Author: Jonathan Barnes
Publication Date: 1 February 2015
Format: E-Book - PDF
Source: ARC via NetGalley
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...
Cannonbridge is an enjoyable romp through 19th century literature. The story was compelling, with plenty of turns along the way, and the characters were memorable and well-written. The twist at the end caught me by surprise and I found myself putting the book down with a smile on my face. Well worth a read - great for a lazy afternoon.