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Written in 1987 this is suppose to be the first steampunk novel and Jeter is suppose to be the one who coined the term. You find this out in the introduction. Unfortunately the introduction was the most interesting part of the book. I wanted to like this book after having read Jeter's "Farewell Horizontal". That was a book with a lots of imagination and it kept my attention. This book has imagination, but could not keep my attention.
I found that my mind kept wondering off. I tried hard several times to bring myself back to the plot, but could not keep it there. I did find the use of language to be charming, it just was not enough.
I don't know actually what you call it, but he uses the ploy where certain characters know things that the main character and you the reader are trying to figure out, but they are always putting him off. "Come back tomorrow at midnight and I will tell you." He comes back at midnight and the character is dead.
When ever the character gets into trouble he is miraculously rescued.
The narrator is good and I have heard him read other books and I have not had the mind wondering problem.
If Farewell Horizontal comes out in audio, get that.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
J.K. Jeter first coined the term "Steampunk" in a bar with Tim Powers and J.P. Blaylock as the trio discussed the Neo-Victorian novels they were planning to write. Jeter then cemented the word in a letter to Locus magazine describing Infernal Devices and the rest is history: an artistic sub genre was born!
Infernal Devices is the first steampunk novel (not counting the works for Wells & Verne) and this production was definitely tailored for those wanting to learn more about Jeter's unintentional pop-culture movement. The narration is exquisite and the novel itself is a fun adventure story, but don't expect any deep thinking to result from it alone; Jeter had no clue what exactly he had created with this one. Overall, if you're curious about the history of Steampunk, you won't do much better than this. Highly recommended!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I've actually owned the Paperback version of this book for quite a while and have been a fan of K.W Jeter for quite some years, this is a very good audio version of a what is seen as a "steam punk" classic by some and overlooked by many. unfortunalty Audable only seems to have a couple of Mr Jeter's original fiction and none of his Horror books (of which he has done some really good work) and a lot of serializations of TV shows (i've read the Blade runner books but would rather read his fiction), this and Morlock Night are on Audable and i advise you to listen to both of them. if you have a chance get to read or listen to the following:
Dr Adder (Sci-fi in the vein of PK Dick not for the faint hearted. he actually sent this to Dick when he was a student and Dick did the forward for the paperback i have),
Dark Seeker (great Horror - crying out to be a film)
Farewell Horizonal (great Sci-fi cyberpunk and very readable)
any of his horrorbooks
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This was my first venture into Steam punk as a written genre and I don't think I could have picked a better book. A style full of echoes of Verne and Wells with humour and invention galore!
New to the genre as a whole, Infernal Devices was a beautiful introduction to steampunk's origins. K.W. Jeter's writing style keeps the reader engaged through the fantastical journey, not leaving a single dull moment.