THE MAN OF LEGENDS by Kenneth Johnson


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A century-spanning story of spirituality and the search for meaning in a very long life.

Will is an ordinary-looking guy—but sometimes statues turn their heads when he walks by. And there’s a Catholic priest on a secret mission from the Vatican to track him down. And Jillian Guthrie, a young reporter from a popular tabloid, has just stumbled across three photos of him from 1948, 1912, and 1863—looking exactly the same age in all three. Soon the mystery of this seemingly ageless man and his purpose will unravel, drawing in Jillian, Father Paul St. Jacques, an old woman named Hanna Claire (who has her own personal reasons to look for Will), and a host of other colorful (if clichéd) characters from the streets of New York. The priest’s pursuit adds some suspense to the story, and tension builds as it moves toward a supernatural climax, but too much of the book is taken up with the too-clever ways in which the ageless Will intersects with history, inspiring landmark inventions and encountering famous historical figures everywhere he goes. A character who can play guitar and violin perfectly, diagnose illness on sight, and paint like Manet is hard to sympathize with, and the awkward choice to make Jillian a racist who later reforms also makes her a difficult entry point into the story. Overall, Johnson (V: The Second Generation, 2008, etc.), who's best known as the creator of such television series as The Bionic Woman and The Incredible Hulk, creates strong visual images, but the characters never truly come alive.

A promising idea that gets bogged down with a slow-moving plot and shallow characters.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4778-1968-5
Page count: 486pp
Publisher: 47North
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2017


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