|
Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Wiki

Starred Review. Set in Victorian London, this superb debut from British author Barnes raises the bar for historical thrillers, starting with its curious opening line: Be warned. This book has no literary merit whatsoever. A page-turner, it's full of peculiar characters, notably Edward Moon, a highly unorthodox detective, and Moon's bizarre sidekick, known only as the Somnambulist. Moon, a conjuror by profession whose act has fallen on hard times, has cracked some of the city's most notorious murders. Now, he's leading the investigation into a shadowy religious group aiming to overtake London and do away with its oppressive, bourgeois tendencies. Moon is a remarkable invention, a master of logic and harborer of all sorts of unnatural habits and mannerisms. The Somnambulist—a giant, milk-swigging mute—doesn't appear to be human at all, yet serves as Moon's moral as well as intellectual compass. Together, they wend their way through a London rich in period detail. Barnes saves his best surprise for the story's homestretch, when he reveals the identity of his narrator, who's been cleverly pulling strings since the opening.(Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
edit this info

Details

ISBN-10:  0061375381
ISBN-13:  978-0061375385
Author:  Jonathan Barnes
Publisher:  William Morrow
What's your opinion on The Somnambulist?
rate
3 Ratings: +1.7
You have exceeded the maximum length.
More The Somnambulist reviews
review by . February 29, 2008
I started and finished this book on Leap Day 2008, a good day for such an odd tale. An opium-addled Charles Dickens, a Victorian Steven King, , the Somnambulist skirts the genres of period fiction and fantasy, but ends up reading like a Lemony Snicket satirical riff on the Cold War spy games of John Le Carre.    The book purports to be a first-person narrative of these events by an initially unnamed author, whose identification propels the narrative and events through the last …
review by . August 19, 2008
Jonathan Barnes has attempted here to write a novel that is both wittily self-aware and delightfully macabre. He only partially pulls it off. Like the film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" -- also about a somnambulist and also full of dark and twisted elements -- the narrator here is unreliable -- but teases the reader about his unreliability. In the end, the revelations that begin to make sense of the implausibly fantastic dimensions of his story sound a bit too contrived and too predictable. The …
review by . February 15, 2008
Admittedly, this is one of the most obscure novels I have read of late, lurking figures in a London filled with menace, a Victorian mystery rife with an eclectic cast of characters, from the highest to the lowest echelons of society. "It's as dangerous to believe in nothing as it is to believe in everything." Or so says Edward Moon, a conjurer who performs nightly at his Theatre of Marvels with his eight-foot, milk-quaffing assistant, the Somnambulist. Bored with routine, Moon craves another investigation …
Photos
The Somnambulist
Related Topics
The Steps of Essence: How to Live Life Well and

A book by Hanns-Oskar Porr

Lights Out, Night's Out

A book by William Boniface

Timing for Animation, Second Edition

A book by Tom Sito

The Business of Media Distribution: Monetizing

A book by Jeff Ulin

© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
()
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since
reviews
comments
ratings
questions
compliments
lists