I don't care about what critics say, and I rarely pay attention to reviews, but when Neil Gaiman is speaking, I am all ears. Here's what he says about Susanna Clarke's "Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell":
In February 2004, to my perplexity and my delight, the mail brought an advance, but finished, copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I took my daughters on holiday to the Cayman Islands, and while they romped and swam in the surf, I was hundreds of years and thousands of miles away, in Regency York and in London and on the continent, experiencing nothing but the purest pleasure, wandering through the words and the things they brought with them, and eventually noticing that the paths and lanes of the story, with its footnotes and its fine phrases, had become a huge road, and it was taking me with it: 782 pages, and I enjoyed every page, and when the book was done I could happily have read 782 more. I loved the things she said and the things she did not say. I loved crabbed Norrell and, less feckless than he seems, Strange, and John Uskglass the Raven King, who is not in the title of the book unless he hides behind the ampersand, but who hovers there anyhow. I loved the supporting players, the footnotes, and the author – she is not, I am convinced, Clarke, but a character in her own right, writing her book closer to Strange and Norrell’s time than our own.
You can read the whole article from The Guardian HERE.
I just downloaded the sample to my kindle, and something tells me I'm going to love this book. It's been turned into TV series and I'll do my best to finish the book before the series begin. The trailer looks promising.
Can't wait to start the book.