I think if asked which was the better book, Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell or Michael Cox's The Meaning of Night, most would give the nod to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Here, I have to dissent and choose The Meaning of Night.
While I loved reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and I found Clarke to have a wonderful imagination, the book was poorly structured. It lacked focus, it lacked an overriding dramatic question, and it lacked necessary conflict between Strange and Norrell. Some of the things Jonathan Strange did, especially near the end, seemed to come "out of the blue."
The Meaning of Night is told, rather than shown, in true Victorian style, and also, in true Victorian style, it meanders, but it has an overriding story question and pinpoint focus. It's moving along at a very leisurely pace, something I really don't mind, but readers who want a faster paced novel should look elsewhere. As for me, I love it.
And also in true Victorian fashion, an aside: I stole something from Katie Holmes! No, not her name and not her husband! LOL I greatly prefer my own husband, thank you very much. It's her new haircut, though mine is not nearly as radical and it's several inches longer. I was ready for a change, however. I'm getting tired of the long, stock hair many women my age have. This cut has movement and style. I like it...so far.