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Speculation [Kindle Edition]

Edmund Jorgensen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.00
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Andrew Wrangles has a decision to make. His best friend Sothum, a philosophical and financial genius, has just died and left him a choice in his will: ten million dollars or a sealed envelope.

Andrew's wife Cheryl doesn't see this as much of a choice. She wants Andrew to take the ten million, and what little patience she has for his speculating about what might be worth more than the money is wearing thin very quickly.

But as Andrew digs deeper into the secret life of the mind that Sothum lived, he finds a new mystery behind every clue. Does the envelope contain the fate of a vanished mutual friend? A breakthrough that could secure Andrew a place in the history of philosophy? Or is Sothum just playing a final private joke at his friend's expense?

In order to make his decision, Andrew must ultimately confront some questions he has long avoided: about the true nature of his long friendship with Sothum; about the choices he has made (or refused to make) in his own life; and--perhaps--about the limits of the human mind itself.

Editorial Reviews


"Edmund Jorgensen's Speculation harkens back to the days of heavyweight fiction--to the novels of Bellow and Mailer and Murdoch--when themes were as important as characters, and moral dilemmas mattered as much as plot." --The Los Angeles Review
"...combines thought-provoking philosophy with a narrative that keeps readers interested." --Trees And Ink
"This is an intellectual mystery full of philosophy about the stuff that matters--relationships, life, death, money, power, fame." --Alchemy of Scrawl

Product Details

  • File Size: 638 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Inkwell & Often; 1 edition (October 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005W7BNL6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,284 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly satisfying philosophical mystery October 29, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Though touching lightly on technical themes, at its heart Speculation is a philosophical, theological murder mystery, each of the clues tying neatly and unexpectedly together into a seamless denouement. This is a thinking person's book - there are no car chases, no guns or explosions, and much of the initial tension comes from marital squabbles precipitated by the choice of money or knowledge. But once we fall down the rabbit hole, and the first glimmerings of the true stakes become clear, all that remains is breathless descent. At each step we think we know what the story, and choice, are really about, and at each step the author pivots to show us a new dimension, until in the last pages all is finally revealed.

Revealing too much of the plot would spoil the fun, but the author is clearly thinking big, and swinging for the fences. Highly recommended!
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and Stimulating November 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Speculation is an exploration of ideas. Like most explorations, if you go it hoping for a satisfying conclusion, with all questions answered, you'll be sorely disappointed. Difficult, open questions hang about this book like gnats. You *will* walk away with a host of new guests buzzing around your head, banging against one another and jostling for place. It is this spontaneous generation of new ideas, and not the plot, that generates excitement and the urge to read the next page --- indeed, almost all of the plot is learned second-hand, in memories, stories, and letters.

Jorgensen's characters are fully figured, and you'll learn new things about each of them, almost up to the last page. Their motivations are complex and often un-speak-able; if the synopsis --- if the idea of being offered an envelope or $10 million --- doesn't excite you, if you wouldn't at least hesitate if you were tendered that choice, then the choices the characters make will be unfathomable.

You will need that spark of curiosity to enjoy Speculation, but you don't need to be a historian of philosophy. The writing is very kind when it comes to academic subjects --- and it comes to them frequently. Jorgensen neither prattles, boring readers well acquainted with his subject, nor does he ignore readers who are unfamiliar. His explanations are short, breathless, and give no sign of showing off --- each idea, present because it is necessary, is explored exactly as far as necessary, and no further than necessary.

It would be a pleasant book at any price; at *this* price, there is no question: if the synopsis has you intrigued, buy it. You'll not feel you wasted any time in Speculation.
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69 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book! February 8, 2012
By Robert
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I will not waste time repeating what other reviewers have already said about plot, characters, or anything else. This is hands-down the most polished piece of literature I've had the pleasure to read in a long time. If any of you are tired of downloading books only to get sick of bad grammar and typographical errors and stop reading, then this is the book for you. I feel bad getting it for free, and I want to go back and pay for it retroactively.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If You Love Philosophy...Proceed! October 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I honestly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to others who really enjoy philosophy. Not mysteries. Not thrillers. Not suspense. Just straight up philosophy.
If you go into this book thinking the mystery element will be central to the story, you will likely end up as other reviewers...bored and disappointed.
I admit, the book can get a little blah, but the mental back-n-forth intrigued me enough to keep going.
Was the ending the pay-off I wanted? Ehh. I mean, it got the job done, I suppose.
I would prob give this book between a 3 and 4, but closer to a 3.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awed and disturbed November 1, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Despite his academic credentials, Speculation's protagonist Andrew Wrangles is a fairly ordinary (if intelligent) man. As the story unfolds he easily gains the reader's sympathy as he struggles with his desire to comprehend his brilliant best friend Sothum's mysterious death and the toll this pursuit takes on his marriage. But just when you begin to think that the book is an engaging but conventional mystery, Sothum steps into the fore and takes the story off-road into a genre-busting wild land where the nature of God, freedom, and knowledge become intertwined. And as the arc of Sothum's life is revealed, the heights to which he has soared and the depths to which he has fallen take the reader on a wild ride that will leave you awed and more than a little disturbed.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intellectual Stimulation!!! March 25, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I downloaded Speculation late last night and read the first 2 pages before falling asleep (not from reading but from exhaustion). I picked it up again at 8 a.m. this morning and, despite my husband reminding me of all of the things I should be doing, did not put it down until I finished it an hour ago.I have read approximately 70+ books since purchasing my tablet in December and this is the first review I've ever left.

This is not to say the previous 69+ books I've read weren't good books, but none of them have stimulated me intellectually the way this book has. I can't wait to read your next book and was disappointed to find out this was the only gem you have written.

I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially someone looking for a intelligent mystery. I RARELY read a book twice (haven't since I was a teenager) but this is one I plan to read again and again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
BookClub Queenz Great page turner
Published 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, but it has a lot of flaws ...
Good read, but it has a lot of flaws in development of the characters...needed more in depth on personalities of characters at the earlier stage of the read... Read more
Published 5 months ago by P. L. Carter
2.0 out of 5 stars Weird
This book was a little too scientific for me. I enjoyed the end, though, even though it was somewhat predictable.
Published 8 months ago by Mary J. Henry
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting mystery
Very well written. The characters were distinct and each had their own voice. Really enjoyed walking through the logic of the characters decisions and motivations. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Richard Molnar
4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking
It took a while to get into this story, but then I wanted to know how Andrew would choose, I was hooked .
Published 14 months ago by Kimberly Zimmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid
I absolutely loved this book. It was thought provoking and thrilling. It has been a long time since I read a book I could not put down. This was one of those books.
Published 15 months ago by greeneyes
3.0 out of 5 stars Circuitous
Even as I'm rating this book, I'm not sure if it is a grand book, or just a misguided story. The first criterion that I consider when I rate a book is: Is it difficult to put... Read more
Published 16 months ago by GinnyReader
2.0 out of 5 stars Could not follow the book
I got this book for free as part of an Amazon promotion (Kindle Fire). It is OK for that price ($0), but I would not pay one dollar for it. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Just a guy
2.0 out of 5 stars nope..
Too much philosophy I guess. Maybe over my head. Just couldn't get into it. I suppose I could see where others might like it, clearly the author put a lot into it. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Patrick K.
5.0 out of 5 stars High Literary Quality
I will admit that when I began reading this, I figured I would not like it. It is not my typical genre, and I figured it would be rampant with sex scenes and profanity. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ruth A. Hill
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More About the Author

Edmund Jorgensen is the author of the novel Speculation and the short story collection Other Copenhagens (And Other Stories).

He lives in Watertown with his wife and empirically adorable son.

If that's not enough for you, you can find out more about him (and sign up for his email list) at

He goes by @tomheon on Twitter, and welcomes email at ewj (at) inkwellandoften (dot) com.

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