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The Grand Complication (Signed First Edition)

Allen Kurzweil

639 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0786866039 / ISBN 13: 9780786866038
Published by Theia / Hyperion, 2001
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Dan Pope Books
West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.

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AbeBooks Seller Since October 12, 2002

About this Item

New York: THEIA [2001]. SIGNED first edition. First printing. Hardcover. Fine/Fine in all respects. A tight clean copy. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. Smoke free shop. All books shipped in well padded boxes with bubblewrap. Comes with archival-quality mylar dust jacket protector. [C1]. Bookseller Inventory # CASE1-947

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Grand Complication (Signed First Edition...

Publisher: Theia / Hyperion

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition...

About this title

Synopsis:

With a boss threatening to exile him to driving a bookmobile in Amish Country and a headstrong wife whose erotic pop-up books fail to revive the couples lost intimacy, Alexander retreats to a world of private annotation. Enter Henry James Jesson III, a collector with an improbably literary name, who shares a number of Alexanders unconventional interests. Soon, Jesson hires Alexander for some after-hours research. As his search advances, the librarian realizes there are many more secrets in Jessons life than the ones found in his dazzling Manhattan salon.

Review:

Penzler Pick, August 2001: Most avid readers love everything about books--not only the words, but also the paper, the edition, the age, the texture of the binding, all of which become part of the fascination for the printed word that makes a true bibliophile. So it is no wonder that the bibliophile mystery has achieved such popularity. The Grand Complication, well-written and well-researched, is the latest in a long line of such mysteries.

Alexander Short is a reference librarian who spends his days dealing with the minutiae of his work world. At night he goes home to his French wife who is also a book person. She makes pop-up books and other three-dimensional volumes, including a "girdle" that Alexander wears in the manner of medieval monks, tied around his middle and used for his "girdling" or taking notes--something Alexander does obsessively, to the detriment of his job. Two such people seem made for each other, but their obsessions make for a rocky marriage.

So Alexander is fascinated when he meets Henry James Jesson III, an elderly man with equally obsessive interests. He would like Alexander to help him after hours. In Jesson's Manhattan mansion there is a cabinet of curiosities that tell the life of an 18th-century inventor. But one of the compartments is empty. Jesson, and soon Alexander, are agog with curiosity about what was in that compartment. Finding out is half the fun of reading this book.

The other half, if you care (and somehow I think you do), is the design of the book itself. Kurzweil is the son of an engineer, and he designed the small icon, a gear, that appears on many of the book's pages. Over the course of the novel, which runs 360 pages, that gear turns 360 degrees. And then there are the endpapers.... --Otto Penzler

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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.


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