Subject: Re: alternate englands: when?

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Fri Feb 11 13:47:06 EST 2005

>Hey! I'm reading it too. Found it a bit slow at
>first, kept checking the chapter list for when
>the Strange fellow was going to turn up, but now
>I'm well into it I find it is a book well worth
>grappling with. Grappling in both senses, it is a
>most weighty tome so I read it mostly in bed,
>with the duvet bunched up to make a book rest.
>Anyhow what i have noticed is that it is one of
>those books with a screen narrator. The apparent
>author seems to be writing a generation or so
>after the events of the novel. Paraphrasing,
>there is a reference for example to those yellow
>curtained magicians booths that the reader may
>remember from childhood. It would seem to stand
>in the same chronological relation to it's
>subject as Vanity Fair. The style of writing also
>seems to me to be definitely that of the mid
>nineteenth century or later rather than Regency.
>I've only a scrappy knowledge of Victorian
>literature -- has anyone read JS & MN who feels
>able to comment on the style more closely, ie is
>there any particular writer that Susannah Clarke
>is taking off? 
Austen. The sentence structure and the wry, dry humour make it fairly 
clear Austen is a major influence. Also, that fits with the time period 
of the events in the novel.


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