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
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.
author of Lowcountry Legend's series
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.
G L Strout
Well constructed with interweaving story lines that keep you wanting more. This book deserves more attention than it has received so far.
The originality of the story and the intricate story reminded me of The 13th Tale.
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!
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.
A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air
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.
It was a perfect combination of historical fiction, mystery, and romance. A masterful performance made the characters quite believable.
Amanda, Peter"s wife. She had a strong yet gentle nature.
It made me cry. I felt their love for one another and their deep connection. I also felt their sorrow.
I learned a little history about William Shakespeare, as well as some his contemporaries.
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.
This was a slow start for the first several hours, but then took off into a fascinating tale of love, history & mystery.
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.
No. Story has potential, but seems ploddingly and amateurishly told with too many easy coincidences. Lovett's facile and formulaic treatment of his story frequently bordered on banal and wasted what might have been a really good tale. I was tempted to just put it down and quit several times but kept reading just for the story line. It needed a good editor and rewrite.
I would say the narrator did it justice by a reading as spiritless as the book itself.
I think that does it.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.