The Astronomer

  • by Lawrence Goldstone
  • Narrated by Robert Vaughn
  • 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Paris, 1534. A student at the Catholic Collge de Montaigu, serving as a courier for the Inquisition, is murdered by members of an extreme Lutheran sect for the packet of letters he is carrying. His friend and fellow classmate, Amaury de Faverges, the illegitimate son of the Duke of Savoy and an expert in astronomy and natural science, is recruited as his replacement and promised a decree of legitimacy if he can uncover the secret that threatens to overturn Catholicism and the reign of Franois I.
Working undercover, Amaury journeys south to the liberal court of the king's sister, Marguerite of Navarre, the alleged heart of the conspiracy. The deeper he probes, the more Amaury is forced to confront his own religious doubts. And when he discovers a copy of Copernicus's shocking manuscript showing the sun at the center of the universe, he knows the path he must follow.
Replete with characters and events from history, from the iconoclastic Rabelais to the burning of heretics in Paris to preacher John Calvin and Copernicus himself, The Astronomer is a powerful novel of love and betrayal, and a thrilling portrait of what might well have happened at a hinge point in history when science and ancient religious belief collided.


What the Critics Say

"Goldstone brings the sights, sounds, and furious politics of 16th-century France to vivid life." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Disappointing! I really hate to criticize people who do what I adore, write novels. I really wanted to love this book and I simply could not! The topic was engaging and I thought I was going to be in a "World without End" type of a novel, but instead it dragged with only brief periods of catching the attention. Sorry Mr. Goldstone. It did not do what I had hoped it would.
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- Yates

At the edge of change

The author's descriptions of the action occasionally kept me more engaged than the action itself in this historic thriller that puts a human face on what can happen when science runs afoul of dogma. The plot and characterizations sometimes charge forward with more enthusiasm that purpose, and not always in the same direction, leaving me to wonder if the author changed his mind about who the heroes and villains of the piece were. The story came together where it needed to go and covered a lot of historical and scientific ground getting there, so I'm looking forward to hearing more of Goldstone's work.

Robert Vaughn did a good job with narration -- I had no trouble understanding him, and he certainly puts fire into the action sequences.
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- Christi

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-12-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios