If you have short attention span and enjoy focused writing, unembellished style, action oriented script then avoid Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. However if you have the time and patience for long winded, old style storytelling that deals with magic in a historical setting you will probably enjoy it. I am somewhere halfway between these two. As a result I read the first of the three sections with full attention (200 pages), started to skip a beat here and there in the second (300 pages) and by the time I got to the third (280 pages), I was jumping fast as I was only interested by then what happens to the main characters and how the historic events unfold.
I wish I had the time to read the whole book properly, but it was due back to the library and I could no longer renew it: others were waiting for it. The book’s wikipedia page has a long explanation about the origins of the style of the book. I learned a bit of literary theory just by reading it. Now I understand how and why I could enjoy such a porous writing and what traditions it revokes. The book’s official webpage also as a list of reviews that help to decode the book’s magic.
I am glad I managed to “read” this book before the movie comes out, probably later this year.