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The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession | [Charlie Lovett]

The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession

Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman's Tale is a former bookseller's sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature's most tantalizing mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt's Possession.
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Publisher's Summary

Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman's Tale is a former bookseller's sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature's most tantalizing mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt's Possession.

Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn't sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an 18th-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn't really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture's origins.

As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare's time, Peter communes with Amanda's spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.

©2013 Charlie Lovett (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (172 )
5 star
 (52)
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4.0 (157 )
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4.1 (158 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 08-13-13
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 08-13-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    279
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    638
    97
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    6
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    Story
    "Mixed bag."

    As other reviewers have written, Lovett's book is a mixture of love story, literary mystery, and whodunnit. For my taste, the literary mystery is quite interesting while the other plots are so-so, depending too much on unconvincing coincidence.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Elizabeth Reynolds SUMMERVILLE, SC, United States 03-02-14
    Mary Elizabeth Reynolds SUMMERVILLE, SC, United States 03-02-14 Member Since 2013

    author of Lowcountry Legend's series

    HELPFUL VOTES
    122
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    85
    61
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    4
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful listen"

    Some scholarly stories can be tedious, especially when Shakespeare is involved. Everyone has their own pet theory, but this story is about the characters not the bard. Best book finding mystery I have listened to or read in a while.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Bryan, Ohio, United States 08-18-13
    George Bryan, Ohio, United States 08-18-13

    G L Strout

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    14
    4
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    Story
    "One of the best books I have read."
    What did you love best about The Bookman's Tale?

    Well constructed with interweaving story lines that keep you wanting more. This book deserves more attention than it has received so far.


    What other book might you compare The Bookman's Tale to and why?

    The originality of the story and the intricate story reminded me of The 13th Tale.


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderful combination of mystery, romance and literary history that takes the reader on a wonderful journey. I can not recommend this book strongly enough! A MUST READ!

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Rochester, NY, United States 08-11-13
    Karen Rochester, NY, United States 08-11-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    6
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    Story
    "Just Ok for me"

    Having just read The Shadow of the Wind (a novel this book was compared to), I was so excited to read this, but I found it to be just OK. The narration is excellent and the story is fine, just not excellent.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 04-19-15
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 04-19-15 Member Since 2008

    A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air

    HELPFUL VOTES
    97
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    4
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    Story
    "Pleasant light diversion"

    I didn't think that this book was terribly well written, but I did enjoy the small glimpse it gave of an antiquarian bookseller's world as well as the author's literary mystery. I listened to the book, and while the narrator's voice was quite beautiful, his pacing was terribly slow. I actually had to speed up the recording to one and a half times its normal speed--something I've rarely had to do.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vickie Ford Oklahoma 05-04-14
    Vickie Ford Oklahoma 05-04-14 Member Since 2014

    picky reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    12
    7
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    "Thoroughly enjoyed it."
    What did you love best about The Bookman's Tale?

    It was a perfect combination of historical fiction, mystery, and romance. A masterful performance made the characters quite believable.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Amanda, Peter"s wife. She had a strong yet gentle nature.


    Which character – as performed by John Bedford Lloyd – was your favorite?

    Amanda


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me cry. I felt their love for one another and their deep connection. I also felt their sorrow.


    Any additional comments?

    I learned a little history about William Shakespeare, as well as some his contemporaries.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lakejewel orlando, FL, United States 12-01-13
    Lakejewel orlando, FL, United States 12-01-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Trying story"

    The first chapter of this book sounds good - then it gets muddled. Did any editor touch this? Too much backstory, too much many details that don't flesh out the characters. It needed some serious revision. It might have been a good outline but the execution was not well done. The reader was OK with some weak material.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pippa Wright 07-16-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "Good story… bad accents"

    I can't get past the bad English accents. They made it hard to just listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diella Martinez El Paso, TX United States 04-27-15
    Diella Martinez El Paso, TX United States 04-27-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "3 time periods cleverly woven together"

    This was a slow start for the first several hours, but then took off into a fascinating tale of love, history & mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debora J. Watson 01-28-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    90
    8
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    "Book club"

    Great book for book club discussion
    Recommend narrator who brought the book to life.
    Some of the secondary characters were rather one detention but took very little away from the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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