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Publisher's Summary

When George’s father died, he left his son a watchmaker’s shop - and a whole lot more. But George has little talent for watches and other infernal devices. When someone tries to steal an old device from the premises, George finds himself embroiled in a mystery of time travel, wild music, and sexual intrigue.

©2011 K. W. Jeter (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“This is the real thing - a mad inventor, curious coins, murky London alleys and windblown Scottish Isles.... A wild and extravagant plot that turns up new mysteries with each succeeding page.” (James P. Blaylock)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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First is not always best

Written in 1987 this is suppose to be the first steampunk novel and Jeter is suppose to be the one who coined the term. You find this out in the introduction. Unfortunately the introduction was the most interesting part of the book. I wanted to like this book after having read Jeter's "Farewell Horizontal". That was a book with a lots of imagination and it kept my attention. This book has imagination, but could not keep my attention.

I found that my mind kept wondering off. I tried hard several times to bring myself back to the plot, but could not keep it there. I did find the use of language to be charming, it just was not enough.

I don't know actually what you call it, but he uses the ploy where certain characters know things that the main character and you the reader are trying to figure out, but they are always putting him off. "Come back tomorrow at midnight and I will tell you." He comes back at midnight and the character is dead.

When ever the character gets into trouble he is miraculously rescued.

The narrator is good and I have heard him read other books and I have not had the mind wondering problem.

If Farewell Horizontal comes out in audio, get that.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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The Original Steampunk

J.K. Jeter first coined the term "Steampunk" in a bar with Tim Powers and J.P. Blaylock as the trio discussed the Neo-Victorian novels they were planning to write. Jeter then cemented the word in a letter to Locus magazine describing Infernal Devices and the rest is history: an artistic sub genre was born!

Infernal Devices is the first steampunk novel (not counting the works for Wells & Verne) and this production was definitely tailored for those wanting to learn more about Jeter's unintentional pop-culture movement. The narration is exquisite and the novel itself is a fun adventure story, but don't expect any deep thinking to result from it alone; Jeter had no clue what exactly he had created with this one. Overall, if you're curious about the history of Steampunk, you won't do much better than this. Highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DarthVal
  • Hickory, NC, United States
  • 03-01-15

This one was just okay

This one was just okay for me. I really wanted to like it more, but the pacing was a bit inconsistent for me and I kept drifting off. The narration was also just okay.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JTF
  • Cary, NC USA
  • 10-15-13

Initial foray into steampunk good with missses

Overall, interesting story with some misses. It had no characters in whom I was invested. There was some interesting characters along the way but only as a point of curiosity not of true interests.

The story was also a bit disjointed; I almost had a sense of going between various set pieces who connection was tenuous.

Finally, while I know why Mr. Jeter has Scape use the language he does, uses the Lord's name in vain was unnecessary and would not have been accepted in Mr. Dower's world. For this reason alone, I cannot recommend this book.

Michael Page did an admirable job narrating

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Some books are meant to be read...

Michael Page does as well as anyone possibly could, but some books are meant to be read, not heard, and this is one of them. The novel is a hoot, I recommend it, but not the audio version.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Dawn
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • 01-19-16

Loved it!

This has to be one of the best books I have read. This is my first Steampunk book and I plan on enjoying many more!

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Enjoyable steampunk.

This is a nice easy read (or, rather, listen) with a nice popcorn novel plot and lots of interesting characters. Its not bogged down with a bunch of moral questions or philosophy, and I like it just how it is. Let Gibson worry about morals and transhumanism. Sometimes I like that, but sometimes I just want to read a good story in a specific fiction theme. Just know it has all the fun and adventure of a Jules Verne story, but lighter. The best part about this is K.W. Jeter was one of the first (possibly "the" first) to really take a hand to the steampunk style, back in 1987, and this holds up just as well (better, really) than the modern steampunk written in the last few years since mainstream interest has picked up.

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  • Mr MA Lawrence
  • 05-09-13

Infernally good!

I've actually owned the Paperback version of this book for quite a while and have been a fan of K.W Jeter for quite some years, this is a very good audio version of a what is seen as a "steam punk" classic by some and overlooked by many. unfortunalty Audable only seems to have a couple of Mr Jeter's original fiction and none of his Horror books (of which he has done some really good work) and a lot of serializations of TV shows (i've read the Blade runner books but would rather read his fiction), this and Morlock Night are on Audable and i advise you to listen to both of them. if you have a chance get to read or listen to the following:
Dr Adder (Sci-fi in the vein of PK Dick not for the faint hearted. he actually sent this to Dick when he was a student and Dick did the forward for the paperback i have),
Dark Seeker (great Horror - crying out to be a film)
Farewell Horizonal (great Sci-fi cyberpunk and very readable)
any of his horrorbooks

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Christine
  • 10-30-17

An excellent original

One of, some say THE first, Steam Punk novels. I almost gave up immediately on this as the narrator didn't strike me as very good, but I persisted and this ended up being an enjoyable, fast paced story with great steam punk devices and fantastical creatures. I loved it!

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  • josh
  • 05-17-15

A fantastic representation of classical steampunk

New to the genre as a whole, Infernal Devices was a beautiful introduction to steampunk's origins. K.W. Jeter's writing style keeps the reader engaged through the fantastical journey, not leaving a single dull moment.