Title: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Author: Susanna Clarke
Pages: 782 pgs.
First sentence: Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians.
What I thought: Other than the fact that it was hard to read this book with a belly the size of a basketball, I really enjoyed it. :) It took me two weeks to finish the book, but that is not a sign of weakness. I have heard many people refer to JS&MR as an "adult Harry Potter". I believe that does a disservice to both this novel and the Harry Potter series. Yes, it involves magicians in the UK, but that is where the similarities end. What makes this story unique is the foray into magical theory and a fantastical history of England. Large portions of the book are occupied with debate over the history of magic in England, and how it should be brought back. Don't let this description turn you off, it's a very hard book to describe, but well worth the time it takes to read it. It does become a bit murky in the middle, but last 200 pages really pick up the pace!
Update: Check out the wonderful review of this book by Dewey at Hidden Side of A Leaf, who felt the same way about JS&MN as I do.