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The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man: Burton & Swinburne, Book 2 | [Mark Hodder]

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man: Burton & Swinburne, Book 2

When a clockwork-powered man of brass is found abandoned in Trafalgar Square, Burton and his assistant, the wayward poet Algernon Swinburne, find themselves on the trail of the stolen Garnier Collection - black diamonds rumored to be fragments of the Lemurian Eye of Naga, a meteorite that fell to Earth in prehistoric times. His investigation leads to involvement with the media sensation of the age: the Tichborne Claimant, a man who insists that he's the long lost heir to the cursed Tichborne estate.
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Publisher's Summary

It is 1862, though not the 1862 it should be....

Time has been altered, and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the king's agent, is one of the few people who know that the world is now careening along a very different course from that which Destiny intended.

When a clockwork-powered man of brass is found abandoned in Trafalgar Square, Burton and his assistant, the wayward poet Algernon Swinburne, find themselves on the trail of the stolen Garnier Collection - black diamonds rumored to be fragments of the Lemurian Eye of Naga, a meteorite that fell to Earth in prehistoric times. His investigation leads to involvement with the media sensation of the age: the Tichborne Claimant, a man who insists that he's the long lost heir to the cursed Tichborne estate. Monstrous, bloated, and monosyllabic, he's not the aristocratic Sir Roger Tichborne known to everyone, yet the working classes come out in force to support him. They are soon rioting through the streets of London, as mysterious steam wraiths incite all-out class warfare.

From a haunted mansion to the Bedlam madhouse, from South America to Australia, from seances to a secret labyrinth, Burton struggles with shadowy opponents and his own inner demons, meeting along the way the philosopher Herbert Spencer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Florence Nightingale, and Charles Doyle (father of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). Can the king's agent expose a plot that threatens to rip the British Empire apart, leading to an international conflict the like of which the world has never seen? And what part does the clockwork man have to play?

Burton and Swinburne's second adventure, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man, is filled with eccentric steam-driven technology, grotesque characters, and a deepening mystery that pushes forward the three-volume story arc begun in The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack.

Listen to more in the Burton & Swinburne series.

©2011 Mark Hodder (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (443 )
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  •  
    Chris - Audible Newark, NJ, United States 04-17-12
    Chris - Audible Newark, NJ, United States 04-17-12 Member Since 2011

    I'm an Audible editor, and I think this quote sums it up: "A voice is such a deep, personal reflection of character." - Daniel Day-Lewis

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    "Another excellent installment."

    Clockwork Man picks up shortly after the end of Hodder’s first alternate-history, steampunk mystery and provides an if-not-better-then-equally-enjoyable adventure. I couldn’t wait to get to this after listening to the first book. Gerard Doyle once again does an incredible job jumping between multiple foreign accents as well as English dialects common to 1860s London. The main characters are more fleshed out here, and we get closer to some of the ancillary folks from the first book. There are very few slow moments throughout the book, and we really get a sense of how everything plays into the overall story arc of the trilogy (Unless there’s going to be a fourth book. Please tell me there’s a fourth book). There’s some horror, some philosophy, some mystery, some time travel, some mind-control, some clairvoyance, and oh yeah, zombies. Dandy, aristocratic zombies. Awesome.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean United States 07-23-12
    Sean United States 07-23-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A good story, but not without rough spots"
    What did you like best about The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man? What did you like least?

    The story moved quickly and kept my interest. The plot was often a real problem.


    What could Mark Hodder have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Try to limit the number of themes in the story. Concentrate on developing better female characters.


    What does Gerard Doyle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Gerard Doyle was excellent! His attention to accents and differentiating the characters kept Victorian Britain in my mind while I listened.


    Any additional comments?

    My first exposure to the Steam-punk genre was "The Difference Engine". It was a good combination of science fiction and alternate history. I've wanted to sample similar story lines and "The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man" is one foray.

    I found myself liking the story in spite of itself. The pace moves quickly and the narration is excellent, really the most enjoyable part of the experience. The worst part, sorry to say, is the plot. It's a mash-up of fantasy, very little science in the fiction, and lurid horror with a cast of characters from history that bear little resemblance to the actual people of the same names. If you are in any way a skeptic of woo-woo metaphysics, be prepared to sit down with a stiff brandy before diving into this tale. Having said that, the writing and narration were good enough that I forced myself several times to suspend disbelief and just go along for the ride. And a good ride it is!

    The story begins in the fractured time line caused in the first book after a traveler from the future disrupts not only history, but quite evidently the natural laws of the universe. Charles Darwin, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Charles Babbage and a host of other Victorian science and engineering greats are recast as ambitious mad scientists. The results we see in "The Clockwork Man" is science and technology run amok with the paranormal soon to follow. Soon we discover that mesmerism really works, psychics and mediums become evil wizards and witches, magic crystals cause mayhem and an evil spell turns rioters first into cannibals and then into zombies!

    The main characters of Burton and Swinburne are well developed as are many of the secondary actors. There are no well developed female characters, which is a shame given the number of places in the story where they could have been. Except for Madame Blavatsy, a self-promoting medium and fraud in real life who plays the part of the wicked witch in this story, none of the other women have anything other than supporting roles.

    I did enjoy the story in spite of its shortcomings. If you enjoy steam-punk and fantasy, you will probably like it also.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne Buckhorn, Ontario, Canada 03-30-12
    Yvonne Buckhorn, Ontario, Canada 03-30-12 Member Since 2008
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    "A fun story with a terrific narrator."

    This series has made me laugh out loud in pure enjoyment. This author has a wonderfully twisted imagination and I am looking forward to his next book - it's already set up on my Ipod. Gerald Doyle is one of my favorite narrators and if you haven't listened to any of his narrations - Please do so right away.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elane Paonia, Colorado 04-01-12
    Elane Paonia, Colorado 04-01-12 Member Since 2005
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    "great series - on to the 3rd book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man to be better than the print version?

    Not necessarily. If I like a book on tape I will often also read it as a novel. Listening first makes the novel easier to visualize and to move through the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Burton of course - The author makes him a real person albeit one with extraordinary capabilities but very vulnerable and human emotions. His blatant character flaws balance out so some of the incredible (maybe even hard to believe) physical accomplishments .


    What about Gerard Doyle’s performance did you like?

    He is pretty good at reading different characters. Not the best but he definitley adds to helping keep the story clear. I haven't had any problem with following the story and the characters.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Just about.


    Any additional comments?

    Creative book with clever weaving of ideas and staying true to the story. This type of SciFi literature could quickly get away and become ridiculous but Hodder keeps his characters and story grounded.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Houston, Texas USA 11-21-13
    Amazon Customer Houston, Texas USA 11-21-13 Member Since 2012

    DivaDevilDog

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    "Mark Hodder, one incredible writer."
    Where does The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Oh up in top 10...his other books are in same top 10.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Seemless alternative world. Characters with muliple levels.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Anything to do Swinburne.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The increasing tension as story arc builds.


    Any additional comments?

    Great narrator, good pacing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ross Colorado Springs, CO, United States 07-14-13
    Ross Colorado Springs, CO, United States 07-14-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Highly Imaginative World!"

    Mark Hodder has really created a fantastic world with his Burton and Swinburne Series. As a fan of RFB for both his real life exploits, and his fictional ones (see Riverworld Series), I am always interested whenever I see his name in a book description.

    I have listened to both books of this series, and have enjoyed them both. However, I think the narrator of this series, Gerard Doyle, really brings this world alive. As such, I think the performance actually outmatches the story. I'll be interested in book 3, but if a different reader is used, probably less interested.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DiamondDiva1 Columbus, GA 04-08-13
    DiamondDiva1 Columbus, GA 04-08-13 Member Since 2010

    Diva1

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    "Steampunk Fans!!!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man the most enjoyable?

    The flow of the story was like water in the river, easy to understand; but complex enough to keep you listen!!!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man?

    Too many good parts for me to just have one:-)


    What does Gerard Doyle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The characters reactions to each other in a serious but funny way.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 09-10-12
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2011

    Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Curious case is putting it mildly"
    What did you love best about The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man?

    The twist in history that started in book 1 was so inventive. The way everything starts to come together is so exciting and very satisfying.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man?

    The times when Swinburne kept getting mesmerized and in order to block it he had to drink. I am sure that was very hard for him but duty to the throne and all. Lol


    What does Gerard Doyle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    When he talks about the characters or for the characters you can feel what is going on with each one. Plus I love his voice I could listen to it all say.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Trust me I tried to listen at one time. Actually I would have listened to all three books in one sitting if I could. I just bought book 1 because I was curious about Steampunk genre. Then I couldn't wait to get book two. I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown when I got to part two of the download and it was not there due to a bug in audible app which is fixed now.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't wait to hear book 3 and I hope they have more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Lenoir City, Tennessee, United States 06-27-12
    Amanda Lenoir City, Tennessee, United States 06-27-12
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    "Just as Good as the First!"

    See my review on his first book for my overall thoughts on the series.

    But, this book was also another great addition to the steampunk genre. Genius use of Characters and Dialogue. And the Narrator is officially another favorite of mine!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 05-21-14
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 05-21-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "the crazy clockwork plot continues"

    As I promised myself, I only bought the second book of this series when it went on sale. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but I think I ended up liking it a bit more than the first book. The book carries on a number of plot points from the first one, and has almost all the characters from the first, so maybe best to brush up. This book also sets up for at least one following book. As in the first installment, there's tons of steampunk technology, alternate history, evil plots and whatnot. Also zombies. Who doesn't love steampunk zombies?
    I would have given the plot five stars but I just wish that the characters developed/changed more through the books. They're very plot driven, which is fine, but it would be nice to see them a little more fleshed out. Once again, I probably would get the next book, but only once I find it on sale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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