In 1770, Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen introduces Vienna to the Mechanical Turk?an unbeatable chess-playing automaton that, unbeknownst to an astonished Europe, is in fact nothing more than an illusion. The Turk is actually operated from within by a God-fearing dwarf named Tibor, whose chess-playing abilities and diminutive size make him the perfect accomplice in this grand hoax. But when a seductive countess dies under mysterious circumstances in the presence of the Turk, the machine and its inventor become the target of espionage, persecution, and intrigue. Based on a true story, this celebrated debut is a daring piece of storytelling, brimming with lust, scandal, and deception.
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Published by Penguin Books Sep 30, 2008| 352 Pages| 5-1/2 x 8-7/16| ISBN 9780143114369