Hmmm... They've cast Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

(36 Posts)
Thurlow Fri 11-Oct-13 12:04:25

If anyone has read this book or worships it as much as I do

An actor I don't know, Bertie Carvel, as Strange, who from his pictures I can see working. And Eddie Marsan as Norrell, which I'm less sure of - I love Eddie Marsan, he's an amazing actor, but I always pictured Norrell as looking Ian Holm....

Dunlurking Fri 11-Oct-13 12:33:05

Oooh very excited. I didn't even know there were plans for a film.

Bertie Carvel played Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the musical and got loads of amazing reviews. He was fab <hero worship>
I haven't seen him on screen though.

Ian Holm would have been good but Eddie Marsan fits OK for me.

Thurlow Fri 11-Oct-13 12:58:08

Yes - could be a lot worse. Googling Carvel I can really see him as Strange.

It's a BBC 6-parter, though I'm not sure if they are doing the whole book or something a little more 'inspired by'. I really hope they get it right, I want something a little bit weird and off kilter.

I will cry if they get it wrong, it's my favourite book ever grin

Dunlurking Fri 11-Oct-13 19:43:04

Have you read The Ladies of Grace Adieu? Wonderful, and funnier I thought!

Any idea of when it's due to be screened?

I've asked for Ladies of a Grace Adieu for Xmas!

CoteDAzur Fri 11-Oct-13 20:37:52

I can't imagine this book's beautiful prose possibly being reflected adequately on film. No doubt it will be a disappointment but I will of course watch it. I haven't heard of any of those actors, though.

Thurlow Mon 14-Oct-13 13:40:20

I can't imagine it either, but I'm trying to be positive about it. I know they'll probably have to scrap all the footnotes and backstory, and I wouldn't be surprised if they downgraded the Childermass/Vinculus story just to focus on Strange and Norrell, but if they can at least get the Strange-Norrell story right then I'll forgive them. And at least 6 parts is better than the 2 hour film that was apparently planned! All I'm hoping for is that they get the slightly odd, slightly whimsical humour right.

I read it when it was released in hardback what, ten years ago now? Sp Strange will always be David Tennant in my mind, because 10 years ago Tennant hadn't even done Doctor Who and he was young enough to be perfect for the role grin

Did anyone see the BBC's Gormenghast years ago? They got that right, and that was an odd one understatement of the year.

Dunlurking, I don't think they're due to start filming until next month, so I'd guess it would be on next Christmas-ish?

Heartbrokenmum73 Mon 14-Oct-13 14:03:41

Oh, how exciting! But also, how daunting.

I've just got the book out again to read very soon. Have only read it once and loved it so much I've left it a good six years in order to 'forget' it so I can read it as if for the first time again.

I'll be torn with the TV show now. I know it will ultimately disappoint me (Game of Thrones all over again) as they never, ever get it right with adaptations - the beauty of a book is that you see it how you want to see it. I hope I'm making some kind of sense...

Thurlow Mon 14-Oct-13 14:13:44

I know what you mean (though I do think GOT is doing a good job).

I'm worried that if it's really good people will like the book and then if you say it is your favourite book, you look a bit bandwagon-y!

Dunlurking Tue 15-Oct-13 19:18:36

Thurlow I've got the original hard back first edition as well! Do you think it's worth anything now? Couldn't resist at the time, having read all the amazing reviews!

Thurlow Tue 15-Oct-13 20:27:37

Oooh, I've just checked mine and I think it might be a 1st edition too!

If the series is a hit, we could be onto a winner wink

Dunlurking Wed 16-Oct-13 15:09:36

There seem to be an awful lot of them available on ebay, and mine's not signed envy Think it will have to be a BIG hit!

Wilding Wed 16-Oct-13 15:24:58

Ooh how EXCITING! I love the book and I hope they don't ruin it.

I do think that casting is very good and I'm glad it's a six-parter - no way you could get everything into a single film.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 16-Oct-13 20:35:44

I love the book! Don't know how many times I reread it and was just thinking about reading it again. When will it be on?

Thurlow Thu 17-Oct-13 12:57:01

I'm just happy to find other people who love this book as much as I do - I rave about it to other people, but they just don't seem to get it sad It is a bit bizarre, I suppose - probably a marmite book, you either love it or you hate it.

I am really looking forward to seeing it but to me the joy of the book is in some of the tiny details that probably won't make it through to the show. There are so many moments I love that I doubt are that important to make the cut. Like the fact that you first meet JS in a random story about his father's new servant, or Strange's dead Neopolitans (could you imagine them on screen?!), or the way he keeps wondering, when he's mad, whether people have pineapples in their mouths.

Wonder who else they will cast? If they get Childermass wrong it could be a disaster - but that might be that after at least half a dozen readings, I've decided that Childermass is the hero of the story. And Arabella better be ballsy and not some mopey 19 year old actress who's just there because she's pretty. I'm not sure Arabella is even supposed to be that pretty.

What moments does everyone else want to see? York Minster coming to life, JS at the Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair's ball finding Arabella again, Drawlight being chased through the Tower of Darkness...

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 17-Oct-13 18:35:57

Oh man, Thurlow, you're making me itch to read it again!

I've forgotten pretty much everything about it by now, so I'm probably safe to pick it up again.

But I'm all tangled up in The Wheel of Time and daren't leave that halfway through book 8 or I'll have to start over (again, again, again)...

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 17-Oct-13 18:37:32

Thurlow it is strange, isn't it? I really love it. DH likes it too. But other people don't seem to. I don't know anyone in RL apart from DH who has read it or like it.

I agree that Childermass is the hero. He sees the truth (at the end, at least) rather than just what he wants to see.

Now I'm going to have to read the book again!

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 17-Oct-13 18:38:17

xpost! That's more time I've talked about this book than I've ever done in RL!

SoupDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 18:39:26

I don't think I even finished the first chapter of this.

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:45:55

Soupdragon I passed it on to my Mum when I finished it, thinking she'd love it like I did. She.did.not.

She read a bit then gave it back. Couldn't get on with it because it was too weird for her.

She (and you) don't know what you're missing...

SoupDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 20:56:47

Or you are deluded wink

BigWoooooo Thu 17-Oct-13 21:01:09

I read it years ago and loved it. Can't remember a thing about it now though. My brain is basically mush sad

Heartbrokenmum73 Fri 18-Oct-13 14:57:05

SoupDragon there is that, yes grin

SoupDragon Fri 18-Oct-13 15:40:32


It seems to be a chalk and cheese kind of book going by the AMazon reviews.

Heartbrokenmum73 Fri 18-Oct-13 15:54:06

No, no, it's definitely 'Johnathan Strange and Mr Norell'. I've read it. Maybe I'll look up this 'Chalk and Cheese' though...

Read this ages ago for book group.

IMO it stole valuable time in my life that I could have used for sleeping (DD was a baby at the time).

SoupDragon Fri 18-Oct-13 16:47:57


Heartbrokenmum73 Fri 18-Oct-13 16:51:38

I was jesting!

CoteDAzur Fri 18-Oct-13 19:08:10

Soup - You really should give it another go.

It is very well written and manages to suck the reader into this strange world to the extent that it all feels completely normal and plausible. Cliché as it may be to say it, I really didn't want it to end.

I hope she writes another book about these characters/this world, preferably about the Raven King.

Thurlow Fri 18-Oct-13 20:02:20

I agree, cote - I can understand why some people complain that nothing much happens or it takes a long time to get going, but to me that's the joy of the book - I didn't want it to end and was so entranced by the world she'd created.

Have just started reading it again, my commute has suddenly become too short!

On the 'which fictional character would you do?' lists, JS always comes top 3 for me wink

LEMisafucker Fri 25-Oct-13 20:56:59

They are making a film?? i think it would suit a dramatisation better but either way - oooh i am excited, i LOVED this book loved it

Thurlow Tue 29-Oct-13 14:21:34

Apparently it's going to be 7 episodes (yay!) and some casting has been announced...

Alice Englert as Lady Polie - hmm
Enzo Cilenti as Childermass - a lot younger than I imagined, I think Childermass as supposed to be at least 40, but I can kind of see it
Charlotte Riley as Arabella
Paul Kaye as Vinculus, which I like a lot
Sam West as Lord Pole
Ariyon Bakare as Stephen Black, which also looks like great casting
And the lovely Marc Warren as The Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 29-Oct-13 20:24:39

I think the casting is good. Childermass would work too if they don't let him look too young. When will it be on?

Bigfingers Tue 29-Oct-13 20:34:17

Just seen this thread - excited, but also bit worried - about an adaptation - I LOVED this book. I read it about 7 years ago and reading this thread I realise I have forgotten huge chunks of it.

I remember the magical prose, and I remember feeling absolute dread about finishing the book - you know how some books you look at how thick the wodge of pages is left and want to just be through it, and others you see it diminishing and it makes you want to slow down and savour every page. Well, that.

I think the time is ripe for a re-read.

I gave it to various people as a Christmas pressie and not one person came back to tell me how fabulous it was sad. My mum said she gave up 2/3 of the way through!!! went down in my estimation

Thurlow Tue 29-Oct-13 22:01:18

The casting is great - I get why they've made a lot of characters younger, that's just what they tend to do. But it's quite a well-known cast. I've seen Marc Warren do some pretty odd-ball and random things before and I think he could be fantastic as the Gentleman. Paul Kaye as Vinculus could make it quite funny. He's been really good in GoT.

I was really worried as well, but the casting is so good I think they might actually be throwing some real money at it. No idea when it is on but I'm going to guess this time next year, I think it will be there pre-Xmas 2014 big drama.

Bigfingers Tue 29-Oct-13 22:09:11

meant to say I think Eddie Marsan is a really good choice for Norrell

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