The Last Bookaneer

The Last Bookaneer book a neer b k k n r 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 inLondon Pen

  • Title: The Last Bookaneer
  • Author: Matthew Pearl
  • ISBN: 9781594204920
  • Page: 475
  • Format: Hardcover
  • book a neer b k k n r , 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 inLondon, 1890 Pen Davenport is the most infamous bookaneer in Europe A master of disguise, he makes his living stalking harbors, coffeehouses, and print shops for the latest manuscriptbook a neer b k k n r , 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 inLondon, 1890 Pen Davenport is the most infamous bookaneer in Europe A master of disguise, he makes his living stalking harbors, coffeehouses, and print shops for the latest manuscript to steal But this golden age of publishing is on the verge of collapse For a hundred years, loose copyright laws and a hungry reading public created a unique opportunity books could easily be published without an author s permission Authors gained fame but suffered financially Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, to name a few but publishers reaped enormous profits while readers bought books inexpensively Yet on the eve of the twentieth century, a new international treaty is signed to grind this literary underground to a sharp halt The bookaneers are on the verge of extinction.From the author of The Dante Club, Matthew Pearl, The Last Bookaneer is the astonishing story of these literary thieves epic final heist On the island of Samoa, a dying Robert Louis Stevenson labors over a new novel The thought of one last book from the great author fires the imaginations of the bookaneers, and soon Davenport sets out for the South Pacific island As always, Davenport is reluctantly accompanied by his assistant Fergins, who is whisked across the world for one final caper Fergins soon discovers the supreme thrill of aiding Davenport in his quest to steal Stevenson s manuscript and make a fortune before the new treaty ends the bookaneers trade forever But Davenport is hardly the only bookaneer with a mind to pirate Stevenson s last novel His longtime adversary, the monstrous Belial, appears on the island, and soon Davenport, Fergins, and Belial find themselves embroiled in a conflict larger, perhaps, than literature itself.In The Last Bookaneer, Pearl crafts a finely wrought tale about a showdown between brilliant men in the last great act of their professions It is nothing short of a page turning journey to the heart of a lost era.

    One thought on “The Last Bookaneer”

    1. In the same way that the phrase “assassin nuns” made me instantly want to read Grave Mercy, as soon as I got to the words “literary pirates” in this book description, I knew I had to read The Last Bookaneer. Sadly, unlike Grave Mercy, The Last Bookaneer didn’t live up to my expectations. Although this book picked up a little towards the end, it was a mostly a very slow read that I was always close to giving up on. Here are a few of the reasons it didn’t quite work for me:The dry writ [...]

    2. The author John Milton once said: "To kill a man is to kill a reasonable creature, but to destroy a book is to kill reason itself".Matthew Pearl clearly loves reading and literary history. Some of his prior Historical Thrillers involved Charles Dickens, Edgar Alan Poe and Dante. With his latest release, THE LAST BOOKANEER, he has created a valentine to books and book lovers. He also exposes the dark side of the publishing world circa 1890.A young man named Clover commutes by London train each da [...]

    3. I've never had the occasion to read anything by Matthew Pearl before, so what drew me to this book wasn't any kind of hype or pedigree, but an earnest fascination with the very concept of a bookaneer.In short, there existed for a short time 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 and for the publisher's exclusive profit. Little is actually known [...]

    4. “When they dreamed of turning iron and metal into gold, they called it alchemy. The much more far-fetched dream of turning bound sheafs of plain paper into fortunes, they call publishing.”Fergins may be only a lowly book-cart seller now, but in a not too long distant past, he was the assistant to one of the greatest bookaneers--pirates who profit on the "high seas of literature"-- in all of Europe. With the copyright laws of Europe and the United States woefully inconsistent, there are plent [...]

    5. This is my first book by Matthew Pearl. The plot is about a long lost group of literary pirates called “bookaneers”. I have two other Matthew Pearl books but the concept of bookaneers and the beginning of Copyright Laws curtailing this strangely notorious profession fascinated me so much in to reading this book first. The book opens up in New York with two characters: One is a young man called Mr. Clover and the other is a middle-aged man called Mr. Fergins. The former is a book reader emplo [...]

    6. Though the premise of this book was fascinating, I struggled at times trying to orient myself within its surprising layers. Even when I did get my bearings, I found myself reading for the sake of reaching the story's conclusion, rather than reading for genuine pleasure.

    7. I would like to thank First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of Matthew Pearl's newest book. As with many readers, I was first introduced to Matthew Pearl's writing with his novel "The Dante Club" which I loved. Unfortunately I have found his subsequent books that I've read since are hit or miss. "The Last Bookaneer" was a miss for me. The premise of the book sound so wonderful and promising but I found the actual execution to be long winded and at times quite boring. [...]

    8. The prose was well formed, the voice scented with a hint of Mark Twain.And yet There is an adventure tale in this novel, a preposterous saga that is told by an itinerant bookseller to a railroad porter. The premise revolves around copyright laws before 1900 and book pirates out to swipe Robert Louis Stevenson's last manuscript so they can sell it before the new law kicks in and their manuscript-stealing becomes illegal. Not unlike an unscrupulous literary agent, in a way. Madness, indeed. And ye [...]

    9. (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)Matthew Pearl has made an entire career out of fanciful, action-packed thrillers set within obscure historical corners of intellectualism (his most famous novel continues to be The Dante Club, concerning a sort of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen supergroup of Victorian writers who band together to solve crim [...]

    10. I’m really conflicted about how to talk about this one. On one hand, I can appreciate the creativity, inventiveness, and research that went into creating this story and the world in which it’s set. On the other hand, it can be dry, meandering, and it takes a good portion of the book–most of it, actually–to establish the kind of suspense and intrigue I had expected closer to the start. To Pearl’s credit, when the plot really starts going, it goes. Sucks that it has to be less than 100 p [...]

    11. Does this story ever get anywhere? I was about 100 pages into it, but simply couldn't stay awake. It would be great for insomnia.Boring, boring, boring.It was difficult to maintain the story line in my head (maybe there wasn't one), but it was so very boring, I didn't care.

    12. "book-a-neer" 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 Mr. Clover is a railcar waiter for the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company in the the late 1800s. Being an avid reader he looks forward to the visits of Mr. Fergins and his cart of books for sale to train riders. Their mutual love of books forges a friendship and Mr. Fergins relates his life story to Mr. Clover, [...]

    13. Do you love to read? Are you a book enthusiast? A voracious reader? Do you just love books? Have you ever wondered about the history of publishing in history? (Although this IS fiction). Like adventure? All of those fit this book and more! You are going to LOVE this book! This book is an adventure about stealing manuscripts from authors and being able to sell these out from under the authors noses. This book is told by a Narrator who takes us and ends up going on this adventure, too, all over th [...]

    14. I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I was hoping it would be about books and reading, and tangentially it is. But it's actually a mystery/adventure tale involving publishing, literary intrigue, the South Sea Islands, cannibals, opium, and the author Robert Louis Stevenson. (There is some factual basis to the story.) According to author Matthew Pearl, a bookaneer is "a literary pirate; an individual capable of doing all that must be done in the universe of books that publishe [...]

    15. I won this book on Bookreads giveaways compliments of Penguin Press. A delightful and inventive tale of an itinerant bookseller, push car and all, is told to a literature loving railroad porter and moves at a snail's paceonizingly slow. Book pirates (bookaneers) seek to steal what should be the last manuscript of Robert Louis Stevenson before the new copyright laws take effect. Despite the historical references, the well crafted characters and the red herrings that pop up amongst the twist & [...]

    16. A highly enjoyable and well-written adventure story that's told in a neo-Victorian style with the boyish innocence of tales like Robinson Crusoe and The Count of Monte Cristo. I love the addition of interesting factoids about Robert Louis Stevenson's life and the bookish themes that revolve around collectors, libraries and the hunt for prized novels that made up for this book dragging a bit towards the end.

    17. This novel was truly an adventure read. I loved that Pearl kept with the buccaneer spirit of the novel by making the manuscript one by Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island. I loved that the characters boarded a boat bound for a mysterious and exotic location and gave them the great title of ‘bookaneer’. Everything about the novel said ‘adventure’. It was superb!There were times when Fergins kind of annoyed me as a narrator though. At times he seemed like such an unlikely com [...]

    18. After frequent interruptions and unremarkable reading progress, I was very pleased to finally get into this novel by Matthew Pearl. His mastery of complex plots and the writing craft, ensured it was reading time well invested. I did feel the resolution of this work a little drawn out in comparison to previous reads, but was also impressed by a clever twist, which I was certainly not expecting. As with Pearl's other work, I particularly enjoyed the way his love of literature and history seeped th [...]

    19. while this IS in historical context, and interesting premise of per-international copyright, in where for example usa publishers take and sell british authors' works for their own pure profit, and not paying those authors anything, and in where industrial/art espionage plays a great part, that is, stealing the books to publish in a different country, the whole novel is somehow both too much atmosphere and period 'thought' and too flat. a shame. but still interesting, and has a funny twisty endin [...]

    20. Based on truth, but this is completely a fictitious account involving Robert Louis Stevenson. A bookaneer was a person who tried to steal works from authors and taking credit and monies away from the true author. Since Stevenson had moved to Samoa, he was a prime target. If able to get his work, the bookaneer felt positive Samoa-living Stevenson would never hear or know of one of his books being published in England or America with someone else's name on it. Brilliantly narrated by Simon Vance a [...]

    21. I withheld my review until bookclub was over. BORING book. I was so hoping it to be more about books but I didn't feel the characters even cared about books, more about their opinions about books. The concept was good which is why I even picked it for bookclub. I did feel the characters were developed but it could not hold my interest at all. Never finished the book, which is a rarity for me. Big apologies to the bookclub!

    22. dnf just for now. I've got a lot of books I'm interested in right now and I will get back to this eventually

    23. In Matthew Pearl’s latest historical thriller, THE LAST BOOKANEER he raises the question of what is a “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.” Further he states that it is a person who was part of “the mostly invisible chain of actors that links authors to readers.” These definitions provide the basis for Pearl’s continue [...]

    24. During most of the 19th c copyright laws were lax for books written by authors in different countries. As a result, bookaneers had been stealing manuscripts from authors and auctioning them off to the highest bidder. These bookaneers are the stuff of legend for book lovers everywhere, just as swashbuckling and bigger-than-life as any buccaneer. But it is the end of the 19th c. and things are about to change. Governments everywhere are enacting new copyright laws that will protect international p [...]

    25. After reading a few light fictions I was eager to reading something more literary with substance and interesting characters.I found some of that in this historical fiction.There were a lot of things I liked about this book. It had famous writers of 19th Century like Mary Shelley and Robert Louis Stevenson, and it had the literary pirates known as Bookaneer, who steals and competes with each other for manuscripts and/or rumored works written by popular authors of the time and sell them to publish [...]

    26. 3.5 rounded down. Not too long ago I read Under the Wide and Starry Sky which tells the story of Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson from Fanny's view. This plot of this book is to get the unfinished manuscript of a dying RLS to a publisher before the advent of new international copyright laws take effect. RLS is in Samoa. Quite a task for the late 1880s! So I thought the plot was good and the characters well developed, but I was muddling through the middle part. You'd think with cannibals and half [...]

    27. Maybe it was just me, but this dragged quite a bit. There were parts I liked (the history of the bookends, the copyright issues, stories of good "gets") but then, in the middle of Samoa, it just stopped. There was too much time spent there, too little going on. The narrative scheme, like the first half of Wuthering Heights, is told by a participant to someone, which mostly works. There is sometimes a hint of the unreliable narrator because of that, but mostly what we get is Clover's listening to [...]

    28. The story seemed silly at first but it got better towards the end, almost magical even. It seems books can even make people go mad.

    29. I am giving this three stars--but 2 and a half is a closer match. The writing and plot start out very choppy, and they only come together in the last third of the book.The central premise of a Bookaneer at least partially exceeded credibility; overall the author started building his ediface in quicksand and failed to notice the whole thing sinking as he wrote. Couple that with less than stellar characters and you have a losing formula.

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