The Geographer's Library
In this brilliant debut, competing visions of an obscure professor's life take a young reporter from a sleepy New England town to the heart of an international smuggling ring that may hold the secret to eternal life
“Fasman’s fast-paced tale is almost all plot... These characters are better drawn than those in The Da Vinci Code.” —Newsweek
Jon Fasman’s dizzyingly plotted intellectual thriller suggests a marriage between Dan Brown and Donna Tartt. When reporter Paul Tomm is assigned to investigate the mysterious death of a reclusive academic, he finds himself pursuing leads that date back to the twelfth century and the theft of alchemical instruments from the geographer of the Sicilian court. Now someone is trying to retrieve them. Interspersed with the present action are the stories of the men and women who came to possess those charmed—and sometimes cursed—artifacts, which have powers that go well beyond the transmutation of lead into gold. Deftly combining history, magic, suspense, and romance—and as handsomely illustrated as an ancient incunabulum—The Geographer’s Library is irresistible.
“A brainy noir . . . [a] winningly cryptic tale . . . a cabinet of wonders written by a novelist whose surname and sensibility fit comfortably on the shelf between Umberto Eco and John Fowles.” —Los Angeles Times
“One of the year’s most literate and absorbing entertainments.” —Kirkus Reviews
Driving from Wickenden to Clougham, Joe and I saw nobody. We passed no cars on the road, and there were none in the Lone Wolf's parking lot. Driving through Clougham was like driving through a painting of Clougham. Joe and I pulled up right next to the Lone Wolf's front door. The town’s eerie, deserted feeling added to my uneasiness, and even Joe, who could probably have charmed and wheedled Puhapaev’s eviscerated corpse into conversation, said almost nothing for the entire drive. I was thinking of Hannah, of course, and vacillating between anger, sadness, concern, and confusion, all underlaid with a bit of lust and a dash of regret. My usual emotional range, in other words.
All this for what could have been an obit at the back of a newspaper that a few hundred people would have run their eyes over before throwing away, a piece I could have written on the day of his death (“Distinguished Émigré Professor Dies,” a couple of grafs about his career, maybe a complimentary sentence or two from a colleague, and that sad and stark final sentence, “He has no known living relatives”).
"Fasman’s fast-paced tale is almost all plot... These characters are better drawn than those in The Da Vinci Code." —Newsweek
"A brainy noir . . . [a] winningly cryptic tale . . . a cabinet of wonders written by a novelist whose surname and sensibility fit comfortably on the shelf between Umberto Eco and John Fowles." —Los Angeles Times
"One of the year’s most literate and absorbing entertainments." —Kirkus Reviews
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