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The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy: A Novel Paperback – August 5, 2014
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"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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I vastly enjoyed this book. For me, I found it to be well paced and well written. I will also admit I did like the fact that the author included footnotes when he referred to certain sources; a nice touch which helped ground the historical base of this book nicely. The touches of science-fiction felt almost plausible considering the time period and tech used.
It's silly, it's fun, and definitely worth a read.
I have not read many Steampunk novels, but this was delightful as well as informative. I had never sought out information on the Taft Administration, and this novel was chock full of tidbits about the "Big Guy".
The mystery story was centered around Lincoln's pocket watch that he allegedly left in his son, Robert Lincoln's room prior to his fateful evening at Ford's Theatre. This was a quick read and very cleverl, too. I loved it, and look forward to more romps through history from Jacopo della Quercia.
BY LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS OF CONSPIRACY, WE AFFORD OURSELVES the illusion of the possibility of ultimately predicting and understanding, and through this understanding and exhaustive correlation, we achieve a kind of safety from the true, benevolent presence that sits bored on the sidelines of a world of chaos. Casting the horrors of history in the light of conspiracy is a comfort, and to wield them so cleverly as my friend Jacopo, we are allowed to look at the present through the artifice of exploring the past. In a memorable scene I won’t give away, the overtones of our need to control the popular perception of history, there is a lifeless, heartless attempt at changing history in the Oval Office.
This same character allows for the author to reprogram an element of history and use it in service of the story, and the identification of this character with another greatly popular and historic literary character further illustrates the need for people to feel as though we’re in control of our lives, and ultimately our future, when in reality a romp as told by Jacopo, its winding, alternatively suggestive paths towards the possibility of a present and a future changed, for the better, through sheer force of will; it is this will, I think, that defines the struggle of the characters within the story, and the struggle for self-definition in history on behalf of the author.Read more ›
Historical fiction can be quite difficult. Unlike alternative fiction, which picks a point and time and says "What if it went *this* way instead", historical fiction gives another explanation for events that DID happen. In this case, the Taft presidency is presented in a more steam-punk style narrative, with airships and automatons. JDQ does a superb job of making sure the reader who isn't a history buff is caught up to speed, and he includes references in the back for some of the real events. The pace of the book moves very quickly, right up to the nail-biting end. An epilogue at the end is also helpful to those unfamiliar with history as he recaps what happens after Taft leaves office, and a little "teaser" hints at a possible sequel
If there was any criticism, I would say that some of the character development is a little lacking. Several real life figure are reduced to architypes (Secret Service Chief John Wilkie is a hothead with a perpetual cigar hanging out of his mouth), and the perspective of the story seems to change on a whim.
I have a feeling that most of the readers of this book are going to be devotees of Cracked.com, and that's a damn shame, because this book deserves a wide audience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was a total pleasure. Very creative meld of historical research and grand fiction. I hope this book reaches a wide audience because it could appeal to such a broad swath... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Casa de Hombrelibre
I bought this because I've read the author's columns on Cracked for a few years, and always enjoyed his sense of humor and his use of history. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Jedediah J. Shaffer
After I read this book I accomplished the feat of breaking the sound barrier by merely tip-toeing down the 509. Would recommend to all ages, races and creeds. Except Creed. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very different but fascinating and an extremely creative review of historyPublished 5 months ago by Woodchuck
I loved this book. I loved this book so much that I want to tell you all about it - all its twists and turns, all finely crafted detail. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Nathaniel Ward
Interesting blend of science fiction and a kind of alternate history. Some clever twists to the plot. Not my favorite read though.Published 6 months ago by Toby Pearlstein
Managed to make the president looking for a watch entertaining and gracefully incorporated historical curiosities. Humorous but not so much that it disrupts the flow of the story,Published 6 months ago by Dustin Koski
I really enjoyed this book. I read it over the course of a nine-hour shift at my job and every page was delightful. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Shaun Cheah