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I love books that deftly blend historical accounts (however loose) with easily digested scientific ideas/inventions and fold them into clever stories with believable, achingly human characters. This book succeeds in several of those areas, but falls short in its presentation of characters. Too often, they are flat and predictable. Their comments seem like points taken from a storyboard to propel the plot, not natural expressions of real people swirling about in the events of their lives. To its credit, the narrative is quite fine and the reading is well-matched to the writing style. The author understands how to craft a book with foreshadowing and story tentacles that wrap back upon themselves to create that mobius strip flow that marks the complexity of quirky, rich lives. So, I can recommend this as a good read, but not a great one. If the category appeals to you, I can highly recommend A Case of Curiosities (print only, bestseller and available in trade paperback) or The Invention of Everything Else (print and Audible.com - I found the reading a delight!).
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