A long time ago (2005) there was this book, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I bought it as a part of a book club, where I could buy ten books and pay half price or something like that. I clearly remember paying very little for the ginormous book. It was the first book that I couldn’t devour in one sitting. It was too huge. Too interesting. Made me think too much. In short, I loved it. Through three moves it has become a book I held onto despite it’s size, and despite the fact that I only read it the one time.
Cut to 2015 and the announcement that the BBC was filming a series of the book I had loved all those years ago. I may have squealed a bit. Okay, more than a bit. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. Because bless the BBC, but they announce things and then it takes forever to get over here to the States. Then the day was here. I recorded all the episodes so I could watch them without having to wait a week for the next episode, because waiting is for the birds. In what would turn out to be a misguided notion, I watched them in the mornings before the family woke up, because I didn’t think my hubs would like it. (Oh how wrong was I?)
As usual, the BBC did a fantastic job. The show was seven episodes (or chapters) and it paid such attention to the source material that it was as if the book had sprung to life. I don’t tend to imagine what characters look like when I’m reading, but when I watched the first episode, the first time Mr Norrell’s squat little rat faced self walked onto the screen, I knew it was right. The look, the feel, the atmosphere, it was all perfect. I devoured the episodes, I blogged about it on my website. I raved to friends and family.
Cut to this past Friday. My hubs and I were scrolling Netflix as we do, until a pic caught my eye and I squealed, again. It was on Netflix. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was right there. Right there for me to binge watch again. To fall into the darkness and obsession and magic. I was beyond myself. In the presence of my obvious fangirl moment, my hubs put it on. I was surprised, as we don’t often agree on tv, aside from Justice League and Gas Monkey Garage, but I digress. After less than half of the first episode, hubs had gotten up to go play Skyrim. I was not surprised by this. I was absorbed in the show; the love story, the respectability of English magic. So when my hubs got tired of the game and came back to sit with me, I put on the second episode, and he was hooked. He agreed with me: Norrell is a pompous butt head, Strange is amazing, Childermass is more than he seems. The first night we watched three episodes. Two nights later we finished out the series with the last four episodes.
I told my hubs I was sorry I didn’t think he would like it. He replied with, “I like things with magic.” Of course he does. It’s only been a few days, but I’m already looking forward to watching it again. I’m fairly certain I could watch it over and over and not get tired. The show contains some of my favorite imagery ever. The sand horses? I mean, come on, how perfect was that?
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell the book is available everywhere books are sold; to order from Amazon, click here. The seven episode series is on Netflix now. (Go watch it. Seriously), or you can buy it on Amazon. Note: FangirlNation is an Amazon Associate site. We get a small portion of the purchase price of any item ordered through the site, and we use it to do things like keep our host happy.