The Technologists

  • by Matthew Pearl
  • Narrated by Stephen Hoye
  • 18 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The first class at M.I.T. The last hope for a city in peril.
The acclaimed author of The Dante Club reinvigorates the historical thriller. Matthew Pearl’s spellbinding new novel transports readers to tumultuous nineteenth-century Boston, where the word “technology” represents a bold and frightening new concept. The fight for the future will hinge on....
The Technologists.
Boston, 1868. The Civil War may be over but a new war has begun, one between the past and the present, tradition and technology. On a former marshy wasteland, the daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rising, its mission to harness science for the benefit of all and to open the doors of opportunity to everyone of merit. But in Boston Harbor a fiery cataclysm throws commerce into chaos, as ships’ instruments spin inexplicably out of control. Soon after, another mysterious catastrophe devastates the heart of the city. Is it sabotage by scientific means or Nature revolting against man’s attempt to control it?
The shocking disasters cast a pall over M.I.T. and provoke assaults from all sides - rival Harvard, labor unions, and a sensationalistic press. With their first graduation and the very survival of their groundbreaking college now in doubt, a band of the Institute’s best and brightest students secretly come together to save innocent lives and track down the truth, armed with ingenuity and their unique scientific training.
Led by “charity scholar” Marcus Mansfield, a quiet Civil War veteran and one-time machinist struggling to find his footing in rarefied Boston society, the group is rounded out by irrepressible Robert Richards, the bluest of Beacon Hill bluebloods; Edwin Hoyt, class genius; and brilliant freshman Ellen Swallow, the Institute’s lone, ostracized female student. Working against their small secret society, from within and without, are the arrayed forces of a stratified culture determined to resist change at all costs and a dark mastermind bent on the utter destruction of the city.
Studded with suspense and soaked in the rich historical atmosphere for which its author is renowned, The Technologists is a dazzling journey into a dangerous world not so very far from our own, as the America we know today begins to shimmer into being.

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What the Critics Say

The Technologists combines everything I love in a thriller: fascinating history, science, and a frightening mystery that demands to be solved. Matthew Pearl is one of my must-read authors. He never fails to intrigue and thrill!” (Tess Gerritsen, author of The Silent Girl)
“Fascinating, mesmerizing, and richly atmospheric, The Technologists is the best yet from a true master of the historical thriller. I loved this novel.” (Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Buried Secrets and Vanished)
“Pearl’s signature complex plotting, strewn with red herrings and populated with unlikely villains, leaves readers as shocked and intrigued as the Bostonians.... Pearl’s first three novels - The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, and The Last Dickens - were all New York Times bestsellers. His latest, another literary-historical thriller, seems certain to join the elite club.” (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Mediocre - Can't Recommend It

This is a strange story, told in the archaic lingo of the 1860s. Strange? Uh-huh. It's a historic invention, truly historic fiction, about science and particularly the founding of MIT. Pearl's a Harvard grad, yet there's a lot of Harvard hating here. Hmmmm...

The author has a powerful ability to create serial tensions. But they begin to feel like the kind that were once built into Saturday matinee cowboy serials where each week ended with some new peril facing the heroes. Do they still do that? Or has the compulsion for immediate gratification made them go away. Oh yeah... "24" the TV series did that.

Here though they become contrived and I began to mutter about another plot distraction. Instead of speeding things, they slowed them. Pearl does a credible job of allowing cultures to smash into one another particularly at that transformational moment in history as old orders were about to die...

In spite of that potential, the whole thing just feels, well, old-fashioned as Lawrence Welk on PBS. And Stephen Hoye is almost monotonic. Nope, can't recommend this thing, even though I'll probably remember it, not unpleasantly.
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- Ted "Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination."

Good story ruined by poor reading

What didn’t you like about Stephen Hoye’s performance?

Stephen Hoye's voice is not well modulated. His inflections and acting are actually inappropriate. Everything seems dire when it is just normal conversation


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- Stephen feinstone

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-21-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio