About seven years ago I had to work away from home for three weeks, so I needed a decent book to read. I decided on Susanna Clarke's massive, doorstop of a novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. It was recommended with a glowing review by Neil Gaiman and that was a good enough recommendation for me. At over a thousand pages I thought that it would keep me company for the entire three weeks and more. After ten days I needed to find another book. It was the first book in years that I had been totally engrossed in and also one which has stayed with me for much longer than the ten days it took me to read it. I have championed this book wherever I've lived and it is certainly one of the top five books I've ever read. I'm not a huge fan of fantasy literature, finding most of it turgid and unreadable, but because Susanna Clarke grounds her fantasy firmly in its own reality it was totally original and unique, like nothing I'd ever read before or since, and so when I heard that it was being adapted for television I was at first excited then worried that they would mess it up. After watching the first episode I can now say that not only did the BBC NOT mess it up but it exceeded my expectations. It was brilliantly designed, capturing the the flavour of the book's feel and it was superbly cast - Eddie Marsan is good in anything he's in, and he perfectly captures Norrell's isolationist magician. Bertie Carvel, who I've never heard of, was the flibbertigibbet Jonathan Strange I imagined from the book and Marc Warren was suitably sinister as the Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair. A great start to a series that is going to get weirder and weirder as it goes on, if it continues to follow the book. Marvellous.