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The Byzantium Stone Paperback – June 1, 2011

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

When in the first chapter of The Byzantium Stone a Greek in post-World War I Constantinople bargains away his birthright, we understand that this strange gem will provide the impetus of David Chacko's plot. The stone is not simply a beautiful gem, but one that exhibits extreme changeability--or chatoyance. And that, too, becomes a major theme in a novel that has more changes of place and time than the reader can count.

The remarkable thing is that the flashbacks from the present to multiple locations and eras in the past do not become confusing or redundant. Chacko's story is a chameleon whose tail never breaks off in the reader's hand. We follow the plot from the island of Rhodes in 1522 to the nearby island of Kos in 1919 as if time is as fluid as the sea between those two patches of land in the Dodecanese. These events lead seamlessly to the journal of Count Adriano Sanguini as it advances the story to the present, where Samson Mondieu, the man who is hunting the Byzantium Stone, falls in love with the count's granddaughter.

A storyboard of grand proportions would be needed to track all these "changes"--if that were necessary. It's not. Samson leapfrogs continents and centuries with skill and hardly a blink of the cosmic eye. He knows by the time he reaches Italy that the Byzantium Stone is not so much an object as an obsession that has escalated through every age in this millennium, since the fall of Constantinople in 1204. And he knows that his job is to deliver the obsession--which is now the key to the future--to an obscenely rich man who will employ the stone as a lever to everlasting fame. How Samson passes the baton to the man is the most satisfying part of this very satisfying book.

The Byzantium Stone is highly recommended to anyone with a sense of the possibilities--or nostalgia--for the most exciting parts of the past.

From the Author

This is my best advice for a young writer: If you want to have the time of your life, set your book in Italy. Doing the first-hand research will be one of the best experiences of your life.

David Chacko
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Foremost Press (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936154617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936154616
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,680,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Chacko has written twenty-some acclaimed novels. Many are in the espionage and mystery genres with occasional outbreaks into common sense. Those outbreaks are his historical novels. They are finely tuned tales of various eras and wide ranging places.

David can usually be found in Istanbul or New York. The consistent factor is that both places have good food, beautiful women, and memorable views of the sea. His novels have much the same range as his life, moving between the Americas and Europe to the Middle East with stops at points between.

Espionage Novels -- Less than a Shadow, The Peacock Angel, Echo Five (the Jason Ender series), The Black Chamber, White Gamma, Red Bishop One (the Stephen Warfield series), and Gage.

Crime Novels -- Graveyard Eyes, Devil's Feathers, (the Inspector Levent series), The God App, A Long Way from Eden, Brick Alley

Historical Novels -- Gone Over, The Brimstone Papers (the Israel Potter series), The Severan Prophecies, The Byzantium Stone, Like A Man, The Satan Machine

Miscellaneous -- The Shadow Master, Martyr's Creek, Price

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
THE BYZANTIUM STONE is a lot of things other than a love story, but it's not the old-fashioned kind either. Samson, who is hunting a missing manuscript and its centerpiece, a fabulous gemstone, meets Teresa, whose grandfather brought the manuscript into the modern age. The two get together in the Italian lake country, which is as wonderful as you'd expect. The place might not be Tuscany, but the food and wine sound as good. When the story breaks off to London, then New York, it literally explodes into the past. In the end we get to know everyone who ever touched this strange stone, and how they lived and loved. And that was plenty. That was enough to make us wonder if we do it best.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Byzantium Stone is a very interesting book that moves between ancient and modern and East and West. You don't have to believe all the stories you hear, but you have to pay attention to the direction they point. It's always toward the money. Scarcity drives this book and a rare gem is a symbol of it. So just keep your eye peeled for who's got the cash in the end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read all of David Chacko's novels over the years. This is another great read, as always.
Chuck Byler,
co-author of Tempered Steel, the biography of Colonel James Kasler: 3-war combat vet, jet ace, NAM-POW, and the only 3-time recipient of the Air Force Cross
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