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Extended Audio Sample The Somnambulist Audiobook, by Jonathan Barnes Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,695 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Barnes Narrator: John Curless Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2014 ISBN: 9781440709302
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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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Danceswithwords | 2/2/2014

    " I found parts of this novel quite charming, but I tend to be a sucker for stories that play with the language and conventions of the genres they so knowingly inhabit, so again, I liked the first part--the sly pokes at Victorian detective stories--more than the second part, with its inexplicably fantastical conspiracy plot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elle | 1/24/2014

    " I wanted this to be better. I had a hard time caring about the characters, and felt like it wrapped up too quickly. (which is odd considering I felt like it dragged on for the most part.) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janet | 1/13/2014

    " The writing was good, but the story had too many problems to rate more than a 2 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monte | 1/12/2014

    " Read this before the Domino Men "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marsha Altman | 1/11/2014

    " The prose itself was far superior to the fantasy Edwardian plotline, which quickly fell apart as even the narrator seemed to lose interest in it. I thought the first 1/3 of the book was incredible but was ultimately let down by the story itself. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Catelyn | 1/9/2014

    " I really wanted to like this, but I just couldn't bring myself to finish it. It was mildly interesting and perhaps at some other time I could have finished and enjoyed it, but all I could think was that I'd read better. And after all, life's too short to waste on books you don't love or feel compelled to read for some greater purpose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah "Kat" | 1/1/2014

    " LOVING this book! Already don't want it to end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matthew | 12/16/2013

    " This book began great and then in the last third turned dull. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caleb King | 11/4/2013

    " Witty, smart and ultimately satisfying. This is a unique read for anyone looking for something different and refreshing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Coki | 10/22/2013

    " Listening to after a slow start -- Finally warmed up to it. Liked the alternative reality feel to it. wanted deeper characterization - might read the second one as opposed to listening. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Derek Bourland | 10/14/2013

    " Though the book started out like gang busters it slowly started to wind into a long drawn out mystery. At the end there was a good twist but by that time I already stopped caring about any of the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angi | 10/5/2013

    " Luscious language marred by nonsensical plot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janalee | 12/11/2012

    " The narrator's voice is a hoot! But the story is SO bizarre-oh that I found myself frustrated. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 11/15/2012

    " Witty crime novel set in Victorian London. Not perfect, but highly entertaining. Come to think of it, this might make a great HBO series. I miss "Carnivale." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cherilee | 8/27/2012

    " They don't have a "started to read but couldn't finish" category. I like strange and different but this one was too much so. I couldn't get into the story and after laboring through a hundred pages or so I stopped reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly Hemig | 8/9/2012

    " I was drawn by the title. It's a fun mystery story, a la Sherlock Holmes, with an unreliable narrator (which I don't usually enjoy). It's set in England in Holmes' era, but with a more modern sensibility. I'm happy to have run across this among the new fiction at the library. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Incandragon | 3/21/2012

    " Not quite enough of one or the other. The writing and tone is lovely, but it's not tight. If it had had a really good conclusion, I would have given it another star. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Blossom Sangregius | 7/20/2011

    " I like the story and some of the ideas. But I could deffo do without the violance. I don't think it fits to the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lois | 3/5/2011

    " I enjoyed reading this book, but in the end, it left me feeling a bit empty. There are some great moments, though, and I consider it worthwhile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 3/2/2011

    " Not your average day crime thriller taking place in post modern futurama London... A good read with some )of course) plot twists to keep you on your toes... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elle | 2/10/2011

    " I wanted this to be better. I had a hard time caring about the characters, and felt like it wrapped up too quickly. (which is odd considering I felt like it dragged on for the most part.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 1/30/2011

    " This was actually the second reading of this book for me; a friend wanted to talk about it and the details in question were blurry, viewed through the haze of time and hundreds of other books consumed in the interim.
    I will watch for more from this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron | 1/23/2011

    " Very fun book, a Victorian era steam punk adventure set in London. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brad | 1/8/2011

    " Great start, very disappointing second half. "

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About the Author
Author Jonathan Barnes

Jonathan Barnes, author of the critically acclaimed novel The Somnambulist, graduated from Oxford University with a first in English literature. He reviews for the Times Literary Supplement and lives in London.

About the Narrator

John Curless is a theater, film, and television actor. He has appeared on Broadway in Journeys End, The Sound of Music, and The King and I and off-Broadway in Passion Play, Comic Potential, and The Entertainer. His film and television credits include Vibrations, Ed, and NYPD Blue. His audiobook narrations have been awarded two AudioFile Earphones Awards.