The Chess Machine

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In 1770, Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen introduces Vienna to the Mechanical Turk?an unbeatable chess-playing automaton that, unbeknownst to an astonished Europe, is in fact nothing more than an illusion. The Turk is actually operated from within by a God-fearing dwarf named Tibor, whose chess-playing abilities and diminutive size make him the perfect accomplice in this grand hoax. But when a seductive countess dies under mysterious circumstances in the presence of the Turk, the machine and its inventor become the target of espionage, persecution, and intrigue. Based on a true story, this celebrated debut is a daring piece of storytelling, brimming with lust, scandal, and deception.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 137.16 x 213.36 x 22.86mm | 272.15g
  • Penguin Books
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143114360
  • 9780143114369
  • 997,687

Review quote

a If you liked "Perfume" youall love it. . . . ["The Chess Machine"] will grip you from the very first page.a
a"Harperas Bazaar"
aA promising debut.a
a"Entertainment Weekly"
a Rich in detail and psychological depth . . . this is a work of such marvelously creative imagination that it makes little difference whatas factual and what isnatait all rings true.a
a"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review)
a Magnificentaa thinking manas thriller brimming with politics both social and sexual.a
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About Robert Löhr

Anthea Bell translated E. T. A. Hoffman's The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr for Penguin Classics and has received a number of translation awards.
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Rating details

1,129 ratings
3.46 out of 5 stars
5 14% (160)
4 34% (386)
3 38% (426)
2 12% (131)
1 2% (26)
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