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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
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Author:  Julie Travis [ Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

I can find no mention of the novel on this board – but if it’s already been discussed/trashed, then apologies for bringing it up! I don’t usually read fantasy that isn’t incredibly dark but JS&MN is probably my favourite novel in recent years, so I’m looking forward to/nervous about a tv adaptation of it. The book was funnier and more irreverent than I was expecting and I hope the humour’s in the BBC adaptation (due around the end of this year).

Has anyone any thoughts? As I’ve said, I have no idea how the novel was received in the sf/fantasy/horror/slipstream etc worlds, so I may be putting my foot in it by mentioning it. If so, then please let me know and I’ll get it deleted.

There is, of course, a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jonathanstrang ... ficialpage

Author:  des2 [ Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Julie Travis wrote:
I can find no mention of the novel on this board – but if it’s already been discussed/trashed, then apologies for bringing it up! I don’t usually read fantasy that isn’t incredibly dark but JS&MN is probably my favourite novel in recent years, so I’m looking forward to/nervous about a tv adaptation of it. The book was funnier and more irreverent than I was expecting and I hope the humour’s in the BBC adaptation (due around the end of this year).

Has anyone any thoughts? As I’ve said, I have no idea how the novel was received in the sf/fantasy/horror/slipstream etc worlds, so I may be putting my foot in it by mentioning it. If so, then please let me know and I’ll get it deleted.

There is, of course, a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jonathanstrang ... ficialpage


Thanks for mentioning this book here. One of my favourite books of all time, something I often reference in my real-time reviews.
Fascinated and rather concerned to hear it's to become a screen adaptation.

Author:  Julie Travis [ Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Yes, concern is fair enough – I’m sure that the question has come up with other tv/big screen adaptations of novels of whether it needs to be done. Shouldn’t some books just be left alone? Not out of reverence (although that’s tempting in some cases) but that an amazing novel doesn’t need an adaptation to be validated. Just read the book and use your imagination! When I read JS, I did think a film might do it justice if it was done ‘right’ (i.e. the way I ‘saw’ the book, arrogant but perhaps others can relate to this!) – but I was thinking in terms of it changing between black and white and colour to portray the enchantments and spells. Arty stuff like that’s unlikely to be in the BBC’s version (or, probably, anyone else’s) and I’ve read that they’ve got six months post production to get the effects right. Perhaps seeing such things as entities in themselves may be the best way to look at it, rather than me grumping at the telly because something’s not exactly as I pictured it.

Someone illustrated the book vs film thing very well recently: showing an iceberg, with the (comparatively) small piece above the sea as the film, and the massive bit under the sea as the book. But until the series is on, I can only hope that it’ll be brilliant.

I wonder how much Susanna Clarke’s had to do with it? Haven’t heard any mention of her in relation to this.

Author:  des2 [ Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

For me, 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell' is genuinely weird. If Weird Fiction has any meaning at all, this is it. I don't think I've read true weird fiction before encountering this 'novel'. 'Weird' as well as its usual connotations also carries an archaic meaning, a 'controlling of fate' sense, with, I feel, a Weird also being a spell or charm or geas.
If you have dreams from reading books, with this book, you'll probably have a 'real life' from reading it instead!

Author:  Julie Travis [ Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

In which case, it's hard to see how the essence of such a novel can be captured on the small screen.

Perhaps the only way to view the BBC's version will be as a thing separate from the novel - or are you tempted not to see it at all?

Author:  Roy [ Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

In this type of case I'm inclined to consult an expert - where are you Stephen Volk when we need your view. If I see him at a con, which is likely, and remember, which is not so likely now, I'll ask.
If I like a book I often think I'd like to see it filmed but when the movie arrives it's usually disappointing.

Author:  Julie Travis [ Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Agreed - JS is likely (probably) to disappoint, but I suppose I'm happy that such a wonderful book (imho) is still seen as such. Makes a change from my (usually) obscure taste. We'll have to wait and see how it turns out...

Author:  Julie Travis [ Fri May 01, 2015 2:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Just re-read my gushing excitement above.

I've seen a few tiny snippets via the Facebook page and the full length trailer on the BBC a few times, too. It still looks very promising and it appears to begin on 11 May. I'll be away, but I'll still see it one way or another. Just won't be able to gush/wring my hands about it here for a bit...

Author:  Julie Travis [ Thu May 07, 2015 8:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

The series definately begins on Sunday May 17th, 9pm on BBC1.

I'm really over-anticipating this - it can't possibly live up to what I'm hoping for!

Author:  Roy [ Fri May 08, 2015 8:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Both E Milliband and N Farage were equally over-anticipating two days ago but not about JS&MrN. Third time lucky?

Author:  Julie Travis [ Sun May 17, 2015 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Indeed. Well, it HAS to be more successful than Milliband and Farage's campaigns!

Author:  Roy [ Thu May 21, 2015 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

So any thoughts? Jury is still out for me. I'll try another episode.

Author:  Julie Travis [ Fri May 22, 2015 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Yes, I was going to watch the second episode before I posted here (in an effort to restrain myself, really), but since you mention it:

I found the first episode very promising: a lot packed into it, including the humour I was hoping for. The Gentleman With Thistledown Hair is especially well done, I think.

My partner hasn't read the book but was wowed. To the point where she kept gawping and saying, "Wow!".

My local radio station (Radio Cornwall) described it as 'too wierd', which just made me like it more, quite frankly.

Awaiting second episode!

As to the question of whether a tv adaptation was/is necessary, the jury's definately out on that one still...

Author:  Roy [ Sun May 24, 2015 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Was it very differennt to the book?

Author:  Julie Travis [ Mon May 25, 2015 8:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

From what I recall of the novel - which I haven't read for 8 or so years, so I may be wrong - the tv adaptation is pretty close to it.

Very much enjoyed last night's episode. Nice to see some effort involved in casting spells (rather than Harry Potter style 'chucking around' with ease. Magic's hard work!) and the enchantment scenes are nicely dreamlike and uncomfortable.

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