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The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl
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The Last Bookaneer

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The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl
Paperback $16.00
Apr 26, 2016 | ISBN 9780143108092

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    Apr 26, 2016 | ISBN 9780143108092

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  • Apr 28, 2015 | ISBN 9780698195615

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  • Apr 28, 2015 | ISBN 9780698402645

    769 Minutes

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Product Details


Boston Globe
“[A] historical jigsaw puzzle of literary larceny, deception, and derring-do…[A] richly imagined account… The elite bookaneers were also vindictive, spiteful and viciously ambitious, and Pearl has buckets of fun exploring this world of thieves, spies, smugglers, and tricksters in detailed depth…Packed with bookish love and intrigue, THE LAST BOOKANEER winningly transforms what Pearl notes in his afterword as a ‘fragment of legal and publishing history’ into fictional magic.”

Seattle Times
“Matthew Pearl has a particular specialty: finding an obscure corner of 19th-century history and spinning from it literary fiction that is thought-provoking, enlightening, smoothly written — and a ripping good story to boot…[THE LAST BOOKANEER is] another bracing adventure set in the world of 19th-century literature lovers…Pearl is a demon researcher, but THE LAST BOOKANEER wears those studies lightly — there’s not a single dull lecture hall in sight. The author’s passion for detail, combined with his gift for balancing a leisurely pace with fast-moving action, makes for a deeply satisfying experience.”

The Maine Edge
“One more example of [Pearl’s] ability to bring history’s people and places to vividly compelling life…Fast-paced and smart and thoughtful – an altogether outstanding read…Pearl has taken a relatively minor historical footnote and spun a thrilling, fascinating tale of literary intrigue. The richness of the backdrop – particularly the portrayal of Samoa – is textured and nuanced. The reader tumbles headlong into the world being created, borne across the land and sea by Pearl’s intricate narrative and expressive prose.”
Everyday eBook:
Fans of Pearl will love the journey in this latest historical thriller. The amount of time and effort that went into conducting the appropriate research is evident throughout the book and it brings to light an era of publishing that is as fascinating as it is unknown. In a time where digital media is changing the landscape of the publishing industry, this book reminds us that the means by which a story is delivered is not as important as what we take from it.

 (starred review)

“An entertaining adventure tale steeped in literary history…[Pearl] offers many of the charms and unrushed distractions of a favorite old bookstore.”

Library Journal (starred review):
“This swashbuckling tale of greed and great literature will remind you why Pearl is the reigning king of popular literary historical thrillers. His latest is guaranteed to delight lovers of history and mystery.”

Publishers Weekly

“In the days before e-books, self-publishing, and fan fiction, publishing was an even riskier undertaking—or so Pearl makes an entertaining case for in his latest, ingenious literary caper…Pearl gives the bookaneers a lively fictitious history…and populates it with a colorful cast of roguish characters…A loving testament to the enduring power of paper books.”


“Writing mischievously clever novels about famous writers is Pearl’s forte…Passionately researched and ebulliently imagined…Pearl’s vividly descriptive and energetically plotted novel churns and charms with intriguing literary history, acid social critique, witty dialogue, and delectably surprising and diabolical reversals and betrayals.”


Janet Maslin, The New York Times: 
“Working on a vast canvas, Mr. Pearl keeps this mystery sparkling with erudition… with this captivating brain teaser as his debut novel, seems also to have put his life’s work on the line in melding scholarship with mystery. He does justice to both.”

Kimberley Strassel, The Wall Street Journal
“Mr. Pearl’s triumph is mixing these two cultures: wealthy, cultivated men of letters faced with the mysterious and seedy streets of a 19th-century Boston… creating not just a page-turner but a beguiling look at the U.S. in an era when elites shaped the course of learning and publishing. With this story of the Dante Club’s own descent into hell, Mr. Pearl’s book will delight the Dante novice and expert alike.” 

Carlo Wolff, The Boston Globe
“How the club and the police compete and then converge is the mystery and the thrill in a preternaturally accomplished book as wise as it is entertaining. The Dante Club is a carefully plotted, imaginatively shaped, and stylistically credible whodunit of unusual class and intellect… The writing is passionate, the narrative driven.” 

David Lazarus, The San Francisco Chronicle: 
“A hell of a first novel… The Dante Club delivers in spades.”

Adrienne Miller, Esquire
“Audacious and captivating.” 

Julie K. L. Dam, People Magazine (Page Turner of the Week)
“Pearl, a graduate of Harvard and Yale Law School and a Dante scholar, ably meshes the literary analysis with a suspenseful plot and in the process humanizes the historical figures… A divine mystery.” 

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