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The Technologists: A Novel by Matthew Pearl

The Technologists: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Matthew Pearl

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4005226,709 (3.49)75
Title:The Technologists: A Novel
Authors:Matthew Pearl
Info:Random House (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 496 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Historical Fiction

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The Technologists by Matthew Pearl


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Really good book. I was really impressed by the author's ability to set the mood and characters of the book. ( )
  ct.bergeron | Sep 3, 2014 |
  skraft001 | Jun 29, 2014 |
Matthew Pearl's The Technologists is the fictional story of several students of the inaugural class of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as they race to stop a mad man from destroying Boston. The novel opens with the events of a mysterious harbor disaster as boat crew mates and sailors find their compasses going haywire. Shortly after, another unexplainable catastrophe occurs; all the glass within the financial district of Boston inexplicably melts, disfiguring many and killing a young actress. The police are at a loss of just what is happening. Enter the “Technologists”--Marcus Mansfield, Robert (Bob) Richards, Edwin Hoyt, members of the inaugural class of MIT who take it upon themselves to discover what is causing these acts of terror—hopefully saving their city and their beloved MIT. Pearl introduces the reader to the public’s feeling about science and the Industrial Age, the education of women, the aftermath of the Civil War and rivalry between Harvard and MIT. I have enjoyed Pearl’s previous novels that have included historical figures into the narrative (Longfellow, Poe, Dickens) and looked forward to reading his newest. However, I came away disappointed. Despite being classified as a thriller, I found this novel to be slow and plodding, and almost had to force myself to finish. 1 out of 5 stars. ( )
  marsap | Jun 19, 2014 |
In the spring of 1868, a chain of disasters harnessing the power of new technologies terrify the citizens of Boston. Marcus Mansfield and several classmates from the first senior class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) join forces to investigate the mysterious events, identify the mastermind behind them, and stop him from destroying the city and their fledgling school.

This historical mystery has a strong sense of place in Boston, Cambridge, and on the grounds of the fledgling MIT. It captures tensions between science and religion, labor and management, tradition and innovation, and addresses issues of social class, gender roles, and post-traumatic effects of the Civil War. With its emphasis on technology, it could have cross-over appeal for some steampunk fans. I have enjoyed this author's books set in 19th century Boston much more than The Poe Shadow, set in Baltimore and France. Recommended for most historical mystery readers. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | Mar 22, 2014 |
Set in Boston in 1868, The Technologists follows the same historical mystery formula as previous works like The Dante Club and The Poe Shadow. This novel centers around the students of the first class of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the fictional protagonists intermingling with historical figures like William Barton Rogers, Ellen Swallow Richards, and Louis Aggasiz (the latter is characterized as a cartoonish villain in the Harvard-MIT rivalry). Boston is threatened by mysterious technological attacks and the populace - already suspicious of the institute - threaten to close it down. It's up to the young students to use their scientific skills to stop the madman and to save the reputation of their school. The historical details are nice, and the mystery is good enough. I didn't see some of the twists in the plot coming, at least. The growing technological menace get ludicrous though and the characterization is weak. All in all, an entertaining page-turner of a historical mystery, but no great work of literature. ( )
  Othemts | Dec 24, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
What we have in “The Technologists” is basically a ripping yarn with some war-of-ideas apparatus and plenty of period furniture, the whole accompanied by a distracting space-junk drone of bad writing.
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Its proud lines intermittently visible through the early morning fog, the Light of the East might have been the most carefree ship that ever floated into Boston.
Technology is the dignity that man can achieve by bettering himself and his society.
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club, comes a completely fresh take on the historical thriller, set at the intersection of science and history, as the men and women of the first graduating class of MIT must avert a dire threat against their city.

Boston, 1868: On a fog-shrouded, moonless spring night in Boston Harbor, seven ships—schooners, pleasure steamers, and steamships—mysteriously crash in a massive, fiery wreck. The devastation is later complicated by the discovery that every compass recovered from the wreckage had spun wildly as the ships veered inexplicably off course. In an attempt to solve the mystery, investigators visit the newly founded Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose fifteen-member inaugural class is about to graduate. As the harbor disaster is followed by further strange calamities striking the city, Marcus Mansfield and his fellow classmates including Ellen Swallow, the sole female student at MIT—will find themselves in the position of being the only people qualified to save the city and its inhabitants from what seems to be the work of a madman.
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The first graduating class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is thrown into turmoil by bizarre phenomena that cause instruments to inexplicably spin out of control, challenging enterprising students to protect lives while combating Harvard rivals.… (more)

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