Should you watch the movie version of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell? Find out in this edition of Book Vs. Movie!
It’s been so long since I’ve done a book vs. movie! The last book vs. movie I did was in 2014. Crazy right? At any rate, I’m back with another edition and today’s Book vs. Movie is Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
First of all, I tried to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell YEARS ago, back when my 10 year old daughter was about 6 months old. But I didn’t like it then. I thought it was dry and boring at the time. I actually watched the movie before the book on this one (I know, shame to me), but I’m glad I did, because the movie experience gave a frame of reference for the book.
I like to know a bit of background about my authors and why they wrote certain books. Suzanna Clarke wrote this book over a couple of decades and tried incredibly hard to make the book feel like it was written in the 1800s. For the most part, she entirely succeeded. Suzanna Clarke is an author who hasn’t written much and her other stories are also set in the Strange universe.
If you haven’t watched the movie and don’t want anything spoiled, stop reading now.
In general, the book and movie had events that were nearly identical. However, the biggest difference is in the tone. The movie was like Johnathan Strange dark-version. If the book is The Hobbit, the movie is The Lord of the Rings. They are both in the same universe, but one feels a whole lot more dangerous.
I loved the feel of the movie. I haven’t seen a period movie do magic that well since Harry Potter. It didn’t feel silly and it didn’t feel over done.
The book had a bit more silliness to it that was perfect for lightening up the book, but I’m glad they left it out of the movie. Some things fit right in a book that won’t fit right in a movie. The balance was definitely struck with Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
So, should you watch the movie or read the book? I say both! Both are excellent in their own way and will provide hours of quality entertainment.