Gutenberg's Apprentice

  • by Alix Christie
  • Narrated by Robert Petkoff
  • 14 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An enthralling literary debut that evokes one of the most momentous events in history, the birth of printing in medieval Germany - a story of invention, intrigue, and betrayal.
Youthful, ambitious Peter Schoeffer is on the verge of professional success as a scribe in Paris when his foster father, the wealthy merchant and bookseller Johann Fust, summons him home to corruption- riddled, feud-plagued Mainz to meet "a most amazing man."
Johann Gutenberg, a driven and caustic inventor, has devised a revolutionary - and, to some, blasphemous - method of bookmaking: a machine he calls a printing press. Fust is financing Gutenberg's workshop, and he orders Peter to become Gutenberg's apprentice. Resentful at having to abandon a prestigious career as a scribe, Peter begins his education in the "darkest art."
As his skill grows, so too does his admiration for Gutenberg and his dedication to their daring venture: printing copies of the Holy Bible. But when outside forces align against them, Peter finds himself torn between two father figures - the generous Fust and the brilliant, mercurial Gutenberg, who inspires Peter to achieve his own mastery.
Caught between the genius and the merchant, the old ways and the new, Peter and the men he admires must work together to prevail against overwhelming obstacles in a battle that will change history - and irrevocably transform them all.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Illuminating (no pun intended)

The writing and performance splendidly brings to life the people and times that surrounded the creation of Gutenberg's printing press innovations. The descriptions of the physical and artistic effort involved in the first mass printing of the bible were particularly interesting for me. Not so much details of the intricacies of the political/religious turmoil of the times, although of course those conditions influenced nearly all of the behaviors of the central characters, outside of their personalities, while also providing suspense that drives the "plot" for this book. A thank you goes to the author for providing an Afterword in which the known true facts of his story are furnished.
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- Antoinette

A feeling of the 15th century

So many historical novels just place modern characters in the past. This one gives you insight in a different world and a different way of thinking. I enjoyed listening to this even though the occasional mispronunciations made me wince. Does anyone pronounce "feral" as feeral? Perhaps some people do.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-23-2014
  • Publisher: HarperAudio