Stock Image

The Geographer's Library (Signed First Edition)

Jon Fasman

2,669 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1594200386 / ISBN 13: 9781594200380
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since October 12, 2002

Quantity Available: 2

Buy New
List Price: US$ 24.95
Price: US$ 42.50 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.95 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

New York: Penguin [2005]. First edition. First printing. Hardbound. New, a pristine unread copy. Very fine/very fine in all respects. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. Comes with mylar dust jacket protector. 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # goldy16

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Geographer's Library (Signed First ...

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition....

About this title

Synopsis:

Item 1: An alembic is the top part of an apparatus used for distilling. This one is made of sturdy green glass, thirty-six centimeters tall, eighteen centimeters around at the widest point of its base. The top part of the vessel is narrow and fluted and turns sharply to the right; alembics are set over a still to collect and carry vapors to another vessel. The vessel's inside bears a crust of gray material that seems to be a mixture of lead, iron, and antimony, as well as some organic matter, canine and human bones. Scorch marks are visible on the outside bottom, extending five centimeters up. No discernible odor.

Date of manufacture: unknown. Estimates range from 100 b.c. to a.d. 300
Place of origin: Hellenistic Egypt. "Alembic" comes from the Arabic "al-anbiq," which comes from the Greek "ambix," meaning cup or beaker
Last known owner: Woldemar Löwendahl, Danish-Estonian governor general of Tallinn. The alembic was unearthed during the construction of Kassari chapel on Kassari Island in April 1723 and brought to Löwendahl's office that June. The governor general placed it on the top shelf of an unfilled bookcase in the back corner of his office and never noticed when it went missing two years, six months, and seventeen days later...


When a twelfth-century Sicilian cat burglar snatches a sack of artifacts from the king's geographer's library, the tools and talismans of transmutation-and eternal life-are soon scattered all over the world. Nine hundred years later, a young Connecticut reporter finds evidence that someone is collecting them again. In the process of investigating the suspicious death of a local professor, Paul Tomm finds the dead man's heavily fortified office stuffed with books on alchemy. The Geographer's Library entwines his contemporary reporting with a chain of ancient stories-within-the-story, tracking the last time each of the geographer's tools changed hands-some bought, some stolen, some killed for.

The Geographer's Library is an extraordinary debut, smart, stylishly written, and full of suspense. It tempts with the glitter of antiquities and hooks with a chilling plot. In this brilliant debut, competing visions of an obscure professor's life take a young reporter from a sleepy New England town to the heart of an international smuggling ring that may hold the secret to eternal life.

Review:

The literary history suspense novel has long been a genre appreciated by a small subset of general readers. It is currently enjoying a new vogue and a wider readership with the publication of such novels as The Da Vinci Code, The Rule of Four, and Codex. What these books have in common, and what The Geographer's Library can also claim, is a set of characters in the here and now grappling with questions about things that went on a very long time ago. Another characteristic is the unearthing or explanation of objects of great value. The trick is to weave these two realities together in a compelling way, one that will keep the reader involved in both stories.

Jon Fasman has taken a big chance with The Geographer's Library, his debut novel, setting out a complicated scenario in which a collection of priceless objects is stolen from the titular library and, eventually, scattered and re-collected a thousand years later--with very bad results for the final collector. The geographer is a real person, Al-Idrisi, a Spanish-Muslim philosopher, cartographer, linguist, and scholar who served in the court of King Roger of Sicily in Palermo in the year 1154. For the most part, Fasman's risk pays off, although there is a lot of meandering before we finally get to the final revelation.

The "wraparound" story is about a young journalist, Paul Tomm, who sets out to write a simple obituary about a professor who died in his office at Paul's Alma Mater. The man is Jaan Puhapaev, an Estonian perhaps, who is a terrible teacher, fires his gun out his office window twice, is odd, unavailable, and reclusive and yet is allowed to stay on for unknown reasons. He also collects only $1.00 a year in salary and has no other visible means of support. The core narrative is a description of the provenance and travels of each of the 15 objects--some or all of which may hold the secret of eternal life--stolen from Al-Idrisi.

A professor friend of Paul's, a policemen and a curious editor all get an investigation rolling regarding what really happened to Jaan, who is he, and is he perhaps much, much older than they think? Paul meets and falls for a neighbor and putative friend of Jaan's, a music teacher named Hannah Rowe, which moves the information curve upward. This is the least believable part of the story: it's easier to accept the alchemical power of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes than Hannah. That said, Fasman does bring it all home at the end with an expository chapter and two letters. A bit of a cheat, but at least the reader is neatly taken off the literary hook he has dangled on for 380 pages. --Valerie Ryan

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

An online bookstore. All books stored in a smoke-free, bug-free, pet-free environment. We take great pride in the condition of our books. Most are in new condition, untouched, unopened. We guarantee that you'll be pleased with your book purchase! All collectible books are shipped in well padded boxes within USA, not envelopes.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

All books shipped within 24 hours.
This is a sole proprietorship, Daniel C. Pope, 35 Avondale Road, West Hartford Conn. 06117, USA. Email: dan.pope@comcast.net. Phone: (860) 232-9930.


Shipping Terms:

Media rate shippng is $3.95. Priority rate shipping is $5.90. International priority rate in a box for a two-pound book is approxiamtely $20. Some heavy books might be more to ship overseas. Will overnight express anywhere within USA if you ask first. All books sent in well padded sturdy boxes.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express