Having used his magic to help Wellington win the battle of Waterloo Jonathan returns home to Arabella and the publication of his book on the history of magic. The latter is strongly opposed both by ...
10-part drama set in 1930s London focusing on Robert Jekyll, the grandson of the original doctor. The show will follow Robert Jekyll's quest to discover his real identity and the true nature of his family's cursed history.
Set in the Five Points neighborhood of New York City in the 1860s, focusing on a rugged young Irish cop who is forced to navigate his unruly and dangerous immigrant neighborhood while ... See full summary »
After the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey, his secretary, Thomas Cromwell, finds himself amongst the treachery and intrigue of King Henry VIII's court and soon becomes a close advisor to the King, a role fraught with danger.
The book won the Hugo and was nominated for the Nebula, which is why I decided to read it. It is an awesome if extremely challenging read. It took me several passes before I was able to get into the meandering story and actually finish it. But, hey, it took the author a decade to write! Who am I to complain? One of the reasons the book is so challenging, if not off-putting, is its style. It is written in the venerable style of the great 19th century British authors, so if you hated reading Jane Austin in high school, you probably won't like this book, and you may not like the show.
For many reasons, I didn't expect the television show to be an easy, far less effortless, thing to watch. And it isn't. I can't quite imagine what it would be like to come into it without the benefit of having read the book. But I'm sure many have. Like the book, I think you need to be in a certain "suspend disbelief and be patient" mindset.
On the other hand, in the last decade since it was published, we've all gotten use to alternative histories, haven't we, with "Merlin" and "Atlantis" and "Dracula" -- the list goes on and on. The Brits do these exceedingly well. From that early and rather silly "Robin Hood" up to the present with "The Musketeers" (the latter sharing an actor with this show) these series are nothing but improving. The genre is getting perfected. We've grown accustomed to the idea of alternative histories.
And a retelling of the Napoleonic wars is basically what the story is about. It is an alternative history about a time that (to be honest) I'm not very interested in. But I am interested in fiction about magic -- from Butcher's Dresden books to the Neal Stephenson mystical masterpieces, and so this is right up my alley. I like the show, having watched the first two episodes. It is gearing up to do what the books do so brilliantly -- which is allow you to get lost in this strange universe where nothing is as you expect it or remember it, and where these two very odd (and very different) men partake in a very strange dance.
I'm impressed, actually, that someone even tried to put the book to film. One might wonder if a story about friendship and insanity would translate well, but with the wonderful actors and the fantastic writing, I am looking forward to see how this all shakes out. The story, if it follows the book, will just keep getting weirder and weirder.
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