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Off in the distance
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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2006-12-31 15:31
Subject: #113 Susanna Clarke : The Ladies of Grace Adieu
Security: Public
Tags:books, reviews
Susanna Clarke : The Ladies of Grace Adieu

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (16 Oct 2006)
Illustrator: Charles Vess
ISBN-10: 0747587035
Category(ies): Fantasy

This book is a real pleasure. The hardback is more than your standard hardback - the binding is a knubbly tactile joy that needs no slipcover, and it comes complete with a traditional bookmark ribbon. The only other books we have that look and feel this good are ones from the Folio Society, but, given Clarke's evocation of the early 19th Century, it is deeply appropriate that such a throwback in production aesthetics should be here applied.

And onto the contents.

Here are 8 stories, which flesh out the world seen in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. All but one of these are not new stories - they have been published previously, the earliest a decade ago - but they do delightfully expand on what was seen in that novel. Since Strange and Norrell took so long to write, many of these could be considered sketches for that work. Or perhaps not sketches, for the central figures of the novel are seen but rarely here. There is, on occasion, a certain sense of deja vu. Certain of the themes (faery illusion, for example) are worked out at greater length in the novel. But these are minor flaws, and forgiveable in a collection of items originally meant to be stand-alone.

In a word: gorgeous.
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hesadevil: Absolutely Facinating - reading
User: hesadevil
Date: 2007-01-01 19:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Absolutely Facinating - reading
You've almost convinced me to buy this, particularly as it's discounted at Amazon. the trouble is, I had real difficulty with Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, battled on for about a third of it and then gave up.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2007-01-01 19:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Perhaps the fact that they're short stories rather than a great huge novel might sway the balance. It might even be that you like the stories enough to have another go at that novel.
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