Gutenberg's Apprentice
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Gutenberg's Apprentice

3.47 (1,777 ratings on Goodreads)
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'Sophisticated and moving...Powerful' Sunday Times 'A deep, immersive recreation of a pivotal moment in history' A. D. Miller 'If ever there were a historical novel with up-to-the-minute resonance, this is it. As we go through another information revolution, Christie's novel takes us back in brilliantly observed detail to the first - the invention of the printing press. Her characters are engaging, the world as beautifully crafted as one of Gutenberg's hot-metal letters, and the themes more relevant now than ever' Naomi Alderman In the middle of the 15th century, scribe Peter Schoeffer is dismayed to be instructed by his father to give up his beloved profession of illuminating texts in Paris. Instead he is to travel to Mainz in Germany to be apprenticed to Johann Gutenberg, an entrepreneur who has invented a new process for producing books - the printing press. Working in conditions of extreme secrecy, the men employed by Gutenberg daily face new challenges both artistic and physical as they strive to create the new books to the standard required by their master. In a time of huge turmoil in Europe and around the world, Gutenberg is relentless in pursuing his dream and wooing the powerful religious leaders whose support is critical. Peter's resistance to the project slowly dissolves as he sees that, with the guidance of a scribe such as himself, the new Bibles could be as beautiful in their way as the old. Today we can see that beauty in some of our museums, but few know the astonishing tale of ambition, ruthlessness and triumph that lies behind it.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 158 x 239 x 31mm | 516g
  • Headline Publishing Group
  • HEADLINE REVIEW
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 147222017X
  • 9781472220172
  • 138,510

Review quote

A sophisticated and moving story of the creation of the Gutenberg Bible... Christie provides a powerful portrait of the intense, irascible and egotistical Gutenberg, but her novel's real strength lies in its depiction of [his apprentice, Peter] Schoeffer, drawn unwillingly into the struggle to build a new technology, yet eventually becoming its most committed advocate Sunday Times A lovely piece of work: finely researched and beautifully, atmospherically, written. I learned a huge amount from it, though never at any point did I feel I was being 'taught' - in my view the test of really good historical novel Sarah Dunant A deep, immersive recreation of a pivotal moment in history and a bold exploration of an eternal theme: the madness, rivalry, torment and ecstasy of creation -- A. D. Miller If ever there were a historical novel with up-to-the-minute resonance, this is it... Brilliantly-observed detail. Her characters are engaging, the world as beautifully crafted as one of Gutenberg's hot-metal letters, and the themes more relevant now than ever... Richly-imagined Naomi Alderman 'So rich and gorgeous it is making me dizzy' -- Lucy Mangan 'As beautifully written as the printed pages it describes, this is an intelligent, masterful novel that immerses the reader in a fascinating historical time and place' -- Rosamund Lupton A lovely piece of work: finely researched and beautifully, atmospherically, written Sarah Dunant 'Deserves to be a bestseller - a great story, meticulously researched...fascinating' Mark Easton 'Deftly chronicled ... Christie masterfully depicts the time and energy required to print the first Bibles... A bravura debut' Kirkus 'Gorgeously written... An inspiring tale of ambition, camaraderie, betrayal, and cultural transformation based on actual events and people, this wonderful novel fully inhabits its age' Booklist 'I loved this novel! Alix Christie's debut is intensely observed, so much that I felt in the dark rooms of history with the people laboring over the metal and words to bring us print, but also laboring over their own lives and love and survival' -- Susan Straightshow more

About Alix Christie

Alix Christie is a journalist and writer who has lived in the USA, Paris and Berlin and is now settled in London with her husband and two children. She has been a reporter and foreign correspondent for many years, and has published widely in major international media, from the Washington Post and the Guardian to the San Francisco Chronicle and Salon.com; she regularly reviews books and arts for The Economist. In the late 1990s she began writing fiction, publishing short stories in the Southwest Review and Other Voices. Gutenberg's Apprentice is her first novel. Alix spent five years researching the background to Gutenberg's Apprentice. A passionate printer herself, she brought her personal experience to her vivid descriptions of the travails of the early printers in the novel. www.gutenbergsapprentice.comshow more
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