Jonathan Barnes

Jonathan Barnes

Jonathan Barnes is the author of two novels, The Somnambulist (2007) and The Domino Men (2008), which have, between them, been translated into eight languages. A writer-in-residence at Kingston University, he contributes regularly to the Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review. He is also the author of a number of full-cast audio dramas including Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Perfidious Mariner and the forthcoming Doctor Who: Persuasion and The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes.

His official website is He blogs, occasionally, at and tweets, even more occasionally, as @jbarneswriter.

Jonathan is a Writer-in-Residence at Kingston University. He taught a Critical Reading session on 13 November 2012 and a Teaching and Writing Workshop on 19 February 2013. Back in October of 2011 he gave NoDeadWhiteMen a reading list that you can read here, but we’ve made him do it again.


Jonathan’s Recommended Reading

Some fiction:

At the Chime of a City Clock and Secondhand Daylight by D J Taylor – A pair of wonderful crime stories, set in the 1930s and inspired by the rackety life of the writer Julian MacLaren-Ross.

The Possessions of Doctor Forrest by Richard T Kelly – The finest piece of twenty-first century gothic fiction that I have read to date.

Blood and Water and other tales by Patrick McGrath – Superb, grisly short stories from another master of contemporary gothic.

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan – Touching, exciting, ultimately profound – a story of survival after a disaster at sea.

Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon – Perhaps the perfect campus comedy.

The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen – Distinctive, fascinating and weird – a dark fruit of the fin de siècle

Some non-fiction:

Damn His Blood: Being a True and Detailed History of the Most Barbarous and Inhumane Murder at Oddingley and the Quick and Awful Retribution by Peter Moore – A work of popular history – and the most purely thrilling book that I’ve read in a long while.

The English Ghost by Peter Ackroyd – A collection of real (?) ghost stories from English history which possesses a strange cumulative power.

The War Against Cliché by Martin Amis – Amis is a divisive figure but this is fine, inspiring criticism, written in prose of a very high order.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mike loveday
    Apr 08, 2013 @ 10:39:58

    Jonathan – An interesting list. The movie Wonder Boys is a gem – one of my favourite movies of all time. I had no idea it was derived from a book, so thanks for that suggestion – I’m really looking forward to reading that. Mike


  2. Jonathan Barnes
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 13:02:05

    Thanks, Mike! The movie’s terrific and the book is remarkably close to it (though there’s one long section that the filmmakers removed in its entirety). Hope all’s well with you.


  3. Trackback: Athens International Creative Writing Summer School | No Dead White Men
  4. Trackback: A Look Back at the Kingston Writing School Athens Summer School | No Dead White Men

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