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The Technologists [with bonus short story:…

The Technologists [with bonus short story: 'The Professor's Assassin']

by Matthew Pearl

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987177,841 (3.08)None



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This book has a way of drawing you in with it's characters and rich details. Set in Boston a few years after the Civil War we follow one of the soon to graduate students from a new college that is forming MIT in their last few months of college.

There is a rivalry there that Pearl makes come to life between MIT and Harvard, but his storytelling is what keeps you reading late into the night. Especially when he develops the characters so easily.

The ending will keep you guessing, but even that takes a turn that you don't see coming. Even to the last page he holds on to the reader with all of the different twists.

Well written, well thought out, and probably one of the best fictions books I've read in a while. ( )
  tabicham | Jul 22, 2017 |
I had high expectations going into this one, given its academic and historical settings and its respectable treatment of geeks, but it didn't work out. The likable protagonist and most of the supporting cast were fine and interesting enough, and the overarching theme was good, centered as it was on a fear of technology and the jobs that it might take from people--a theme that's not unheard of even in today's world. But what killed this one for me was the pacing. To say that it was glacial would be to insult glaciers. It simply dragged on for far too long, coupled with far too many slow patches tossed in during what should have been the more intense, up-tempo scenes. At first I thought that it might have been due to real life forcing me to read this one in bits and pieces instead of going through it chunks at a time, but I just kept getting the same impression over and over again with regard to the pacing, coupled with the realization that I never reached for this book with excitement at the thought of picking up where I left off. Rather, there were reading sessions that seemed more like chores, which is just not a good thing. Ever. ( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
This was a fun little read with a little bit of a steampunk vibe. It chronicles the first class to enroll at the new Massachusetts Institute of Technology and their adventures in overcoming the general public's suspicion of technology by solving some mysterious pranks-turned-violent-incidents in the city of Boston. This book felt like a lighter, more mechanically inclined variation of [b:The Alienist|40024|The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #1)|Caleb Carr|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1169386132s/40024.jpg|2266643]. But the twists in the culprit's identity were good; I was convinced at least twice that I knew who it was, yet was still surprised in the end. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
I've been intrigued by Matthew Pearl for a while - I actually own both 'The Dante Club' and 'The Poe Shadow' and have been planning on reading them - but I got an ARC of his latest, so it went to the top of the list. Well, eh, I might have been a little overexcited.
This wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't really what I expected. I'd read things comparing it to 'The Alienist' so I was expecting a serious, realistic thriller set in the 19th century. It wasn't. Although the author did his research on the early days of MIT (this book's setting), I didn't find his depiction of the school convincing. (The afterword, where he talks about the facts behind the story, was actually the most interesting part, for me.) I found the characters rather cartoonish. The alternate history/steampunk aspects of the story were very far-fetched, again, reminding me almost of a comic book in prose form. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I didn't find myself getting really into it. Although it was a mystery, I didn't find myself compulsively turning pages, either. I'm still planning on reading the other books by this author, though, especially as they all seem to have interesting topics. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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. ( )
1 vote marsap | Jun 19, 2014 |
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Do not combine this 2-in-1 book with the individual stories contained in the book. Thanks.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 081297803X, Paperback)

“A terrific historical mystery in the fine old Arthur Conan Doyle style . . . Who knew that a mystery formed around the founding of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could be so good? . . . There are cliffhanger endings and fortuitous escapes. . . . There are even a couple of very sweet romances.”—The Globe and Mail
Boston, 1868. The Civil War may be over but a new war has begun, one between past and present, tradition and technology. The daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is on a mission to harness science for the benefit of all. But when an unnatural disaster strikes the ships in Boston Harbor, and an equally inexplicable catastrophe devastates the heart of the city, an antiscience backlash casts a pall over MIT and threatens its very survival. So the best and brightest from the Institute’s first graduating class secretly join forces to save innocent lives and track down the truth. Armed with ingenuity and their unique scientific training, gifted war veteran Marcus Mansfield, blueblood Robert Richards, genius Edwin Hoyt, and brilliant freshman Ellen Swallow will match wits with a master criminal bent on the utter destruction of the city.
Don’t miss Matthew Pearl’s short story “The Professor’s Assassin,” featuring characters from The Technologists, in the back of the book.
Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 24 Jan 2016 16:56:32 -0500)

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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Matthew Pearl is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Matthew Pearl chatted with LibraryThing members from Oct 5, 2009 to Oct 16, 2009. Read the chat.

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