We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The Book of Air and Shadows: A Novel | [Michael Gruber]

The Book of Air and Shadows: A Novel

Jake Mishkin's 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. As he awaits a killer (or killers) unknown, Jake writes an account of the events that led to this deadly endgame, a frantic chase that began when a fire in an antiquarian bookstore revealed the hiding place of letters containing a shocking secret, concealed for 400 years.
Regular Price:$34.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

"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?"

Those 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. As he awaits a killer (or killers) unknown, Jake writes an account of the events that led to this deadly endgame, a frantic chase that began when a fire in an antiquarian bookstore revealed the hiding place of letters containing a shocking secret, concealed for 400 years. In a frantic race from New York to England and Switzerland, Jake finds himself matching wits with a shadowy figure who seems to anticipate his every move. What at first seems like a thrilling puzzle waiting to be deciphered soon turns into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, in which no one - not family, not friends, not lovers - is to be trusted.

Moving between 21st-century America and 17th-century England, The Book of Air and Shadows is a modern thriller that brilliantly re-creates William Shakespeare's life at the turn of the 17th century and combines an ingenious and intricately layered plot with a devastating portrait of a contemporary man on the brink of self-discovery...or self-destruction.

©2007 Michael Gruber; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A wonderful story" (Kirkus)
"A wild story....Engrossing." (The Washington Post)
"[With] intelligence and engaging style...Gruber raises the thriller stakes." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (402 )
5 star
 (104)
4 star
 (143)
3 star
 (93)
2 star
 (39)
1 star
 (23)
Overall
3.9 (79 )
5 star
 (28)
4 star
 (24)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (4)
Story
3.9 (80 )
5 star
 (29)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Nicholas Winn CA, USA 06-02-07
    Nicholas Winn CA, USA 06-02-07 Member Since 2002

    E-Bike Enthusiast

    HELPFUL VOTES
    222
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    74
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    Overall
    "Not your average story."

    This book is not for everyone. It's 3 stories in 1.

    Stephen Hoye (Narrator) has a sardonical style that would turn many off. I happen to like him in this book but have found him tedious in others.

    The author has an eye for detail. Instead of going in a direct line. He relays the history background and the interaction of the players.

    I wouldn't call it an action book at least so far. The first 3rd is background on the characters and interaction.

    I'm 1/3 of the way through this book and just had to review it because it's new, no other reviews and just so good.

    So if you are the action type looking for a action book this isn't for you. If you are a little more literary and like a book that goes into details of the characters lives viewpoints and motivation. Slowly building a story You'll eat this up like a child with a plate of chocolate pudding!!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Dublin, OH, USA 06-09-07
    Ed Dublin, OH, USA 06-09-07 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    68
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "If you love language"

    The narrator has done a great job with this book. The story is excellent. The use of language steals the show for anyone who appreciates english written and spoken well.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    julia Bedford, NY, United States 08-06-07
    julia Bedford, NY, United States 08-06-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    174
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    408
    60
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    "owwwch!"

    the title promised great things... as did the description.... but jeez! THIS IS LONGWINDED! I tried, TRIED to get into this, but it just droned on - and the narration was painful! no voice inflections, no difference between speakers, if I turned my head for a second I had to rewind just to see who was talking because I did not know which character was up! maybe it is a better read, that way you can skip ahead to the good parts

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Tempe, AZ, United States 12-25-07
    Mark Tempe, AZ, United States 12-25-07 Member Since 2006

    English Lit BA highest honors UC Berkeley, 1974. Listening to books for pleasure or education is fun and it separates good writing from bad.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    241
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    "Post-Modern Pollution"

    This is some of the most self-indulgent prose I've seen (heard) in a while. He has the elements of a good story buried in the whiney narration. Because of the self-conscious feel, it seems like it was written by the Lit. professor rather than the attorney.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cook and Baker NH United States 07-09-07
    Cook and Baker NH United States 07-09-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "Outstanding in many ways"

    I hope that Audible will include some more of this author in its listings. This plot is thoroughly engaging, his characters are well drawn, memorable, and vivid, and the narrator, in many voices and dialects, is expert. Moving us back and forth in time, and through the neighborhoods of New York as well as other environs, Gruber keeps us completely involved. No spoilers here-- enough to say that the story will draw you in instantly,and I guarantee that you will be finding all sorts of excuses to hook up the ipod and listen till it's over. Enjoy!!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Jasper, GA, United States 11-04-07
    Marilyn Jasper, GA, United States 11-04-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Sleepytime Narrator"

    I echo the opinion of "Pat from Salinas" et al. re:narration. I may at some point in the future try to read this book, if I can erase the narrator's influence from my memory. Perhaps if I turned up the speed option on my ipod? I'm trying to push through, but presently think that Mr. Hoye should convert to reading bedtime stories. That should work well. Hard to overlook the narrator's influence in rating the book isn't it?

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 07-18-07
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 07-18-07 Member Since 2006

    Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 11-year-old daughter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2260
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    404
    213
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2256
    0
    Overall
    "Too many flip flops"

    Some listeners may have enjoyed the jumping back and forth between the 17th and 21st centuries that this book provided, but I didn't. The good part was that I started to understand the 17th century dialogue about halfway through and it was probably germane to understanding the plot. I think the author had too many contrivances and twists built into his story and the characters were a little bit like those found in comic strips. Still, with all the perceived inperfections in the story, I enjoyed the listen and think most others will too. The narrator did a great job.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Spooner Loveland, OH 06-04-07
    Andy Spooner Loveland, OH 06-04-07 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    175
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    116
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    "A page-turner..."

    A tale that really moves right along. The story is told from three different points of view (1st person protagonist, 3rd person focusing on secondary character, and narrations of 17th-century letters). Between the excellent reader (try _Skinny Dip_ if you like his reading as much as I did), the shifting points of view, and some very nice plot twists, I found this to be excellent reading for a long car trip.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Kenilworth , IL, USA 05-21-07
    Kathleen Kenilworth , IL, USA 05-21-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    101
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    189
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "excellent"

    deeply and well researched and detailed, full of surprizes all the way through, definitely better than da vinci code, reader excellent-after a fast 19 hour listen it left you wanting to hear more.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    IVAL FREEHOLD, NJ, United States 09-13-12
    IVAL FREEHOLD, NJ, United States 09-13-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "And smoke and mirrors......"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book of Air and Shadows the most enjoyable?

    This author was new to me. I bought the book based on its summary in Audible. Lost Shakespeare manuscript, mystery to unravel, etc. the sort of thing I like. What fun it turned out to be! We get to follow from several characters' perspectives the tracking down of this, possibly fraudulent, enigma. We even get an intriguing fragment of real (also possibly) 17th century letters concerning the S- man himself. Worth millions. Possibly... While all the while exploring the psyches and libidos of all involved. Add Russian gangsters and a convict priest -- what's not to like?


    Did Stephen Hoye do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The reader was not new to me, however, Stephen Hoy had narrated Hiassen's book Star Island, which I hated. One of that book's least appealing characters is the irritating, grasping mother, read with an even more irritating parody of a Brooklyn Jewish accent. There was a mother in Air and Shaddows also, but she was Italian, and a highly literate librarian as well. But I guess mr. Hoy has only one mother voice. Despite this, and his kind of insinuating style of delivery in general, his narration did begin to grow on me.


    Any additional comments?

    Throughout the book the reader is led down the garden path, along with the gullible characters. But we are too smart for him, right?? All of which makes the ending of the book all the more delightful! This book does not appear to be one of a series, (my preference) although the main protagonist is an intellectual properties lawyer, who could potentially ferret out more literary secrets. But I have not seen the last of Michael Gruber.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 32 results PREVIOUS124NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.