You think you know somebody, and then they spring on you the fact that they read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell months ago and didn't tell you.
Okay, I knew Rusty was working at Jonathan Strange, or so I deduced from the book's increasingly abused-looking spine (Rusty's one of those people), but to my discredit, I sort of assumed he wouldn't finish. He's a finicky reader, is Rusty, and if a book doesn't grab him and keep him, he has no compunction about cutting it adrift. Except for his fifteen-year obsession with Ulysses. So I kind of figured that Jonathan Strange was Rusty's new Ulysses.
But no, apparently he finished it ages ago. And he thought it was A-OK, something he stressed when he was pushing the book on me the other day. Well, his actual words were, "You'll like this. It has all that 19th-century bullshit you like." But you catch the meaning.
Now, here's the thing: I've never really had a hankering to read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. By all accounts, it's tough slogging for the first couple hundred pages, and while I've only eyeballed the book from a distance, I think there are at least a few more pages to read after those. Is it worth it? You tell me. But warn me if I need to change the title of this site to "20 Books", okay?