Narrated by Alexander Short, a stylish young reference librarian of arcane interests, The Grand Complication propels the reader through a card catalog of desperation and delight, of intrigue and theft. It's a novel of suspense that comes full circle, with a clock-maker's precision and a storyteller's surprise, on page 360.
The account begins with Alexander's job in jeopardy and his marriage destined for the Discard shelf. Enter the improbably named Henry James Jesson III, a bibliophile who hires the librarian for some after-hours research. The task: to render whole an incomplete cabinet of wonders chronicling the life of a mysterious eighteenth-century inventor. As the investigation heats up, Alexander realizes there are many more secrets lurking in Jesson's cloistered world than those found inside his elegant Manhattan town house. With a notebook tethered to his jacket, Alexander plunges headlong into the search, only to discover that the void in the cabinet is rivaled by an emptiness in his heart.
A delicious compendium of quirky colleagues, erotic pop-ups, deviant passions, and miraculous examples of theft, the book is a grand and complicated "timepiece," told with a devilish sense of fun.
As welcoming and accessible as an Advent calendar, offering its prizes to anyone who cares to pry open the tabs.
A charming energy floods the novel, and Kurzweil neatly pulls off the author's trick of entertaining even as he educates.
Recommended for all literature collections.
Kurzweil delivers a remarkable novel -- a flawless blend of adventure, intellect, suspense, humor and antiquity.
The is a delightfully intricate jewel box of a novel, and it works on multiple levels.
I admire this ingenious, erudite book, which will enthrall all lovers of books and of libraries. And how nice to read something so wonderfully irreverent about that Sacred Cow, sex.
Recent Reader Reviews
Review (not rated)
I have not read this book yet, but have read Case of Curiosities.(Kurzweils' other book) I HGIHLY reccomend it and am planning to buy '..Complications" as soon as i have paid my hefty coucil tax bill.
Rated of 5
What a great book! My shelves are full but this is definitely a keeper - to read again and again. Kurzweil blends mystery, adventure and humour into a wonderfully complicated tale of antiquity, librarians and sex.
Filled with evocative descriptions of Cambridge, past and present, of seventeenth-century glassmaking, alchemy, the Great Plague, and Newtons scientific innovations, Ghostwalk centers around a real historical mystery that Rebecca Stott has uncovered involving Newtons alchemy.
An intellectual property lawyer is at the center of a deadly conspiracy and a chase to find a priceless treasure involving William Shakespeare. As he awaits a killeror killersunknown, Jake writes an account of the events that led to this deadly endgame, a frantic chase that began with a fire in an antiquarian bookstore.
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