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The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber
  

The Book of Air and Shadows

Crime / Mystery   Thriller / Suspense   Historical Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Conspiring theories, old manuscripts, people prepared to kill for the secret and the ‘lost’ journal in Elizabethan English presented for you to find the clues, this is intricate stuff, weaving together a contemporary thriller and an historical mystery which eventually turns into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse.

Similar this month: None but try Kathleen McGowan.
Comparison: Dan Brown, Kate Mosse, Sam Bourne.

If you like Michael Gruber you might also like to read books by Raymond Khoury, Kathleen Mcgowan and Kate Mosse.

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Synopsis

The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber

Tap-tapping the keys and out come the words on this little screen, and who will read them I hardly know. I could be dead by the time anyone actually gets to read them, as dead as, say, Tolstoy. Or Shakespeare. Does it matter, when you read, if the person who wrote still lives?

These are the words of Jake Mishkin, whose seemingly innocent job as an intellectual property lawyer has put him at the centre of a deadly conspiracy and hunt to find a priceless treasure connected to William Shakespeare. As he awaits a killer-or killers-unknown, Jake writes an account of the events that led to this deadly endgame, a frantic chase that began when a fire in an antiquarian bookstore revealed the hiding place of letters containing a shocking secret, concealed for four hundred years. In a frantic race from New York to England and Switzerland, Jake finds himself matching wits with a shadowy figure who seems to anticipate his every move. What at first seems like a thrilling puzzle waiting to be deciphered soon turns into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, where no one – not family, not friends, not lovers – is to be trusted.

Moving between twenty-first-century America and seventeenth-century England, ‘The Book of Air and Shadows’is a modern thriller that brilliantly re-creates William Shakespeare's life at the turn of the seventeenth century and combines an ingenious and intricately layered plot with a devastating portrait of a contemporary man on the brink of self-discovery . . . or self-destruction.

Reviews

Author Michael Gruber and his publisher have to be thrilled by the comparisons being drawn between 'The Book of Air and Shadows
and

'The Da Vinci Code,'
but

. . the real treasure for the readers is the players themselves. . . Shakespeare might have called them 'poor players who strut and fret their hour upon the stage,
but as they leave the stage at the end of this exhilarating run, you hope you hear from them

- and Gruber - again soon.New York Daily News.'Bookshelves across the country are cracking under the weight of thrillers... But few will surpass The Book of Air and Shadows when it comes to energetic writing, compellingly flawed characters, literary scholarship, mathematical conundrums and that oh-so-necessary dose of comic relief...(We never had this much fun reading The Da Vinci Code.) Gruber...has raised the stakes in the thriller genre.'USA Today If all the world's a play, and we are merely players, where do we get our scripts? That's the underlying question in Michael Gruber's smart new thriller, 'The Book of Air and Shadows.' . . . If 'The Book of Air and Shadows,
a contemporary Elizabethan reference to the missing play, sounds overly refined, think again. Gruber

's themes may be lofty, but his people - notably his narrators - are fully fleshed and often funny, with arch senses of humour and irony. . . Only rarely does pop culture, from any century, fail these players. When it does, even that is telling. . . Because ultimately even the wily misfits of 'The Book of Air and Shadows'
realize we are all simply unaccommodated man, the thing itself, looking for the right words to make sense out of our worlds. Boston Globe

.


About the Author

Michael Gruber was born in New York in 1940 and attended Columbia University where he studied English.

In 1984 his cousin, Robert Tanenbaum, a successful trial lawyer, called him from his offices in Los Angeles asking him to look at the first hundred pages of a book he had written at the request of the publishing house Franklin Watts (now part of Scholastic). He says "I called him, and I said, 'This is unsalvageable. It's not a novel, it has no characters, no plot, nothing.'"

In return for half the advance, Gruber rewrote the novel, they renegotiated the contract and went into business. This arrangement continued for 14 books. Gruber says he created the characters and the novels based on stories Tanenbaum told him, or transcripts of cases Tanenbaum had worked on. However, Gruber's credit was limited to a thank you on the acknowledgements page.

When Gruber realized that he would never get cover credit for his work with Tanenbaum he started writing The Witch's Boy in 1996, but was unable to find a publisher. So he started to write Tropic of Night. Tropic of Night is set in Miami, Long Island and West Africa and tells the story of a series of ritualistic murders that sweep Miami. The book has strong supernatural elements, although Gruber points out, 'there is no supernatural. It's all part of the universe, although the universe is queerer than we suppose.

He lives in Seattle in an old fishing bungalow overlooking Lake Washington and Mercer Island, with his wife who is an artist.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st August 2007

Author

Michael Gruber

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Author's Website

michaelgruberbooks.com/

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Publisher

Harpercollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
576 pages

Categories

Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Thriller / suspense
Adventure

ISBN

9780007251902

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