Monday, February 11, 2019

Ten contemporary Dickensian novels

At LitHub Emily Temple tagged ten contemporary Dickensian novels, including:
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Another sprawling historical novel with wild characters and weird adventures—though this time tinged with a large amount of magic, which led many to mistakenly liken it to “Harry Potter for adults.” But as Ron Charles wrote, “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is no Harry Potter knockoff. It’s altogether original—far closer to Dickens than Rowling.” Rowling’s scope is relatively limited—Clarke’s seems to encompass all of history. Plus of course, it’s closer to the correct time period. Gregory Maguire has noted that both Mr. Strange and Mr. Norrell “seem like sidekicks out of Dickens, promoted onto a central stage before they’ve had the chance to develop as prime-time players,” which is fair enough, but unlike in Dickens, the characters aren’t as much the point here as the grand historical significance of their actions.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue