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The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession

by

The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession Cover

ISBN13: 9780670026470
ISBN10: 0670026476
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s search through time and the works of Shakespeare for his lost love.

Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman’s Tale is a former bookseller’s sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature’s most tantalizing mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt's Possession.

Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn’t sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn’t really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins.

As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare’s time, Peter communes with Amanda’s spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.

Review:

"Lovett's debut is a century-spanning web of literary mystery that ensnares American Peter Byerly, a rare bookseller. Living abroad in the months after the death of his wife Amanda, Peter is mystified to discover a watercolor uncannily resembling her — especially since it's from the Victorian era. Vowing to learn more about the obscure artist — 'B.B.' — Peter stumbles into the argument about the authorship of Shakespeare's work, which might contain a link to the mysterious painter. 'The mystery of the watercolor's origins felt deeply personal and Peter could already feel curiosity and grief melding into obsession.' Lovett's novel skips in time to various periods in Peter's life, and even before it, extending as far back as 1592 when Shakespeare and his cohorts haunted taverns, and to 1879 when folios of his plays became prized possessions. As Peter continues his sleuthing, he finds himself a potential suspect in a murder investigation and a 'hundred-and-thirty-year-old scandal' with 'the most valuable relic in the history of English literature' at its core. Although the discussion of the provenance of Shakespeare's plays will appeal to bibliophiles, the frequent flashbacks to bygone days interrupt the narrative flow. In addition, the characters' dialogue, while full of passion for letters, is wooden and uninspired. Agent: David Gernert, the Gernert Agency. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“With The Bookman's Tale, Charlie Lovett tells us a terrific story — there's mystery and suspense, murder and seduction — but more important, he shows us how its all connected, all of this: the reading and the keeping and the sharing of books. It forms a chain long and strange enough to tie a heartbroken young scholar from North Carolina back to the Bard himself, who might or might not have been William Shakespeare. Every link along the way is a bookman's tale all its own, and Lovett tells them all, except the very last, of course: because that's you, about to read this book right now.” Robin Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Review:

“Lovett's novel, The Bookman's Tale, is a marvelous new Shakespearean mystery: an intelligent thriller that is also a love song for books and the people who relish them. Lovett knows his stuff about Shakespeare, rare books, and the passions that both inspire, and he weaves from these a delicious tale of love, loss, and the thrill of discovery. It kept me turning pages till the wee hours for days. The only disappointment was that it came to an end.” Jennifer Lee Carrell, author of Interred with Their Bones

Review:

“A gripping literary mystery that is compulsively readable until the thrilling end. For fans of Geraldine Brooks's People of the Book, Shakespeare aficionados, and bibliophiles.” Library Journal (Starred)

Review:

“A pleasurably escapist trans-Atlantic mystery is intricately layered with plots, murders, feuds, romances, forgeries — and antiquarian book dealing.” Kirkus

Review:

“Fans of mysteries, of love stories, and of rare books will all find moments in Lovett's novel to treasure.” Booklist

Review:

“I don't read much fiction. I'm picky. But I loved racing through Charlie Lovett's The Bookman's Tale, a richly rewarding thriller filled with real-world details about the discovery of a rare book that may or may not be a priceless Shakespearean artifact. Fun for everyone who's ever fondled a soft leather binding!” Daniel Singer, founder, Reduced Shakespeare Company and co-author of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

Review:

“The Bard is back in this rollicking literary mystery….This novel has something for everyone: William Shakespeare, a love story, murder and even a secret tunnel.” Star Tribune

Review:

A Bookman's Tale has plenty of richness to offer….Daring intricacy.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Review:

“A treat.” New York Journal of Books

Review:

“All too good to resist….The Bookman's Tale is a book about books, written for lovers of books.” The Fayetteville Observer

Review:

“Roguish booksellers, feuding nobles and unexpected plot twists.” The Asheville Citizen-Times

Review:

“[A] charismatic tale about the rare book world and history come to life….Like a gigantic hug to all book lovers.” MinnesotaReads.com

Review:

"[A]n immensely satisfying and pleasurable read that combines a range of genres and above all else, celebrates the beauty and wonder of the literary word." SeattlePI.com

Review:

"Lovett's tale sparkles with seasoned storytelling." The Mountain Times

About the Author

Charlie Lovett is a writer, teacher, and playwright, whose plays for children have been seen in more than 3,000 productions. He is a former antiquarian bookseller and an avid book collector. He and his wife, Janice, split their time between Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Kingham, Oxfordshire, in England.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Laura Swan, August 20, 2013 (view all comments by Laura Swan)
I thoroughly enjoyed it. The narrative is so smooth that I wasn't bothered by the shifts in time.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
The Lost Entwife, August 16, 2013 (view all comments by The Lost Entwife)
I've noticed a lot of books that seem to carry the label "a booklovers book" in some way or form. Basically, these books are just odes or sonnets to the bibliophile. They prey on our love for old books and bindings, speak about the tantalizing smell of a well-worn book, and craft a story around the mysterious circumstances that can surround such a small, leather-bound thing.

The Bookman's Tale is no different. It took a gothic mystery with potential danger and married it to a beautiful love-story, full of tragedy on its own. It spoke of rebinding old books as lovingly as I touch the spines on my precious hardcovers, and I felt immediately that I had a connection with the protagonist, Peter Byerly. There really is no better formula when it comes to hooking me into a story.

I loved almost everything about this book. I loved the tragic romance of Peter and flash-backs to better times. I loved the dangerous mystery. I loved the treatment of Shakespeare and all that jazz that goes hand in hand when talking about scholarly articles. I loved the precious detail that was included on rebinding old treasures. So, why do I say I loved almost everything?

As much as I hate to say it, the book was too long. There were moments that dragged, and I think, if anything, the modern romance felt a little forced to me. That may have been why the story dragged in parts - I've spent the last week or so since finishing this book trying to figure out what exactly made it drag and that's the closest I can come. But please, don't let that deter you from checking it out yourself. If you are a fan (like I am) of Carlos Ruiz Zafon, then I think this story will appeal to you greatly.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Richard Godsell-Jures, June 11, 2013 (view all comments by Richard Godsell-Jures)
Dear Readers, "Bookman's Tale" by Charlie Lovett, is a 347 page turner that you'll want to read in one sitting. If you love to read and you love the feel of a real book then you'll want to purchase this book. The design is classis "Folio style" with quality paper. Book collectors will definitely want to read and keep this book in your Library. But, more than that, it's a love story, a mystery, a thriller, and it's about Shakespeare's writings. Did he really write these wonderful plays or did Marlowe, or Greene, or maybe it was a forger. Well, you'll have to read this excellent book to find out. Happy Reading, Mr. R. Jures
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670026470
Subtitle:
A Novel of Obsession
Author:
Lovett, Charlie
Publisher:
Viking Adult
Subject:
Romance - Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20130528
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » Historical

The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Viking Adult - English 9780670026470 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Lovett's debut is a century-spanning web of literary mystery that ensnares American Peter Byerly, a rare bookseller. Living abroad in the months after the death of his wife Amanda, Peter is mystified to discover a watercolor uncannily resembling her — especially since it's from the Victorian era. Vowing to learn more about the obscure artist — 'B.B.' — Peter stumbles into the argument about the authorship of Shakespeare's work, which might contain a link to the mysterious painter. 'The mystery of the watercolor's origins felt deeply personal and Peter could already feel curiosity and grief melding into obsession.' Lovett's novel skips in time to various periods in Peter's life, and even before it, extending as far back as 1592 when Shakespeare and his cohorts haunted taverns, and to 1879 when folios of his plays became prized possessions. As Peter continues his sleuthing, he finds himself a potential suspect in a murder investigation and a 'hundred-and-thirty-year-old scandal' with 'the most valuable relic in the history of English literature' at its core. Although the discussion of the provenance of Shakespeare's plays will appeal to bibliophiles, the frequent flashbacks to bygone days interrupt the narrative flow. In addition, the characters' dialogue, while full of passion for letters, is wooden and uninspired. Agent: David Gernert, the Gernert Agency. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “With The Bookman's Tale, Charlie Lovett tells us a terrific story — there's mystery and suspense, murder and seduction — but more important, he shows us how its all connected, all of this: the reading and the keeping and the sharing of books. It forms a chain long and strange enough to tie a heartbroken young scholar from North Carolina back to the Bard himself, who might or might not have been William Shakespeare. Every link along the way is a bookman's tale all its own, and Lovett tells them all, except the very last, of course: because that's you, about to read this book right now.”
"Review" by , “Lovett's novel, The Bookman's Tale, is a marvelous new Shakespearean mystery: an intelligent thriller that is also a love song for books and the people who relish them. Lovett knows his stuff about Shakespeare, rare books, and the passions that both inspire, and he weaves from these a delicious tale of love, loss, and the thrill of discovery. It kept me turning pages till the wee hours for days. The only disappointment was that it came to an end.”
"Review" by , “A gripping literary mystery that is compulsively readable until the thrilling end. For fans of Geraldine Brooks's People of the Book, Shakespeare aficionados, and bibliophiles.”
"Review" by , “A pleasurably escapist trans-Atlantic mystery is intricately layered with plots, murders, feuds, romances, forgeries — and antiquarian book dealing.”
"Review" by , “Fans of mysteries, of love stories, and of rare books will all find moments in Lovett's novel to treasure.”
"Review" by , “I don't read much fiction. I'm picky. But I loved racing through Charlie Lovett's The Bookman's Tale, a richly rewarding thriller filled with real-world details about the discovery of a rare book that may or may not be a priceless Shakespearean artifact. Fun for everyone who's ever fondled a soft leather binding!” Daniel Singer, founder, Reduced Shakespeare Company and co-author of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
"Review" by , “The Bard is back in this rollicking literary mystery….This novel has something for everyone: William Shakespeare, a love story, murder and even a secret tunnel.”
"Review" by , A Bookman's Tale has plenty of richness to offer….Daring intricacy.”
"Review" by , “A treat.”
"Review" by , “All too good to resist….The Bookman's Tale is a book about books, written for lovers of books.”
"Review" by , “Roguish booksellers, feuding nobles and unexpected plot twists.”
"Review" by , “[A] charismatic tale about the rare book world and history come to life….Like a gigantic hug to all book lovers.”
"Review" by , "[A]n immensely satisfying and pleasurable read that combines a range of genres and above all else, celebrates the beauty and wonder of the literary word."
"Review" by , "Lovett's tale sparkles with seasoned storytelling."
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