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The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Jacopo della Quercia
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.00 (38%)
Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

This historical thriller is an equal-parts cocktail of action, adventure, science-fiction and comedy. The book follows a globe-trotting President Taft and Robert Todd Lincoln in a race to solve a mystery stretching back to the Civil War and the Lincoln assassination. Based on true events, readers will find themselves swept into a vast conspiracy spanning four continents and three oceans during the turn of the century. Fascinating technologies will be harnessed, dark secrets revealed, true villains exposed, and some of the most famous figures in history will take the stage. With surprises lurking around every corner, and a vast cast of characters to root for, The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy is a heart-pounding adventure that only history could have made possible.




Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the best reads of the year" --Ripley's Believe It or Not!

"High concept and high adventure collide in a dizzying and thoroughly riveting story. Insanely entertaining." --Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Code Zero and Fire & Ash

"Steampunk fans, as well as readers who enjoy their thrillers heavily dosed with humor, will revel in this rollercoaster ride." --Publishers Weekly

"Science fiction, action, adventure, melodrama, comedy, and suspense combine in this delightful steampunk romp cleverly designed to keep readers guessing and the pages turning." --Booklist

"A Jules Vernian thrill ride through American history like I've never experienced -- and I couldn't put it down." --Jason Emerson, author of Lincoln the Inventor and Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln

"The intrigue is exciting but always tinged with a fun silliness, as the presence of the buffoonish Taft keeps the proceedings from growing too dark. That lightness is Conspiracy’s greatest asset." --The A.V. Club

"In his fiction debut, della Quercia imaginatively steampunks a worldwide conspiracy confronting President William Howard Taft, a crisis that threatens the U.S. ... Highlighted by footnotes linking events to news reports in the archives of the New York Times, the narrative moves smoothly, a tale laced with dialogue often incorporating Tom Swift–ian charm and constructed so that techno-wizardry doesn't overwhelm the story. A good-fun entry point into the world of steampunk." --Kirkus Reviews

"The author manipulates history as he spins his outrageously humorous yarn. The result is a frenetic adventure that’s entertaining. ... A fun read that weaves conspiracy theory, mystery, and unimaginable technologies." --The Historical Novel Society

"Get a copy of 'The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy,' settle in by the fire and prepare for a laugh-out-loud return to those thrilling days of yesteryear. ... This tale is sheer escapist fun." --Washington Times

"A cleverly composed and daring steampunk adventure." --G. D. Falksen, author and historian

"The stuff of potent yet poignantly humanized myth." --Jason Heller, Senior Writer at The A.V. Club, author of Taft 2012, and Hugo Award-winning editor of Clarkesworld

About the Author

JACOPO DELLA QUERCIA is an educator and history writer who has authored more than 100 articles for the comedy website Cracked.com. His work has been featured in the New York Times bestseller You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad NewsBBC AmericaCNN MoneyReader's DigestThe Huffington PostRipley's Believe It Or Not!, Playboy's The Smoking Jacket, CBS's Man Cave Daily, and Princeton University's Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America, among others.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1223 KB
  • Print Length: 397 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (August 5, 2014)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HY03FN8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,100 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
"What could this pocketwatch, or for that matter, your father's assassination, have to do with the recent passing of Halley's Comet?" President Taft asks Robert Todd Lincoln, in a line that is only one of several possible in-roads to best explain this novel, a conspiracy cake with extra frosting (and another cake on top for good measure) which gives you the impression of hearing a particularly rousing lecture on the Secret History of America by a professor sporting a tinfoil hat and a subscription to Amazing Stories. Granted, while some pacing could've kept things from going bumper-to-bumper toward the end, the pile up waiting there has its own goofy charm.
The story, in its (very) broadest sense, involves said President Taft as a two-fisted pulp hero, on a continent-spanning alternate history adventure rife with airships, (fistfights) robots, (fistfights) poison plots, shady schemings, and the nefarious (fistfights) Mystery Man of Europe.
Crack a history book (or just keep Wikipedia open) as half the fun is deciphering where the author's scholarship ends (period-era documents and real life figures abound) and his own imagination begins. There are indeed cases where the reader will be surprised which is which.
It's a sometimes reckless blend of darkness and farce - heartfelt loss and wicked revelation share space with delightfully moustache twirling lines like "While I am impressed you felled our android and discovered our experiment in Alaska, I attribute that more to our failings than your mental faculties!" - but the author more or less manages to walk the tightrope between the two.
For those who take their history with a little superscience, a lot of conspiracy and of course, a fistfight or two, you'll find your own mental faculties well suited to this boisterous, invigorating adventure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit heavy (like Taft himself) but worth the read August 12, 2014
Format:Paperback
Jacopo della Querica's novel is clearly a labor of love by a history buff and an imaginative storyteller. It paints a surreal picture of a fantastic version of President Taft's White House, with automatons, an airship and of course, mysterious pocket watches. The result is far more enjoyable than less researched pieces of historic fiction, such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

PROS:

- The novel's greatest strength is how it makes history interesting. Wisely dedicated to history teachers everywhere, the book exaggerates real details of William Howard Taft's life and time in office to transform him into an action star, which is no small feat. Lesser-known historical figures receive similar treatment and before you know it, you're looking at a dull executive staff like they're the Expendables.

- It's clear that Jacopo had a solid vision of the setting, and he sticks to it throughout the novel. The steampunk elements are used relatively sparingly, grounded in science and only introduced when they have a purpose in the story. The fantasy enhances rather than dominates the history, in a clever balance that's rare for this genre.

- The creativity that was necessary to pull obscure and disparate historical events together into a believable conspiracy is remarkable. If you asked me before I read this novel how I would connect the United States' purchase of Alaska to Belgian rule over the Congo, I'd put you to sleep by talking about imperialism. Jacopo makes it work though, and in a very engaging way.

CONS:

- It can come across as over-researched at times. This is particularly true in one chapter where Robert Todd Lincoln is poring over some letters and newspaper articles for clues, some of which are excerpts of real historic articles.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down October 10, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book, both as a history lover and a book lover.

From a historical perspective, the amount of time and research spent on writing this book is astounding. Considering that the era in which the book takes place ( the Taft presidency) isn't necessarily written about often, the amount I learned from this book's real world tie in events lead me to a whole new perspective on the era. From business moguls and European despots, Quercia does a fantastic job of not only teaching what went down, but gives a sense of the historical perspective in which it takes place, bringing these events to life right before your eyes at one of the most unique times in both American and global history.

From a fiction standpoint, the book is a real page turner. The fact that I couldn't put it down and read it in a day and a half ( I admit, I put everything else on hold from page 10) is a true testament to the author's ability to almost effortlessly throw the reader off guard, constantly wondering what will happen next. From the larger than life characters of Robert Lincoln, President Taft and the always rough-and-ready Col. Roosevelt to the lesser known characters, Quercia's ability to not only have the characters become dynamic but to speak with their own unique voices in an exciting and fast paced novel merits a worth inclusion on any bookshelf.

I highly recommend getting the paper version of this book as you will want to take it everywhere and leave today's world behind for this high action version of turn of the century history.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good
good read
Published 1 day ago by SteveOh
1.0 out of 5 stars Buy a Different Watch
Reading this book is a tedious exercise. It looks like a steampunk mystery, but it's not. The steampunk elements wave the names Tesla and Edison around without any world building. Read more
Published 14 days ago by LinC
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
Very entertaining! Very well written, love this author :)
Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars History, with a Steampunk Twist
One problem that might plague the readers of Cracked.com is judging the novels from regular site contributors based on how they feel about the site. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Brentin
5.0 out of 5 stars One to watch...
An exciting alt history thriller with steam-punk overtones, this is a book that takes great joy in bringing to life some of America's most colourful historical characters. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Raven Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh...
This was just Okay. Started out great then kind of slowed down for what felt like forever. This book ended up being a bit of a let down for me because, as I mentioned, the majority... Read more
Published 2 months ago by MR
5.0 out of 5 stars A dream worth dreaming. A Taft worth Tafting.
This is the first book I have ever sat down and read cover to cover. Blends history, comedy, steam punk, the wonders of Tesla, and the glory and revelry required of Theodore... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Broctune
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It's not a great book, but it's very entertaining.
Published 3 months ago by david j bricker
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun story, quick read
I thought this historical fiction was a fun little story. The author cites events that actually happened, but those are few and far between in this. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mike H
2.0 out of 5 stars Did not enjoy / could not (would not) finish
I guess I don't like "Steampunk" as other reviewers of this book has described it. I found the book (the portion I've read) silly (dumb?), not entertaining.
Published 3 months ago by Adam S.
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More About the Author

Jacopo della Quercia is an educator and history writer who has authored more than 100 articles for the comedy website Cracked.com. His work has been featured on BBC America, CNN Money, The Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Slate, and academic resources offered by Princeton University, Brigham Young University, and George Mason University. His writing can be found alongside his fellow Cracked writers in the New York Times best-selling book 'You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News,' and its follow-up 'The De-Textbook.'

Jacopo also has academic experience, having taught classes on Renaissance literature, art, and history since 2006. He has delivered lectures on Machiavellian political psychology at institutions such as New York University and has hosted workshops on creative writing with the International Screenwriters' Association and at the Mark Twain House & Museum.

'The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy' is Jacopo's debut novel, and it is dedicated to students and teachers of history everywhere.

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