The Last Bookaneer, Matthew Pearl

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review*

Author: Matthew Pearl
Publisher: Penguin Press
Pages: 400
Format: eArc
ISBN-13: 9781594204920
Penguin Press: various formats
The Last Bookaneer

book'a-neer' (bŏŏk'kå-nēr'), n. a literary pirate; an individual capable of doing all that must be done in the universe of books that publishers, authors, and readers must not have a part in.
Pen Davenport is one of the last bookaneers. Bookaneers are a dying profession as the new laws on copyright are about to be introduced. On the fortnight of this law coming into power they hear that Robert Louis Stevenson is writing a new novel, a masterpiece, on the island of Samoa. This might be his last book too as he is apparently dying. Accompanied by his assistant Fergins they go on the hunt to steal this book. But they are not the only bookaneers trying to get their hands on this script.

Books about books is something that easily make me interested in reading. I liked the concept about a group of mysterious people stealing manuscripts to make money in a different country because there was no such thing as intellectual property or copyright.
The story takes of after the whole thing happened with Fergins being in a train telling the story to Clover a book loving waiter. As this was not mentioned in the synopsis I was confused a bit and wondered about the importance of this part. Though there is enough story surrounding Clover to make it interesting in the end I am still wondering why it was set up like this. I do feel the story only surrounding Davenport and Fergins would have been enough too. Clover does discover a couple of interesting security measurements and betrayal stories though which gave the story an interesting twitch but still it felt forced.
Davenport is an interesting character but seen trough Fergins eyes who admires him I get the feeling you do not really get a real or honest view on him. I would have loved to know more and found out only after reading the book that there is another book about the bookaneers telling more about Davenport and Kitten. I might want to grab that one still.
Fergins is a loveable character. I got the feeling he is the good guy selling books in his little stall, having time for small talk and a big love for books. There are some surprising twists in the story where Fergins does something you would not expect from him though his motivations, usually explained later on do make sense.
With the two stories running trough one another I had a hard time really picturing the whole thing in my head. I did not really connect to either the story or the characters even with a lot of interesting things happening.

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23 May, 2015 delete

I agree about the story setup being somewhat confusing! I think this would have been a much better book if it had just focused on the story Fergins was telling instead of constantly interrupting his story with the other bits. I was also very surprised by some of Fergins' actions and that surprise was one of the few things I enjoyed about the book.