Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Book of Air and Shadows

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Book of Air and Shadows

A Novel

by Michael Gruber

The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2007, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2008, 496 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

No portraits of Shakespeare were commissioned during his lifetime, but some appeared later, such as the copper engraving that graces the title page of the First Folio published in 1623; www.william-shakespeare.info/ offers plentiful information on all things Shakespeare including a collection of portraits that may or may not represent what he actually looked like.


Michael Gruber, born and raised in New York City, was educated in its public schools and has a Ph.D. in marine science. From 1977 he worked in the Carter White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy. From there he moved to the Environmental Protection Agency as a policy analyst and also as the speechwriter for the Administrator. In 1986, he was promoted to the Senior Executive Service of the U.S., the highest level of the federal civil service.

In 1984 his cousin, Robert Tanenbaum, a successful trial lawyer, called him from his offices in Los Angeles asking him to look at the first hundred pages of a book he had written at the request of a publishing house. Gruber says "I called him, and I said, 'This is unsalvageable. It's not a novel, it has no characters, no plot, nothing.'"

In return for half the advance, Gruber rewrote the novel, they renegotiated the contract and went into business. This arrangement continued for 15 books. Gruber says he created the characters and the novels based on stories Tanenbaum told him, or transcripts of cases Tanenbaum had worked on. However, Gruber's credit was limited to a thank you on the acknowledgments page. Eventually the relationship dissolved - Resolve (2003) was the last Tanebaum book Gruber wrote.

He started writing The Witch's Boy in 1996, but was unable to find a publisher (it was eventually published in 2005). So he wrote a thriller for adults, Tropic of Night, set primarily in Miami, which tells the story of a series of ritualistic murders that sweep Miami. Two further thrillers starring Miami cop Jimmy Paz followed: Valley of Bones (2005) and Night of the Jaguar (2006).


Coming Soon: Michael Gruber's next novel, The Forgery of Venus, will publish in April 2008.

This article was originally published in April 2007, and has been updated for the March 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Rules of Magic
    The Rules of Magic
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's Rules of Magic is the long-awaited prequel to one of her most cherished novels,...
  • Book Jacket: Good Me Bad Me
    Good Me Bad Me
    by Ali Land
    Is a psychopath born or made? This is the terrifying question that author Ali Land explores in her ...
  • Book Jacket: Five-Carat Soul
    Five-Carat Soul
    by James McBride
    In the short story "Sonny's Blues," from the 1965 collection Going to Meet the Man, African-...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

"A powerful, provocative debut ... Intelligent, honest, and unsentimental." - Kirkus, starred review

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Seven Days of Us
    by Francesca Hornak

    A warm, wry debut novel about a family forced to spend a week together over the holidays.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.