Flame Tree Press
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
“Early one fine autumnal morning in 2001, an old man is found asleep on Hampstead Heath. Abruptly awoken by two dog patrollers, a struggle ensues resulting in the oddly-dressed character being arrested facing a minor assault charge. Rookie barrister, George Winsome, is tasked with defending the old boy who believes himself to be the mythical character, Merlin. When the victim of the assault unexpectedly dies the resulting manslaughter case turns into a jury trial catching the public’s imagination. George decides to defend Merlin on the basis that there are well-established historical grounds for the old boy’s self-adopted identity believing the jury will decide whether he is ‘Merlin’ or not, does not matter; it’s a question of the old boy being accepted an honest and peaceful character. That’s the plan. But as the riotous trial plays out, events conspire to challenge everyone’s cynicism. What if the defendant really is Merlin? The trial progresses through one unexpected twist to another and those present in the courtroom and the wider public begin to embrace the extra-ordinary possibility that Merlin has indeed returned to this world. Even the crusty trial judge is forced to reconsider his ingrained beliefs and confront his own domestic demons especially when his wayward, new age son decides sneakily to ‘enlighten’ his father with some vintage LSD. The media take an unexpected interest in this engaging and challenging character and turn the trial into a cause. In the hazy and wild events which follow the trial, George’s girlfriend, Heather, discovers she is pregnant and on the same day she is cynically fired from her promising publishing job leaving Heather bitter and vengeful. Heather sees as her route to revenge the acquisition of a quickly-acquired fortune through Merlin’s celebrity status, and decides to take advantage of the interest in Merlin by the Prince of Wales. But who is playing whom? As Merlin’s past unfolds George and Heather become embroiled in Merlin’s other-worldly friends, spirits and gods. At the time of the birth of their son, Merlin’s past is unraveled, and his true identity revealed, dramatically. Both Heather and George, in their separate ways, come to understand that their collective material-based obsessions were merely illusionary and that the real source of their happiness and love has far deeper, spiritual foundations. ‘Kosmos’ is a contemporary novel of two halves; the first part culminating in Merlin being tried and freed; the second half in the outrageous events and revelation that follow, Kosmos draws on the author’s experiences as a trial lawyer, his interest in complex psychologies and the rich and complex history of the mythical figure of Merlin. Kosmos is a wild, feelgood novel, a right-of-passage tale of love, redemption, revenge and hubris”
First of all I’d like to thank Flame Tree Press for a copy of ‘Kosmos’ to read in exchange for an honest review.
With the extensive synopsis, that’s the biggest I’ve seen (I can hear the “that’s what she said” already by the way) I don’t need to say too much really, if anything about the general plot. I think we’ve got it pretty much covered.
I hate to say it, but I wasn’t too fond of this one. It’s a great story, well written, and MERLIN of course. But I just could not get into it at all. It is though as lovely tale of morals, good deeds and being happy with ourselves rather than material possessions. That I really liked, I always enjoy stories like that as I do think we (as humans) get a bit to pre occupied with ‘things’, over what really matters. I’m guilty as charged at times with that.
The book splits between a courtroom drama where we have our newbie lawyer defending a man who believes he is the one and only Merlin. It play’s out in an interesting way, although again, it’s given away really in the synopsis. I feel I would have preferred not to know. Though I guess it’s like Columbo in a way. You know who the killer is and who the victim is, but you watch to find out how Columbo pieces it all together,
The second part is focused on the lives of Merlin, George the lawyer and his family. It’s rather sweet, and it all comes together in a heart warming way.
It’s a really fun read, with good characters, but a little slow in parts.
Housewife of Horror