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The Domino Men: A Novel by Jonathan Barnes
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The Domino Men: A Novel (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Jonathan Barnes (Author)

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3352353,148 (3.51)28
In an earlier century, Queen Victoria made a Faustian bargain, signing London and all its souls away to a nefarious, inhuman entity. Now, generations later, the bill has finally come due.
Member:TheCriticalTimes
Title:The Domino Men: A Novel
Authors:Jonathan Barnes (Author)
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2010), 400 pages
Collections:Loaned from Library
Rating:****
Tags:Historical Fiction, Fantasy

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The Domino Men by Jonathan Barnes (2009)

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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
A better read that one might expect, and while its sometime unclear if its a peon or a paradody of the genre, its well written in either form. ( )
  A-S | Jan 6, 2019 |
A worthy follow-up to Barnes' The Somnambulist by my estimation. If you liked the crazed victoriana of the earlier book, you should like this stand alone story set in the same world, but in modern day this time. The same major ingredients apply here: a cup of Terry Pratchett/Douglas Adams style fantastical humor, a couple tablespoons of Tim Burton/Terry Gilliam imagery, a chunk Alan Moore's subversive comic book adventure, and of course a sprinkling of H.P. Lovecraft to make it just right. Maybe he added a dash of James Bond this time around? Smart, witty, fast paced fun for fans of the dark and creepy. ( )
  Chamblyman | May 20, 2018 |
A worthy follow-up to Barnes' The Somnambulist by my estimation. If you liked the crazed victoriana of the earlier book, you should like this stand alone story set in the same world, but in modern day this time. The same major ingredients apply here: a cup of Terry Pratchett/Douglas Adams style fantastical humor, a couple tablespoons of Tim Burton/Terry Gilliam imagery, a chunk Alan Moore's subversive comic book adventure, and of course a sprinkling of H.P. Lovecraft to make it just right. Maybe he added a dash of James Bond this time around? Smart, witty, fast paced fun for fans of the dark and creepy. ( )
  Chamblyman | May 19, 2018 |
I liked the first book but I really liked this one. The book didn't seem to get away from him at the end (I thought the last one did). I really like the style, it feels like a modern gothic. I can't wait to see what he does next. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think at some point I may have heard of Barnes’ first novel, The Somnambulist, but I can’t swear to that. This is book #2 in a series – a fact that irks me no end when I find out after I finished the book. But, I think they can be read as single novels with no detriment to the reader.

This was classified as a horror/fantasy novel. I really got no sense of horror at all. To me this novel is fantasy through and through. Darn good fantasy too. There is definitely darkness to it but nothing that at all that verges into the horror genre.

Henry Lamb is a civil servant. He is also a child star with an annoying catch phrase that follows him through life. His father died when he was young, his mother is a little daft with a series of boyfriends in tow. His grandfather, Henry’s mentor, is in a coma in the hospital.

Out of the blue, Henry is promoted to a top secret assignment in the civil service. An area known only as “The Directorate” and which is housed in a mirage inside one the cars of the London Eye. A top secret prison/holding facility is located deep within the bowels of 10 Downing Street and in this facility are The Domino Men. They are a creepy set of twins, dressed as schoolboys and they have a very sadistic side to them.

The Directorate is made up of all manner of interesting and eccentric characters who have been carefully recruited. Henry’s grandfather is one of these. And now, so is Henry. Their mission? To control and/or destroy a deal that Queen Victoria made during her reign signing away all of the souls of London to an inhuman entity.

The House of Windsor is now in a position to carry out their end of the bargain and at the same time that The Directorate is trying to foil the plot, the House of Windsor is being infiltrated by the baddies to move the plot forward.

This is a very English book with very English humor. I noted the disparity in opinions about the book and I know that English humor is not for everyone. The ending is a very dry, very black and extremely witty ending and I loved it. But that’s not say it will hit all readers the same way.

While I am not constrained by genre, I am the first to admit that fantasy is probably one of my weaker categories in that I have not read as widely in this area. But I loved this book and I am going back to find the first novel. It took me a bit to get into the story but once I locked in, I found it hard to put down.

I had to hurry up and get this review done! The book is already being snatched out of my pile to be read by someone else. And that speaks volumes about how good it is! ( )
  ozzie65 | Oct 12, 2016 |
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I'm horribly aware, as I sit at the desk in this room that you've lent me, that time is now very short for me indeed.
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Shadowy figures working for a covert government agency called the Directorate inform Henry Lamb, a clerk with London's civil service archive unit, that his grandfather, recently felled by a stroke, was once a major player in their secret war against the House of Windsor. In 1857, Queen Victoria promised the souls of the people of London to a monstrous Lovecraftian entity known as the Leviathan. Now the bill is due. Since Lamb's grandfather held the secret to the whereabouts of a woman named Estella, who's critical to containing the Leviathan, the members of the Directorate regard Lamb as their best hope for locating Estella.
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