Johann Gutenberg, a driven and caustic inventor, has devised a revolutionary—and to some, blasphemous—method of bookmaking: a machine he calls a printing press. Fust is financing Gutenberg’s workshop and he orders Peter, his adopted son, to become Gutenberg’s apprentice. Resentful at having to abandon a prestigious career as a scribe, Peter begins his education in the “darkest art.”
As his skill grows, so, too, does his admiration for Gutenberg and his dedication to their daring venture: copies of the Holy Bible. But mechanical difficulties and the crushing power of the Catholic Church threaten their work. As outside forces align against them, Peter finds himself torn between two father figures: the generous Fust, who saved him from poverty after his mother died; and the brilliant, mercurial Gutenberg, who inspires Peter to achieve his own mastery.
Alix Christie was born and raised in California, studied philosophy at Vassar College and got a degree journalism from U.C. Berkeley. She has reported for newspapers in California and from Europe as a foreign correspondent, including the Washington Post, The Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle and Salon.com. Christie currently reviews books and arts for The Economist.
I received this book for review and it is by far one of the most beautiful ARC's I ever received. The cover was so pretty I stared at it for a few minutes. The chapters are all starting with a beautiful print leaving no doubt that this book is about the art of printing.
As I am Dutch I have been taught that Laurens Janszoon Coster is the person discovering the art of printing but I was aware of other stories and a lot of people were working on this technique at the same time.
I really loved Peter. He might be to soft most of the story though. I would not have mind if he had stand up for himself more but I think that is just me not really understanding his position towards both Fust and Gutenberg.
I enjoyed the atmosphere in the story. It was easy to imagine the city and the people. The way people would react if they would find out about the art Peter and Gutenberg were performing. The excitement about the work and the inventions they were working on.
Author: Alix Christie
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