Monday, 6 July 2015

Film adaptation - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

It's been years since I read Susanna Clarke's novel, but I remember being inseparable from it when I did. This 7-part BBC adaptation is a fantastic transition from book to screen, and I thoroughly recommend it to fans of the novel.

At a total of 7 hour-long episodes, it's long enough that nothing felt omitted, and every major character is (in my opinion) very well cast. Bertie Carvel makes a delightfully eccentric gentleman-magician, Eddie Marsan a convincing pedantic academic, and Marc Warren a wonderfully sinister Faerie King, to name only a few.

This adaptation perfectly captures the atmosphere of the original novel, with the sharp contrast between the stiff, mannered Georgian England and the fascinatingly grotesque faerie world of Lost Hope. Every scene looks beautiful, and the series as a whole feels like an intriguing cross between Jane Eyre's country houses and moorland and a particularly noir Alice in Wonderland.

A faithful and gripping adaptation of one of my (many) favourite novels. Watch it if you get the chance!

Saturday, 4 July 2015


This week's Booking Through Thursday is:

What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever read?

I don't know about the absolute most beautiful thing I've ever read, but I've copied several passages I've really liked over the years into a notebook I have. Two passages I thought were particularly well-crafted and are on beauty itself:

"When beauty is universal, it loses its power to move the heart, and only its absence can produce any emotional effect." - The City and the Stars, Arthur C Clarke

"Our muddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous form of things:
We murder to dissect."
- The Tables Turned, William Wordsworth

Another phrase which I found particularly resonant is:

"This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper."
- The Hollow Men, T S Eliot

Any favourite passages of your own?