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The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy: A Novel Paperback – August 5, 2014
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"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
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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.
The book exceeded my expectations. This book, in a word, is FUN. Taking place in an alternate version of history where President Taft is a globe-trotting underground boxer and uses an android to cover while he's away, the book is a high-energy romp of action and intrigue. Jacopo della Quercia deftly weaves real historical events -- complete with annotations for those readers who'd like to delve into the real history! -- into his fantastical timeline, as Taft and Robert Todd Lincoln are sucked into a global conspiracy against the United States and must uncover the conspirators. Chapters are never terribly long and the writing is snappy and brisk, so you never feel like you're being pounded with a history lesson or have to swallow an avalanche of verbiage. You'll easily find yourself blasting through 30 pages in the blink of an eye and hungry for more.
Many books educate, or horrify, or enlighten, or touch you. Few and far between are the books I find where I just have fun. Where I feel whisked along on the adventure. This is the first one in a long time. If you're on the fence, click ORDER now. You won't regret it.
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.
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.