Pauline 's Reviews > The Somnambulist

The Somnambulist by Jonathan  Barnes
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's review
Dec 07, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: own, fantasy
Read from December 06 to 07, 2012

I'm not exactly sure what I just read, but I greatly enjoyed it. From the very first sentence, I fell in love with the writing style.

Be warned. This book has no literary merit whatsoever. It is a lurid piece of nonsense, convoluted, implausible, peopled by unconvincing characters, written in drearily pedestrian prose, frequently ridiculous and willfully bizarre. Needless to say, I doubt you'll believe a word of it

With an opening like that, how can one NOT fall in love with this book. I would categorize this as a plot driven mystery with fantasy elements. It borders almost on Victorian steampunk, but just toes the line instead of crossing over. The characters are interesting as we have Edward Moon, the "detective", looking into mysterious deaths that have been occurring in England. Along for the ride with him is the Somnambulist, one of the most interesting secondary characters that I have read in a while. The Somnambulist is completely silent and communicated with the help of a chalkboard in which he writes (with horrid spelling) upon. It is an interesting partnership which works.

The book reads half like someone is narrating a tale and half third person omnipresent. This can cause some confusion (it did for me in the last 1/4th of the book) but it fits so well with the way it is written that I have no complaints. Overall, I loved it. It is full of mystery, wonderful prose and dark and sordid pasts/secrets. Although, as the reader you might come away feeling entirely confused but strangely satisfied at the end. I know I did.

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