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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....
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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Stephen feinstone on 03-18-12
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
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Roger on 04-20-12
Boston under siege by madman!
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Sure. This is a great example of historical fiction that immerses into a time period and location so completely it's like being transported. I'm a huge fan of Matthew Pearl after his breathtaking THE DANTE CLUB. But here THE TECHNOLOGISTS throws the reader into a perfectly rendered Boston circa 1866, just after the Civil War. Some madman manipulates science to attack the city of Boston in elaborate spectacles of masterfully planned chaos and death.
What other book might you compare The Technologists to and why?
Well, The Dante's Club, of course because here too Pearl takes an era and owns it!
What three words best describe Stephen Hoye’s performance?
Proper, competent, ivy-league
Was The Technologists worth the listening time?
4 of 4 people found this review helpful