“He closed his eyes for a moment, imagining the cocoon of books shielding him from all danger, inhaling deeply that familiar scent of cloth and leather and dust and words. His rushing pulse began to slow, and when he opened his eyes he scanned the shelves for something familiar–a title, an author, a well-remembered dust jacket design–anything that might ground him in the world of the known.” Charlie Lovett, THE BOOKMAN’S TALE
THE BOOKMAN’S TALE: A NOVEL OF OBSESSION by Charlie Lovett was released today, and is 368 pages. I received an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher, Viking, for possible review. It became clear to me early on that I would be happy to recommend this book, because I found it completely engrossing.
In a multi-period novel from Shakespeare’s time, to the Victorian era, to the late twentieth century, THE BOOKMAN’S TALE is the story of antiquarian bookseller, Peter Byerly, whose quest to find the artist of a watercolor that bears an uncanny resemblance to his late wife, becomes a struggle for life and death on both the physical and emotional level. Embedded in the mystery of the portrait Byerly finds in an old book is the exploration of the famed debate over the true author of Shakespeare’s work.
While the plot of the THE BOOKMAN’S TALE is intricately woven, the story is highly readable and compelling. There is a natural suspense generated from books set in many eras, and the added layer of intrigue in this novel surrounding Shakespeare’s writings makes it impossible to put down. Bibliophiles will delight in Byerly’s search through famed Shakespeare forgeries and references, but it is the extreme reverence for the written word and the binding of it that makes THE BOOKMAN’S TALE a love letter to reading and writing.
Fans of Kostova’s THE HISTORIAN and works of literary suspense will devour THE BOOKMAN’S TALE. For more on the author or the novel, visit Charlie Lovett’s website at http://charlielovett.com/.