Book abandonment vol. 2

Title of Book: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel

Author: Susanna Clarke

A. Total pages: 1006

B. Page reached:

Percent finished (divide B by A):

What was happening on the page where you stopped? Jonathan Strange begins moving some more roads in Belgium to delay Napoleon's army from getting reinforcements.

How long did you try to read the book? Two weeks and change.

Reason(s) for abandoning: At first I found the book absolutely delightful and could hardly be dragged from it. I called it "Harry Potter for adults." But gradually, as the war with Napoleon dragged on, the premise of an alternative history of English magic stopped being enough for me, and I became restless and disappointed. Yes, it was a great idea, but I found it wasn't a thousand-page idea. Instead of looking forward to picking it up, I came to dread it. And the characters, though interesting, began to feel like exercises. I felt the author was having too easy of a time. And the characters didn't seem to have enough at stake. Which sounds strange, I know, given that they are helping England defeat the French. But I found myself growing impatient at the arbitrary limits of the magicians' tricks, for example. Was moving roads and scaring troops with phantoms really all Strange could do? Why couldn't he remove the ground from underneath Napoleon's army? Why couldn't he surround the army with a wall, capturing them in an instant? Or make their guns not work? So this book of imagination began to fail in imaginative terms -- in going incredibly far, I found it didn't go far enough. Magic is a tough thing to manage in fiction.

Have you abandoned a book by this author before? Nope.

For the same reasons? N/A

Have you finished a book by this author before? Nope.

Is there anything that would get you to finish the book? I suppose if someone could convince me that it's all worth it, that my qualms would end up satisfied, that the author overcomes the problem I describe.

Is there another book you're planning to read instead? Yes, Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. I was actually 50 pages into that when I picked up Jonathan Strange. Then Swann's Way.

Do you think you'll ever try again and finish the book? I don't think so.

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