The first class at M.I.T. The last hope for a city in peril.
The acclaimed author of The Dante Club reinvigorates the historical thriller. Matthew Pearl’s spellbinding new novel transports readers to tumultuous nineteenth-century Boston, where the word “technology” represents a bold and frightening new concept. The fight for the future will hinge on....
Boston, 1868. The Civil War may be over but a new war has begun, one between the past and the present, tradition and technology. On a former marshy wasteland, the daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rising, its mission to harness science for the benefit of all and to open the doors of opportunity to everyone of merit. But in Boston Harbor a fiery cataclysm throws commerce into chaos, as ships’ instruments spin inexplicably out of control. Soon after, another mysterious catastrophe devastates the heart of the city. Is it sabotage by scientific means or Nature revolting against man’s attempt to control it?
The shocking disasters cast a pall over M.I.T. and provoke assaults from all sides - rival Harvard, labor unions, and a sensationalistic press. With their first graduation and the very survival of their groundbreaking college now in doubt, a band of the Institute’s best and brightest students secretly come together to save innocent lives and track down the truth, armed with ingenuity and their unique scientific training.
Led by “charity scholar” Marcus Mansfield, a quiet Civil War veteran and one-time machinist struggling to find his footing in rarefied Boston society, the group is rounded out by irrepressible Robert Richards, the bluest of Beacon Hill bluebloods; Edwin Hoyt, class genius; and brilliant freshman Ellen Swallow, the Institute’s lone, ostracized female student. Working against their small secret society, from within and without, are the arrayed forces of a stratified culture determined to resist change at all costs and a dark mastermind bent on the utter destruction of the city.
Studded with suspense and soaked in the rich historical atmosphere for which its author is renowned, The Technologists is a dazzling journey into a dangerous world not so very far from our own, as the America we know today begins to shimmer into being.
©2012 Matthew Pearl (P)2012 Random House Audio
“The Technologists combines everything I love in a thriller: fascinating history, science, and a frightening mystery that demands to be solved. Matthew Pearl is one of my must-read authors. He never fails to intrigue and thrill!” (Tess Gerritsen, author of The Silent Girl)
“Fascinating, mesmerizing, and richly atmospheric, The Technologists is the best yet from a true master of the historical thriller. I loved this novel.” (Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Buried Secrets and Vanished)
“Pearl’s signature complex plotting, strewn with red herrings and populated with unlikely villains, leaves readers as shocked and intrigued as the Bostonians.... Pearl’s first three novels - The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, and The Last Dickens - were all New York Times bestsellers. His latest, another literary-historical thriller, seems certain to join the elite club.” (Booklist)
I listened to the whole thing despite the producer's mistake regarding how it should be read. The entire tone of the book was indignant, strident, grating. However, I was more than interested in the story Pearl had to tell. Plus I learned a lot about the prevailing normatives of the story's time and place. I recommend the book but I think you'd be happier if you read it yourself.
No favorite character.
I think I've listened to about 200 books and I've only been critical of one other reader who was miscast--a producer's error. I have not listened to any other of Hoye's books--though I see I've purchased one. The mistake could have been the producer's--perhaps Hoye was instructed to read it as he did.
Someone recommended Pearl to me and I'm glad he did. I look forward to listening to another of his books soon. His plot was engaging and, as I said, his perspective on the birth of technology was informative.
So boring, if you want an inventory of inventions, this is the book. Put it down 1/2 way through, could not stand the repetition of going nowhere in the plot. I have read other Pearl stories, and enjoyed them, but this one does not do justice to what he is capable of.
Storyline was not very believable. I could not get myself to really believe the plot.
I would give him a second chance if other reviews were very positive.
Stephen Hoye's narration was excellent but the material itself was way too lengthy and became boring. I would be cautious before picking up another Matthew Pearl book.
I'm still interested in techno thrillers and action based history novels.
Realistically tried to personify the characters without over playing it. I did appreciate the changes in character being reflected in his voice but he did not go overboard.
Way too long to build up the story. Plot was predictable and juvenile (at times). I gave up about 2/3s the way though. Tired of hearing the back story and minor character development. Motivations of the characters was too simplistic.
It's a good story, but the narrator's repeated mispronunciation of one chief character's name (the "z" in Agassiz is silent) was a continual annoyance, like fingernails on a blackboard.
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