. 25th, 2015 08:55 pm (UTC)
That doesn't sound too bad since I love old books! I'll keep it in mind. (:
Apr. 26th, 2015 03:55 am (UTC)
Oh, I love JS&MN! Stephen Black is my favourite, I wanted much more of him in the novel. *runs off to write slashy Stephen Black/John Uskglass/Jonathan Strange*

ETA: and this production looks fantastic!

Oh my God, is that Marc Warren playing the Gentleman with the Thistle-Down Hair? OMGOMG! As in, Rochefort!?!!! (I have got much further along with the Musketeers since last time we discussed 'em: I can now tell one long-haired beardy gentleman in kinky leather uniform from another, pretty much. Especially if it's Rochefort. That last episode! I may never recover!)

Also I have been trawling through the JS&MN Wikipedia entry: I did not know that the Portia Rosenberg illustrations were not universally adored! They are so gorgeous, though, I can't understand it. It's like Dickens' illustrators came back specially to illustrate modern fantasy, and they're so affecting and emotional and no, I can't understand it.

Edited at 2015-04-26 07:06 am (UTC)
Apr. 26th, 2015 04:25 am (UTC)
A guy I spoke to on the Who forum has seen the first couple of episodes. He's a huge fan of the book, and he says the show is absolutely spectacular, so hopefully we will agree! And yes, that is odd about the illustrations. I haven't actually read the book in probably ten years now, I admit, but I remember thinking how very nicely in-keeping the whole thing was - style, presentation, everything, just like a book that really was from that era. Probably they just don't like them because they're not that wretched anime style that's pervaded everything! ;)

And yes, that's Marc Warren as the Gentleman (he's just listed as that in the credits, from what I can see. Presumably the thistle-down hair bit wouldn't have fitted on screen!). Quite pleased with the casting of Stephen Black, who is an excellent character, I agree, and needed to be in it more. He's played by this feller, who looks very right, somehow. I remember him from "Dancing On The Edge" a couple of years back (which was rubbish as it turned out, but meant well. And the cast was excellent).
Apr. 26th, 2015 07:10 am (UTC)
I have to admit I never got past the first 50 pages of the book ... The trailer looks good, though.
Apr. 26th, 2015 08:41 am (UTC)
I know quite a few people who found the book too heavy-going! It is a good story though. Hopefully the TV series will show that off nicely.
Apr. 26th, 2015 11:30 am (UTC)
I know nothing of 'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell', indeed I was under the delusion it was a 'Mr Whitcher' type thing. The sand horses look v. cool though:)

Apr. 26th, 2015 11:56 am (UTC)
You haven't read it?! *many expressions of shock and amazement* Nope, nothing Whitchery. The book blurb says:

The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France.

So obviously, as well as not making him redheaded, the BBC have also neglected to give Strange the right face. But hey ho. It's a fantasy book written as a pastiche of nineteenth century classical literature. Very intricate and wordy and fab. I recommend it (and it is very cheap second hand at Amazon!), but might be better to wait and see the show first?
Apr. 27th, 2015 12:27 pm (UTC)
Only a little like Mr Whicher then? *laughs*

The trailer looks even better on the telly box and with my current rate of reading I think the tragic lantern is going to win!
Apr. 27th, 2015 03:51 pm (UTC)
It's rumoured to be starting in June, so you might have time. Lock your TV Timeses pdfs in a box; lock the door; turn off the television, the computer, and everybody you know; eschew sleep for a week or three...

I think I read it in a month. November 2004, if memory serves. But it was a very weird month, and I don't recommend recreating it!
Apr. 28th, 2015 12:49 pm (UTC)
And I'll still be on page 22! Is there a picture book version?;p
Apr. 28th, 2015 03:17 pm (UTC)
Well, there are pictures in it!

For goodness sakes though, if you do get it, get it secondhand. I've just had a look on Amazon, and after ten years of lovely editions, they've just put out a ghastly TV tie-in. Bleurgh...
Apr. 29th, 2015 12:04 pm (UTC)
Pictures: that's sold me:) I'll keep my eyes peeled in charity shops. TV-tie in covers never look good, they look cheap, unless the actors on front are good then they're obv. better;p
Apr. 26th, 2015 04:45 pm (UTC)
I think you should read the book first. It's inconvenient because it's like 1000 pages, but it's great, and then you can grumble at the series when you do watch it. ;-)

It was, randomly, one of the few books I've been able to read in my current state and I've read it twice while being ill and it's amazing. I think it was a book that benefitted from me only being able to read in short snatches because I could get a lot out of the fun of the style and the footnotes - but I helplessly read it way faster than I should have, too, and gave myself bad headaches in the cause of not being able to put it down.
Apr. 27th, 2015 12:30 pm (UTC)
I think even with one word per page I'm stuffed(!). It can't be long until it's on TV as the traielr had been on the telly quite a lot already.
( 24 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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