Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

StrangeThe Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Recently I wrote a post about Wolf Hall’s adaptation for television.  Four episodes of the six planned have aired on PBS and it has been a treat.  I must say that the ideal way to enjoy Wolf Hall is to read the novel and then watch the program.  The television production has been true to Hillary Mantel’s work.

There is another must watch television adaptation coming this summer and I can’t wait.  Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was long listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2004, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2005, was a Guardian First Book Award Nominee in 2004, etc.  In my humble opinion the book is deserving of every award it won and were I to compile a Top Ten list, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell might very well end up on the list.

The story follows the two title characters, who are practitioners of magic living in England in the early 1800s. Mr. Norrell is retiring and careful, while Jonathan Strange is a larger than life figure who is taken on as a student by Mr. Norrell.

Former Monitor critic Ron Charles called the book “altogether original – far closer to Dickens than Rowling … a thoroughly enchanting story…. Mr. Norrell is a wonderfully odd character in what’s practically an encyclopedia of wonderfully odd characters…. [it’s a] marvelous historical novel, told with a dry wit that will appeal to fans of Jane Austen.”

You can watch the launch trailer below and you can watch the seven-part television series based Susanna Clarke’s novel this summer on BBC America.