Executive Producer: Jacob Bronstein
Producer: John Wager
Produced by arrangement with Harcourt, Inc.
Original Jacket Photographs by (top) Kim Westerskov/Stone and Barry Marcus/FPG International
Original Jacket Design by Claudine Guerguerian
Author photograph by Debra Gross Aczel
©2001 by Amir Aczel
(P)2001 Random House, Inc.
"Nimble writer that he is, Aczel keeps these and other topics in constant, fluid motion, like a master juggler. A compulsively readable investigation, as attracting as the magnetic north." - (Kirkus Reviews)
This book was a facinating account of how the compass "may have" been invented. The author clearly did a lot of research into, if not determining the absolute truth, perhaps a plausible explanation of the various developments that, building upon one another, resulted in the magnetic compass.
I found this to be a very enjoyable listen. A lot of the specific details of the invention of the compass can never be known, so Aczel tells what is known, then goes off on different entertaining tangents of the times and places that are relevant to the story. At the end what you really know is that too much is unknowable. But it is still worth the trip. Henry Leyva does a very nice job reading, never sounding overbearing. Give this one a try. Rick.
You will only finish this book if your kid has to write a book report. I rate it two stars because the narrator has the enthusiasm to make the Bronx Yellow Pages intriguing and because I respect the author's other works. This book will win you several rounds of Trivial Pursuit. It probably started out as an exceptional article in the New Yorker, and there it should have remained. If you so yearn for nautical knowledge, check it out at a library. If you spend money on it or use a credit, you will be disappointed. I was.
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