- I’m such a cover junkie – I bought this from B&N’s bargain books purely due to the cover.
Summary from GoodReads:
Once the toast of good society in Victoria’s England, the extraordinary conjurer Edward Moon no longer commands the respect that he did in earlier times. Still, each night he returns to the stage of his theater to amaze his devoted, albeit dwindling, audience, aided by his partner, the Somnambulist—a silent, hairless, hulking giant who, when stabbed, does not bleed. But these are strange, strange times in England, with the oddest of sorts prowling London’s dank underbelly. And the very bizarre death of a disreputable actor has compelled a baffled police constabulary to turn once again to Edward Moon for help—inevitably setting in motion events that will shatter his increasingly tenuous grasp on reality.
Can you say “Somnambulist”? I couldn’t at first (in fact, my tongue is still tripping over it). So finally I decided that I needed to choose this book off my shelves and start reading it.
The very first chapter set the mood, the tone and had me eagerly devouring the story. That doesn’t happen very often – well, not often enough.
The Somnambulist is narrated by an unnamed individual and tells the story of Edward Moon and the strange creature that is the Somnambulist. Much akin to stories by Poe and Doyle, the adventures that these two embark on are dark, filled with mysterious circumstances and – to add a little flavor – a touch of the insanely unreal.
Jonathan Barnes did a fantastic job with a very slow, intricately woven story. Just when I would feel my attention begin to wander, the narrator would reach through the pages and snap me back to attention with small tidbits of information, just enough to get my curiosity fired up again. And I wish I could say the book was fast-paced, but for a book of this type, this kind of story, it wouldn’t have fit.
Still.. I think the book would have been a bit better had the length been whittled down a bit. It seemed unnaturally long for the actual page count.
Final verdict though? Entertaining, different, had me laughing in parts and gasping in others and provided me with quite a bit of Sunday afternoon diversion.
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