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The Astronomer: A Novel of Suspense | [Lawrence Goldstone]

The Astronomer: A Novel of Suspense

Paris, 1534. A student at the Catholic Collge de Montaigu, serving as a courier for the Inquisition, is murdered by members of an extreme Lutheran sect for the packet of letters he is carrying. His friend and fellow classmate Amaury de Faverges, the illegitimate son of the Duke of Savoy and an expert in astronomy and natural science, is recruited as his replacement and promised a decree of legitimacy if he can uncover the secret that threatens to overturn Catholicism and the reign of Franois I.
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Publisher's Summary

Paris, 1534. A student at the Catholic Collge de Montaigu, serving as a courier for the Inquisition, is murdered by members of an extreme Lutheran sect for the packet of letters he is carrying. His friend and fellow classmate, Amaury de Faverges, the illegitimate son of the Duke of Savoy and an expert in astronomy and natural science, is recruited as his replacement and promised a decree of legitimacy if he can uncover the secret that threatens to overturn Catholicism and the reign of Franois I.

Working undercover, Amaury journeys south to the liberal court of the king's sister, Marguerite of Navarre, the alleged heart of the conspiracy. The deeper he probes, the more Amaury is forced to confront his own religious doubts. And when he discovers a copy of Copernicus's shocking manuscript showing the sun at the center of the universe, he knows the path he must follow.

Replete with characters and events from history, from the iconoclastic Rabelais to the burning of heretics in Paris to preacher John Calvin and Copernicus himself, The Astronomer is a powerful novel of love and betrayal, and a thrilling portrait of what might well have happened at a hinge point in history when science and ancient religious belief collided.

©2010 Lawrence Goldstone (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Goldstone brings the sights, sounds, and furious politics of 16th-century France to vivid life." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.1 (103 )
5 star
 (11)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (40)
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Overall
3.2 (29 )
5 star
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Story
3.4 (29 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Christi Marietta, GA, USA 06-11-10
    Christi Marietta, GA, USA 06-11-10 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    39
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    "At the edge of change"

    The author's descriptions of the action occasionally kept me more engaged than the action itself in this historic thriller that puts a human face on what can happen when science runs afoul of dogma. The plot and characterizations sometimes charge forward with more enthusiasm that purpose, and not always in the same direction, leaving me to wonder if the author changed his mind about who the heroes and villains of the piece were. The story came together where it needed to go and covered a lot of historical and scientific ground getting there, so I'm looking forward to hearing more of Goldstone's work.

    Robert Vaughn did a good job with narration -- I had no trouble understanding him, and he certainly puts fire into the action sequences.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dustin Aliso Viejo, CA, USA 06-07-10
    Dustin Aliso Viejo, CA, USA 06-07-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    3
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    "Fascinating Inquisition Adventure"

    Beautifully written. After the first few minutes the hiss of what appeared to be the reader's dentures disappeared and I appreciated the drama he gave to the reading. Couldn't stop listening. Only drawback: I wish the author had gone into more detail because what he did cover was so fascinating, I would have loved to heard more of his exquisite portrayal of the medieval world.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ellen birrell Los Angeles, California United States 07-29-10
    ellen birrell Los Angeles, California United States 07-29-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    5
    3
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    "Ripened "man from uncle" voice"

    Robert Vaughn's voice, disparaged by some other listeners, may be the best reason to listen to this investigative procedural set in the reformation. The reading is sinuous, knowing and beautifully paced, a very mature, sexy voice. I recommend it highly.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mljeppiragot Bethany Beach, DE, United States 02-13-12
    mljeppiragot Bethany Beach, DE, United States 02-13-12
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    "Narrator was completely unsuitable"

    Narrator was well-suited to the role of a mature older man, but his aged diction and peculiar pronunciation of certain consonants were completely unsuitable for anyone younger than 65, particularly female characters. Frankly, it was ludicrous.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Flynn 05-24-11
    Peter Flynn 05-24-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    420
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    "Good Book, Not So Good Narration"

    This book has an interesting premise (Copernicus' great discovery against a backdrop of religious ferment) and attractive or suitably villainous protagonists. The scene -- Europe, especially France, on the very edge of the Enlightenment -- is fascinating, and the plot is gripping and breakneck. But Robert Vaughn, whose acting I greatly enjoy, should not be reading the book, or any book which constantly requires passable French pronunciation. Alas, even in English he has developed a tendency to mumble. Five stars, but for him; three, given the narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wadie Santa Ana, CA, United States 10-03-10
    Wadie Santa Ana, CA, United States 10-03-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Enjoyable with reservations"

    First.....I'm astounded that some of the reviewers don't seem to know who Robert Vaughn is! He is actually one of the reasons I bought the book. That being said.....I never for a minute forgot who was reading the story. His voice is just too recognizable for a story this complex. The narration was muddy is a few places as well. Vaughn is an actor with fabulous range in all the required voices but he was always Robert Vaughn reading a story.

    As for the book itself, the topic is very interesting. Especially in this age of "Intelligent Design", the idea that science is dangerous to faith is quite an interesting plot. The story ended well but there was one character who should have answered for their treachery who didn't. Overall, I'd buy another book by this author but with a different reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yates East Windsor, NJ, United States 05-27-10
    Yates East Windsor, NJ, United States 05-27-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    "disappointing"

    Disappointing! I really hate to criticize people who do what I adore, write novels. I really wanted to love this book and I simply could not! The topic was engaging and I thought I was going to be in a "World without End" type of a novel, but instead it dragged with only brief periods of catching the attention. Sorry Mr. Goldstone. It did not do what I had hoped it would.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bonnie 07-21-10
    bonnie 07-21-10

    DaWomz

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "reader is terrible"

    The reader (Robert Vaughn) is too old and his voiceis too gravely for the character, who is supposed to be around 28 years old. He is hard to understand and really takes awy from the story so much that it's hard t listen to it.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen Laurinburg, NC, United States 10-03-10
    Maureen Laurinburg, NC, United States 10-03-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Disappointing"

    The narrator's voice was often slurred and difficult to understand. I suggest you listen to the sample before purchase. i wish I had. I couldn't finish it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Charlottesville, VA, USA 06-09-10
    Douglas Charlottesville, VA, USA 06-09-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    8
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    "Listen to a sample first"

    I could not understand the breathy croak of the reader -- not even a single page. Tried it on several headphones. Where were the director and the engineer?

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
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