By Lavie Tidhar
The Bookman is a steampunk-esq novel of victorian adventure meets history, technology and erm... books, written by the talented author Lavie Tidhar.
If the British Library was a living entity and, on wanting to write a book was told ‘write what you know’ then this is the book it would write.
The hero of the story is Orphan who is as his name implies. The setting a Victorian London like no one has ever known, populated by lizards and people, machines and living robots and things that may be constructs of these things combined. When Orphan’s fiancé is blown up by The bookman his life falls apart, from then on it’s one eye-opening adventure after another as he goes on a quest to bring the love of his life back from the dead.
To say more about the plot would be to write spoilers, this book must be read without prior knowledge for the reader to experience the full magnitude and diversity of its ever twisting story.
This is one of those books which you can’t put down and yet you don’t want to reach the end because then it will be all over and reality will rear its ugly head in your brain. It’s a book which makes you resent all those little things which get in the way; eating, sleeping, children, work are all annoyances and must be kept to a minimum until you get to the end. Then you will want to turn back and start again to find all the those bits you missed because you were Orphan and you sometimes moved too fast to see this world and its inhabitants properly.
This one’s a keeper.
Written on 5th February 2011 by Gill.