I tried to read Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell on two separate occasions. The first time I only made it to page 24, and this second time I got to page 40. And I’m really upset about it!
It had a lot of great reviews, and I really wanted to be another of those who raved about it. But what they all loved is what I hated. The writing.
The writer often spoke directly to the reader, which I hate! I’m like “don’t tell me what to feel and think!” And the descriptions were so long and convoluted. I would forget what we were talking about because we would get so wrapped up in things that don’t really matter. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love the creation of world and vivid imagery, but not when its to the point when I find my eyelids drooping. I mean, I don’t fall asleep reading, and this had me fighting to keep my eyes open.
And another thing – she kept spelling choose as “chuse” I mean, I lived in England for a year, I picked up some of the spelling and pronunciation – but I don’t remember this being one of those unique spellings. And if you are going to write things in Victorian jargon, then at least stay consistent.
I just hated it, to the point where I couldn’t even imagine fighting through the 800 and some odd pages to continue it. I’m sad about it. I mean I love my YA books, and I think most of those show a really good level of writing and creativity (no matter how many people bust on them!), so when I move back into “grown-up” books and hit something like this, it just pushes me back to my preferred genre of Dystopians and Adventures, which isn’t a bad thing, but I like to try and read a little of everything.
What was the last book that just really disappointed you, and what made it do so?