1919 H .
If Stephenie Meyer and Dan Brown had a baby, that baby would have grown up into Thomas Wheeler and it would have written this book The writing is clunky and in places it s absolutely nonsensical The plot is difficult to follow, which is a shame, because I think it could have been fantastic The whole time I was reading it, I just kept thinking it was so close, yet so unbelievably far away My chief issue with the novel was the treatment of the female characters Each time a woman is introduced to the novel or even to a scene, her breasts are mentioned I m not kidding, it s got to be 99% of the time Instead of using her legendary skills to distract hospital guards, Marie uses her body and pretends to be a prostitute Naturally, Marie was the love interest of than one member of the Arcanum Not one female character escaped being sexualized, not even Houdini s wife who was probably my favorite Every time Marie was sassy or took initiative, it felt completely pasted on It was pretty damn disgusting.That on top of flat characters and ridiculous circumstances seriously Houdini and Lovecraft escape by tightrope walking across the power lines what the hell , I was totally disappointed.
How do you mess up a story about Arthur Conan Doyle, H.P Lovecraft, and Houdini attempting to avert the end of the world by recovering a lost volume of arcane lore and dubious provenance Just ask Thomas Wheeler Start by failing to do any kind of historical or biographical research whatsoever Lovecraft was social guy with a wide correspondence and a fairly excellent sense of humor, which makes him a far complex personality than the Reclusive Necromancer Wheeler paint by numbers here Doyle based his most famous character on Dr Joseph Bell, not himself, and wrote eerie tales of supernatural horror, which seems like the kind of thing that would have merited a little attention here I ll admit I don t know much about Houdini, but I m fairly certain he and the other gentlemen of his era didn t speak in anachronistic metaphors the way Wheeler has them doing.Once you ve completely sucked the joy out of your novel by inaccurately depicting the main characters, try to recoup your losses by stacking set piece upon set piece, with little regard to sense or plot progression Got Houdini Let s put in an escape with a high wire act Got Doyle Let s make him randomly deduce things in some situations but not others Got Lovecraft Let s throw in a little shittily written steampunk confrontation with a demon or something Not done yet Let s insert Marie Laveau into the narrative, despite her having been dead for a few decades by this time, and then HAVE HER RAISE SOME DAMN ZOMBIES Because, well, why not, right This should have been precisely the kind of thing I adore, a brilliant mash up of history and literature tinged with supernatural horror Instead, it s nothing but a rather painfully epic disappointment, with cardboard cut outs standing in for beloved characters and random episodes standing in for plot and a completely inaccurate rendering of HPL s Cthulhu Mythos added on top just as a final kick in the teeth I suppose I can say that at least it was good for a laugh, though I highly doubt that s what the author intended.
I actually bought this book a couple of years ago on the recommedation of a co worker back when I worked for a book store I m sorry it took me so long to read it It was surprisingly good After Dante Club by Matthew Pearl, I honestly didn t think I d find any author able to fuse well known historical literary figures into a story and not have it come across as cheesey or cheap Thomas Wheeler did a great job Not only did I believe that I was reading the interactions of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, HP Lovecraft, and Harry Houdini, but their pursuit of the mystery and personal limits and demons felt right on The basis of the story was exciting and the strings of the mystery were satisfactorily tied I even loved the endingredemption comes in so many forms, and this story we have each character finding their own redemption.It s a great mystery and historical account of attitudes and feelings from turn of the century New York and one that I highly recommend to any mystery literary fan.
I got this cheap at the bookstore at the airport Not a lot of choice And it waasn t that good First of all, the depicitions of Laveau, Houdini, Lovecraft and Doyle seemed wrong Tim Powers has a quote somewhere that when writing historical fantasy its important to fill in the gaps This one just uses names and doesn t care about the characters It read like a poor screenplay turned into a book Blah
this book was AWESOME it had everything Lost tribes of Angels, gonstic gospel knowledge, historical fiction, H.P Lovecraft as a character in the book, a twisted plot I didn t see all the way through until it came about at the end Uber rich Satanists you name it WOW I mean sure, not high brow fiction but one HELL of a joyride through the occult and early American.
The book begins with a silly, but fairly entertaining, premise Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, H.P Lovecraft and voodoo priestess Marie Laveau form a group of sleuths tracking down supernatural events Turning historical personages into 21st century styled action heroes is hardly necessary, but is harmless enough At first Unfortunately, somewhere near the middle of the story, the plot moves rapidly from silly to preposterous to ridiculous Anytime Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini require assistance from levitating magicians or trained mice who carry messages on their collar through downtown Manhattan, you know your gimmick has gone out of control Where is an editor when you need one
The plot is essentially League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with real historical figures instead of literary ones I would watch the TV show in a heartbeat but getting through the book itself was a bit of a drag There are odd moments were you look at this detail or that and go oh, well the author did some research The next page however will have some random bit of anachronism that leaves you confused Read it if you like comics and don t expect much.
Delightful A perfectly wonderful way to spend an afternoon if you love Sherlock Holme, Houdini and Doyle, supernatural mysteries and turn of the century settings The author is obviously a great scriptwriter this read vividly and deliciously like a great movie So much fun I think I loved every page.
OK This one was a guilty pleasure An occult thriller in which a team consists of Harry Houdini, Marie Laveau, H.P Lovecraft, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle It s like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but with real people yet equally far fetched.
Tries to be the Last Templar meets Rule of Four meets Da Vinci Code meets League of Extraordinary Gentlemen And it just fails miserably.
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