Currently Reading: The Last Bookaneer

Hello all you wonderful readers. I’ve finished Dubliners by James Joyce and The Archivist by Martha Cooley. I now turn my attention to another one of the Literary Historical fiction novels of Matthew Pearl, The Last Bookaneer about the practice of pirating manuscripts from authors in other countries for publishing before the advent of International Copyright laws at the turn of the last century.

I’ve read three of his others novels, The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow and The Last Dickens, all thriller novels set in the times and situations of the famous authors. They are all very well written and exciting reads by a very well read and literary educated writer. Amazing. Check them out today if your interested in historical fiction with a mystery twist.

I’m still deciding if I’ll do an actual review of The Archivist. But suffice to say, it was a sad book. The synopsis is that its a novel about a chief Archivist of the Emily Hale Letters sent to her by T.S. Eliot. Matthew’s story of his marriage and wife’s death coincides in interesting ways with Eliot’s and his wife’s mental issues and passing, as does the story of the young grad student Roberta and her personal and religious reasons for wanting to see the letters before their timed release. The book was published in 1998, set in 1988 or so, while the letters were still sequestered by request of Hale. They were just released for public and literary perusal and evaluation in January of 2020.

I enjoyed this book so much. Very well written as a debut novel by Cooley who has since published only one other novel. She currently teaches in a couple of different colleges. Lucky students they are. So… what are you reading?

-mike

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