Book Review: Kerrigan in Copenhagen by Thomas E. Kennedy

Updated on May 3, 2018

I picked up Kerrigan in Copenhagen by Thomas E. Kennedy as I’d recently visited Copenhagen myself and was intrigued by the premise of the book. Kerrigan, the part-Irish, part-Danish, American writer has fled to Copenhagen, Denmark after a failed marriage and decides to write a book about the many drinking establishments to be found in the Danish capital (of which there are over 1500 according to the back of the book). ‘Kerrigan in Copenhagen’ is part of the ‘Copenhagen quartet’ by Kennedy, a set of four independent novels all set in Copenhagen.

Cover of Kerrigan in Copenhagen.
Cover of Kerrigan in Copenhagen.

A perfect read for anyone travelling to Copenhagen, looking for a hypnotic, literary guide to a beautiful city.

— Irish Examiner

My main reason for reading this book was to see how many places mentioned in the book I recognised myself, and in this regard I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Whenever a place name is mentioned, it is typed in bold letters, whether it be a bar, restaurant, street name or otherwise, and there are many, many places mentioned in this book. As well as the numerous bars and restaurants Kerrigan visits while researching his book, there is also time to mention many other sights of Copenhagen such as the Tivoli gardens or the Hans Christian Statue outside the town hall. It certainly added to the book, being able to walk the streets of Copenhagen again with the main characters.

Kerrigan is joined for a large part of his wanderings by his research associate, a ‘voluptuous, green-eyed beauty’, who acts as an excellent way to give the reader more information about each of the places visited during the story. She carries a Moleskine notebook around with her, filled with seemingly endless facts about Copenhagen, its restaurants and bars and its famous citizens which she tells to Kerrigan at each of their stops.

Kerrigan himself is a fountain of knowledge and is constantly quoting various writers of the past. From Eliot to Ibsen, Joyce to Schade; Kerrigan seems to have a quote for every occasion. This can sometimes make the book feel a bit overfull, as if the author has got too many things he wants to say and not enough plot device to wrap these things around, but also does an excellent job of showing you Kerrigan’s character. It really conjures up this strong image of a lost, middle-aged man, well-educated and full of knowledge, but feeling that he has wasted a lot of his life and doesn’t know where he’s heading.

There is also a lot of space in the book devoted to Kerrigan’s interest in jazz music, especially the legends of jazz such as Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington. This is again fleshed out with numerous facts about each musician and a strange obsession Kerrigan has about dates e.g. birth dates, death dates, concert dates etc. I feel I could have got more out of this aspect of the book if I myself was into jazz, but I have to admit, it’s not an area that I’m particularly knowledgeable about.

Overall, I quite enjoyed ‘Kerrigan in Copenhagen’. It is a very witty read and Kennedy manages to share his obvious love for literature, jazz and Copenhagen in a fascinating way. The plot bumbles along nicely, acting as more of a skeleton around which to hold the author’s discussion of his ideas, rather than as the reason for reading the book in itself, but still having some nice moments and showing enough of the main character to allow the reader to grow quite fond of him, despite his shortcomings. I’m not rushing out to read any of the other books in the Copenhagen quartet, but perhaps if I shared the author’s love for literature and jazz I would, and I would highly recommend this book to anybody who does love these things and especially those who love the beautiful city of Copenhagen.

Clever, very witty and oddly unsettling.

— The Times

A Reading of the Novel by Thomas E. Kennedy

© 2018 David


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      This sounds a very interesting book. Thanks for the review.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)