10 August 2014

Gutenberg's Apprentice; Alix Christie

Gutenberg's Apprentice: A NovelGutenberg's Apprentice: A Novel by Alix Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of my colleagues said she DNF'd this, and I can easily see why. There are many very slow passages, ones that could easily have been excised in favor of more about the political and religious issues that Gutenberg (and Mainz) were dealing with while he was creating the press and his Bible. His apprentice, based on a real person, is apparently best known as someone whose press took up where Gutenberg left off and as a font designer (the first. ever.) and we get Peter's story of how the press came to be.

And therein lies the problem: he's boring. Pages, literally pages, on how the press was created, and maybe a few paragraphs about the politics of the guilds. The archbishop's power plays were mentioned, but readers won't get a great sense of how that affected everyone except the occasional mention of scarce goods or taxes. More about that, more about the struggle over whose Benedictine Rule would be printed, and more about the disruption to scribes would have helped move the story along.

ARC provided by publisher.

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