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The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael…

The Book of Air and Shadows (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Michael Gruber

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2,006923,346 (3.42)98
Title:The Book of Air and Shadows
Authors:Michael Gruber
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2008), Edition: a, Paperback, 496 pages

Work details

The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber (2007)

  1. 62
    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (nicchic)
  2. 20
    Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: A similar literary thriller plot - a young woman unravels a puzzle that may lead to the whereabouts of a lost Shakespeare manuscript, but she's also being chased by a killer who is murdering Shakespeare scholars and staging them to resemble his plays. I preferred Interred with Their Bones as I found the characters significantly more likeable.… (more)
  3. 20
    Possession by A. S. Byatt (Imprinted)
  4. 10
    The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips (Bookmarque)
    Bookmarque: Another multi-POV, multi-narrator mystery.
  5. 21
    People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (starfishian)
  6. 00
    Codex by Lev Grossman (Jannes)
    Jannes: Mysterious manuscripts, bookish femme fatales, old libraries... if you liked one, you'll probably enjoy the other.
  7. 00
    Gospel by Wilton Barnhardt (BobNolin)
    BobNolin: Gospel was a lot more fun to read, but the two are very similar. There is an ancient text interwoven into the current day story (Gruber does the better job of faking an ancient text, in my opinion). There is a hunt for said manuscript. And the finding of it will change recorded history. Great stuff.… (more)
  8. 00
    The Intelligencer by Leslie Silbert (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: The Intelligencer is a literary thriller that traces playwright Christopher Marlowe gathering intelligence for Elizabeth I as well as a modern day scholar and PI who is investigating a manuscript that may shed light on Marlowe's untimely demise.

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» See also 98 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Could not finish this one, despite an interesting premise; characters not resonant with me and three parallel POVs/plots diminished any engagement I had with the book. ( )
  SESchend | Sep 6, 2017 |
One of the worst books I've ever read in my entire life! Premise is ok, but its squandered with unlikable and oversexed characters and a style of writing that is obsessed with its own meta textual pop-culture hipness. ( )
  Humberto.Ferre | Sep 28, 2016 |
A tale of deceit, fraud, love and infidelity as a motley crew of characters chase what may be undiscovered play of Shakespeare.

The audiobook is well narrated. Stephen Hoye adds just a slight variation to each character to help you tell them apart. ( )
  dougcornelius | Aug 31, 2016 |
really did not like this,found the characters completely unlikable.didn't care if they lived or died ( )
  KarenDuff | Jun 1, 2016 |
The things that I liked most about this book are fairly superficial: one of the main characters is named Mishkin (one of my cats is named Myshkin), and he also happens to be a lawyer (I am a lawyer, and therefore predisposed to like books wherein lawyers are reasonably well-portrayed). It begins in a used bookstore, and ultimately is a book about books, or, more precisely, a book about old books, with ancient manuscripts in secretary hand concealed in their covers, with heavy doses of cryptography and suspected forgery and the life-threatening adventures that necessarily follow.

I enjoyed this as an audiobook; the reader was skilled at voicing different characters and had a pleasant speaking style. The one drawback is that the Bracegirdle letters, written as they are in archaic style, became somewhat tedious to listen to. I suspect they might have been more palatable in written form.

Also -- 15 CDs! I appreciate that this was unabridged but that many CDs was a lot to keep track of, and took me almost 3 months to get through on my daily commute. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
This book features a remarkably deft interweaving of three plots, with sympathetic, dimensional characters worthy of the plot's intricacies, and a marvelously playful narrative voice that shifts just enough when necessary to retain its ironic distance.

It begins with Jake Mishkin ("Jake" for the sake of the book's last line, but I'm not going to reveal the punch line to a 466 page joke here). Jake is a one-time Olympic weight lifter who looks it and has respectably maintained his massive strength. He is also wealthy. Very wealthy, which helps a lot with a peripatetic plot like this one. Jake is an intellectual property lawyer, a sex addict separated, but technically not divorced, from one of the world's saintliest--and wealthiest--women, with two tragically maladjusted children between them and a veritable psychomachia engaging the spirits of his ex-Nazi Mutti, ex because now a suicide, and his ex-gangland accountant Jewish Papa, now exiled to Tel Aviv but still very much the mob's boy.

We first meet Jake in the Adirondacks lakefront cabin of his best friend Micky Haas, who happens to be the world's premiere expert on Shakespeare, president of the MLA and full Prof. at Columbia U. Jake is typing the story we are reading on a laptop. He is if not the classic unreliable narrator, at least a close cousin. What he doesn't say, and later discovers he doesn't really know, reveals a great deal about him. We think we don't quite trust Jake, but we have no other choice. . . .

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Our Revels now are ended: These our actors
(As I foretold you) were all Spirits, and
Are melted into Ayre, into thin Ayre,
And like the baselesse fabricke of this vision
The Cloud-capt Towres, the gorgeous Pallaces,
The solmne Temples, the great Globe it selfe,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And like this insubstantial Pageant faded
Leave not a racke behinde: we are such stuffe
As dreames are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleepe ,,,

The Tempest, act IV, scene i
The First Folio, 1623
For E.W.N.
First words
Tap-tapping the keys and out come the words on this little screen, and who will read them I hardly know. I could be dead by the time anyone actually sees this, as dead as, say, Tolstoy. Or Shakespeare.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061456578, Paperback)

A fire destroys a New York City rare bookstore—and reveals clues to a treasure worth killing for. . . . A disgraced scholar is found tortured to death. . . . And those pursuing the most valuable literary find in history are about to cross from the harmless mundane into inescapable nightmare.

From the acclaimed, bestselling author of Tropic of Night comes a breathtaking thriller that twists, shocks, and surprises at every turn as it crisscrosses centuries, from the glaring violence of today into the dark shadows of truth and lies surrounding the greatest writer the world has ever known.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:02 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A distinguished Shakespearean scholar found tortured to death ... A lost manuscript and its secrets buried for centuries ... An encrypted map that leads to incalculable wealth ... Tap-tapping the keys and out come the words on this little screen, and who will read them I hardly know. I could be dead by the time anyone actually gets to read them, as dead as, say, Tolstoy. Or Shakespeare. Does it matter, when you read, if the person who wrote still lives? These are the words of Jake Mishkin, whose seemingly innocent job as an intellectual property lawyer has put him at the center of a deadly conspiracy and a chase to find a priceless treasure involving William Shakespeare ...… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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