Sunday 8 February 2015

Cannonbridge by Jonathan Barnes

Cannonbridge by Jonathan Barnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Flamboyant, charismatic Matthew Cannonbridge was touched by genius, the most influential creative mind of the 19th century, a prolific novelist, accomplished playwright, the poet of his generation. The only problem is, he should never have existed and beleaguered, provincial, recently-divorced 21st Century don Toby Judd is the only person to realise something has gone wrong with history.

All the world was Cannonbridge’s and he possessed, seemingly, the ability to be everywhere at once. Cannonbridge was there that night by Lake Geneva when conversation between Byron, Shelley and Mary Godwin turned to stories of horror and the supernatural. He was sole ally, confidante and friend to the young Dickens as Charles laboured without respite in the blacking factory. He was the only man of standing and renown to regularly visit Oscar Wilde in prison. Tennyson's drinking companion, Kipling's best friend, Robert Louis Stevenson's counsellor and guide - Cannonbridge's extraordinary life and career spanned a century, earning him a richly-deserved place in the English canon.

But as bibliophiles everywhere prepare to toast the bicentenary of the publication of Cannonbridge's most celebrated work, Judd's discovery will lead him on a breakneck chase across the English canon and countryside, to the realisation that the spectre of Matthew Cannonbridge, planted so seamlessly into the heart of the 19th Century, might not be so dead and buried after all...


After a bit of a slow start, the story in this book really took off. The mystery of whom or what Matthew Cannonbridge was really made this book exciting to read and made this book into a real page turner and the ending were interesting and peculiar (I think I have it figured out at least). Although the last couple of pages, when something was revealed wasn't really a surprise, I saw that coming. I liked the jump between the past and the present, it was interesting to follow Toby Judd in the present trying to figure out the truth about Matthew Cannonbridge, while in the past famous authors like Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, and Oscar Wilde encounter Matthew Cannonbridge and often these famous authors sense that something is wrong with him. But what? Who is he? Read and find out...

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

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