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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

A Charismatic Narcissist

The Bellwether Revivals - Benjamin Wood

The Bellwether Revivals is the story of Oscar, a young man from a working class background, who, through a chance encounter, becomes involved with a group of privileged Cambridge students led by Eden, a gifted musician with a narcissistic personality disorder.

Eden is brilliant, articulate, charismatic and completely deluded, convinced that he has the power to heal people through hypnosis and by the power of music. When he is forced to face reality the story takes a very dark turn indeed and Oscar's life will never be the same.

It's an interesting premise for a novel and the setting of Cambridge is well conjured up. However, I found the characters somewhat contrived, as if they had been created to fit the plot rather than vice versa, and some of the dialogue felt strained. I was never entirely convinced by any of it.