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All Men of Genius Paperback – November 13, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765327953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765327956
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,369,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Rosen's lighthearted debut puts a steampunk spin on the Victorian comedy of manners while sneakily critiquing the gender biases of both genres… Decommissioned robots, mysterious mechanisms, strange squid creatures, blackmail, and a number of vivid characters add up to a great deal of fun. (Publishers Weekly)

A nimble twist on Victorian romance that's woven into Rosen's intricate web of attractions, repulsions, and matrimonial machinations. But he never lets his mesh of relationships--or his fluid, playful views of sexuality--overwhelm a sprawl of vibrant, witty characters… Steampunk soap-opera, as elevated as it is, isn't all Rosen has up his sleeve. Tackling the genre at its root, All Men slyly examines the psychology and the aesthetics behind the act of human invention. (The Onion A.V. Club, A-)

Rosen writes with color and verve, particularly in his descriptions of mechanical marvels, and also offers moments of unexpected poignancy. (Kirkus Reviews)

Fits well on the shelf with Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, with broad crossover appeal to fans of SF, historical romance, and young adult fiction. (Library Journal)

From the Author

A 2011 Best of the Year from Fantasy Book Critic, January Magazine, SF Signal, The Booksmugglers, Fantasy Cafe, Slatebreakers, Sci-Fi Fan Letter, The Mad Hatter's Bookshelf and Book Review, Jason Heller, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Skron 3.0 & Karissa's Reading Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

The structure of the story, however, is a bit bewildering.
Kurt Joseph Pankau
If the above sounds like a comic farce, well, that's because it's a comic farce.
B. Capossere
The witty banter between the characters is wonderful and lots of fun to read.
Karissa Eckert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Karissa Eckert TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I got an advanced reading copy of this book signed by the author at Book Expo America. I have been looking forward to reading it for some time. It was an excellent book; exquisitely written and creative. It was a slow but wonderful read.

Violet is a genius at building mechanical contraptions and wants desperately to go to the Illyria school for genius students; only problem is Illyria doesn't admit women. So Violet, along with her twin brother Ashton, and their friend Jack, devise a devious plan. Violet will pretend to be Ashton and attend Illyria, if she can get in. Once at Illyria Violet's end of the year project will be the least of her troubles. There are killer automatons in the basements, the Duke of Illyria's ward has fallen in love with Violet-as-a-man, and Violet is in love with the Duke.

Fans of Jane Austen or The Importance of Being Earnest that love a bit of a steampunk twist to their witty banter will love this book. Being that it is written in that more flowery type of Victorian style this is a slow read and things move very deliberately at parts of the book. That being said the description and writing style is absolutely exquisite. The witty banter between the characters is wonderful and lots of fun to read. The mystery behind the school's basement, along with all the crazy "who loves who" twisting of the plot kept me completely engaged.

The characters are wonderful. I loved them all. Especially Violet, Ashton, and Jack. These are smart, funny, heartfelt characters that I really loved getting to know. Even side characters are complex and fun to read about. The book switches viewpoint quite a bit, although the majority of the story is told from Violet's point of view.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By @Julia_ATUF on October 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
Don't make my mistake of picking up ALL MEN OF GENIUS when you're on your way to bed. Hours later, bleary-eyed and sleepy, I was only halfway through the book and still fighting to keep reading, unable to put it down. Violet, Ashton, Jack and the befuddled Duke captivated me from the get go, and that was before the other Illyrian students even had a chance to win me over.

Even if I hadn't fallen in love with the characters, I would have been a goner for the world-building. Rosen gives science the same flash and dazzle as magic at Hogwarts, but with more adult consequences. Violet's passion is machinery, but her best friend Jack is drawn to the biological sciences. "Animal testing" doesn't even begin to cover the transplants and experiments that the students undertake. While Jack learns new and exciting things in college, he also comes to the realization that an idolized professor has no real empathy for the animals he augments.

Watching Jack find his own confidence was a subtle note in the background of Violet's story, and one of many examples of how Rosen's attention to detail manages to portray some incredibly realistic and important issues amidst all of the hilarity and science. Violet and her friends struggle with gender roles, sexual prejudice, and double standards galore. And while Violet's crusade to enter the all-male Illyria College is a plan with a deadline (Violet is going to reveal her ruse at the end of her first year) her brother Ashton feels that he will always have to conceal his homosexuality from society and Miriam has no expectations that she'll ever be able to marry the man she loves due to her dark skin and her religion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christina Paige on December 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In a steam-punk era, where technology progresses by leaps and bounds, women still wear corsets, Victoria is Queen of England, and women do not yet have the right to vote, 17 year old Viola Adams is a brilliant inventor who wishes to attend Illyria College, an exclusive, and exclusively male bastion of scientific adventure. Her twin brother, Ashton, agrees to help her disguise herself as a young man and apply to the college under his name. To Violet's delight and terror, she is accepted, and a year that will change their lives and shape the future of science begins.
It turns out Violet is not the only woman at Illyria: the Duke's ward, 16 year old Cecily, herself an astonishingly accomplished chemist, attends classes with the young men of genius; and Cecily's godmother, none other than the celebrated, and notorious, Lady Ada Byron, makes frequent visits and gives guest lectures.
Assisted in her ruse by life-long friend and fellow classmate, Jack Feste, Violet holds her own in friendships with second year students Toby Belch and Drew Pale: the four of them, plus Cecily's governess, the widow Miriam, go drinking in local taverns and explore the dark maze under the college, where invisible cats, hidden chambers of secrets, and an army of murderous mechanisms march the corridors. Violet's plan to prove that genius needs to be recognized and welcomed, no matter the form it wears, is complicated by her unexpected attraction to Duke Ernest, and his for her - in both her forms. To tangle the threads further, Cecily falls in love with Violet's alter-ego; "Ashton" is, after all, kind and friendly, the first young man to take an interest in her as a fellow scientist instead of a pretty face!
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More About the Author

LEV AC ROSEN grew up in Manhattan. He attended Oberlin College and received his MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence. He is author of several books for various ages and his work has been featured in magazines and online. He lives in lower Manhattan with his husband and a very tiny cat.

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