Monday, June 8, 2015

The Last Bookaneer


My second book by Matthew Pearl. The first is The Dante Club, which I like it very much.

book'a-neer' (bŏŏk'kå-nēr'), n. a literary pirate; an individual capable of doing all that must be done in the universe of books that publishers, authors, and readers must not have a part in

In 19th century, there existed for a short period in the western world certain ambiguities or blind spots in copyright law that allowed publishing houses on either side of the Atlantic to publish the works of authors without their permission. As a result, bookaneers had been stealing manuscripts from authors and auctioning them off to the highest bidder.  Yet on the eve of the 20th century, a new international treaty was signed to grind this literary underground to a sharp halt.  Thus the bookaneers were on the verge of extinction.

The story is about these literary thieves' epic final heist, which involves the then dying Robert Louis Stevenson.  Apparently, you will think that it is the final competition between the two infamous bookaneer rival, Davenport and Belial.  Only towards the end,  you will realise that the winner is the unlikely sidekick.  (Oops! I don't wanna be a spoiler.)

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