The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (Burton & Swinburne, #2)
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The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (Burton & Swinburne #2)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,712 ratings  ·  190 reviews
It is 1862, though not the 1862 it should be...

Time has been altered, and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the king’s agent, is one of the few people who know that the world is now careening along a very different course from that which Destiny intended.

When a clockwork-powered man of brass is found abandoned in Trafalgar Square, Burton and his assistant, the wayward poet Alger...more
Kindle Edition, 359 pages
Published (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kevin Hearne
Before I get to the novel's contents, I just have to say these books have some of the most awesome covers I've seen. Kudos to PYR.

The book: I liked it even more than Spring Heeled Jack. The incredibly polite undead Rakes who apologized as they killed you—or protested if you killed 'em back, as in, "I say, this isn't at all cricket!"—cracked me up.

Clockwork Man probably isn't the place to start if you haven't read Spring Heeled Jack, but it's a great follow-up and I'm now hooked on the series. Gr...more
So this is what would have happened if Sir Richard Burton, Algernon Swinburne, Lord Palmerston, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Florence Nightingale and the young Oscar Wilde had collided in a futuristic Victoriana where fantastic steam devices were commonplace on every smog-subsumed by-way.

(So this is what would have happened if George MacDonald Fraser had written the Flashman books with a proper hero, an interest in science fiction and far less reverence for the actual course of history.)

The appearan...more
Aug 09, 2013 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Steam-punk fans
I got this at a Border's Going-out-of-Business sale (solely because it has the coolest cover art I've ever seen), only to later realize it was the second in a series, so I had to read the first one before reading this one. After finishing the first book, The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, I was even more excited to read this sequel.

It picked up right where the first left off, with a new case that echoed back to the events in the first book. Where the first book was a steam-punk book with...more
Jun 23, 2013 Spencer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Spencer by: Annecdavis
First off, I must declare my want to grow a proper mustachio. Or are they mustachios? Whatever they are, mine should be proper, what what! Fast paced and brilliantly visual. My mother-in-law pegged me for this one, and she was precisely correct in her recommendation as well as her comment "reads like a graphic novel." This series is a great, uh, riff on historical personalities and the character arcs are have much more curve than many of Ye Olde mysteries. Putting this one back on the shelf near...more
this book is being given five stars for no apparent reason. I think mostly because it's awesomeness makes me want to jump up and down and force it on people on the street. Of course I cannot do that because they need to read the spring heeled jack book first, otherwise I swear... I did in fact even mail the spring heeled jack one to my ex-boyfriend (a new copy since I sent mine to joel) because from past experience I know if I mail him the first of a series he will buy and read the rest of the s...more
The second in the Burton and Swinburne adventures, this is the sequel to the debut novel, The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack , which introduced us to the adventures of Richard Burton and Algernon Swinburne. Again, Hodder drapes his story over actual historical events – using them as the basis for his story, but never being afraid to let the story trample all over the historical accuracy. His trick for this is based in the events of The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack – the Albertian L...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

I always have to tread lightly when it comes to reviewing novels written in the steampunk style; because this is a genre I'm a real sucker for, which means that I will give even subpar books in this genre a higher score than a lot of people feel they deserve, simply because I enjoy wallowing in the tech-me...more
The second of the Burton and Swinburne adventures and although some of the elements of the first book that were so funny and original are now not original they are still funny and the pace of the plot is fast enough to keep you hooked. It's a series you definitely want to start at the beginning I think in order to get the full enjoyment from the characters but it remains to be seen whether Hodder can pull it off in the third book, which I believe is already out. Unlike Christopher Fowler's 'Brya...more
This is the second book in the alternate history/fantasy/steampunk series featuring Sir Richard Francis Burton and his sidekick, poet Algernon Swinburne. In the first book, a time traveler altered time. Queen Victoria was assassinated and Prince Albert was made king. Steam mechanisms of all kinds – including flying chairs (helicopter style) are being invented and used. Genetic manipulation is being put to use, too, creating jumbo horses, parakeets that deliver messages in between bouts of fluent...more
Jimm Wetherbee
If you think you know what class warfare is, think again. A bit of perspective, let us take a look at that sensation of Victorian England, The Tichborne Affair. Roger Tichborne was the son of the baron, Sir James Tichborne, and heir to the estate. Roger was lost at sea in 1854 and presumed dead, save that his mother would not accept this. In 1862 (after Sir James' death) Arthur Orton, a bankrupt butcher from Australia, came forward to claim the title . Never mind that Orton barely resembled Roge...more
“The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man” is the second book in the Burton and Swinburne steampunk series by Mark Hodder.

I wasn’t expecting the book to be as good as the first, “The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack”. It wasn’t. It was even better.

The characters of Sir Richard Burton and Algernon Swinburne have rounded out quite a bit. Burton seems to be a little less dark, and Swinburne is just as enchantingly perverted as before, with added sarcasm.

This story revolves around black diamonds kn...more
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and I also enjoyed this one. But not as much as the first. This one was still a page-turning steampunk adventure, but the plot and ideas felt more all-over-the-place and messy. In addition to mechanical and genetic advances to science, this volume adds supernatural factors that differentiate this version of 19th century Britain from the historical version. This story dealt with Spiritualism, mediums, astral projection and other such topics. But eve...more
4 Stars

First let me say that Hodder's first two novels are an absolute joy to read. These are steampunk science fiction detective stories that are lead by a unique pair in Swineburne and Burton. A poet and a detective with a love of adventure.

The first book really worked because it developed our loveable protagonists and it also had an awkward antagonist that one might feel sorry for. The world building and alt history play make these books a blast to read. The first book had some structure issu...more
Doreen Dalesandro
Genre: Steampunk, alternate history
Rating: 4
I listened to this book.

Although the beginning was slower to grab me than that of The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man is another entertaining, enlightening (much is based on real life), and gruesome read. This time we meet Herbert Spencer (hmmm, does Mr. Hodder think that maybe Mr. Spencer's contribution to the theory of evolution was slighted???) and the famous mad monk Rasputin. We also visit Bedlam mental...more
Mark Hodder’s tales of Burton and Swinburne are some of the least focused but most entertaining steampunk novels out there. Book two of the series does little to improve on the formula of its predecessor, but the electricity is crackling away. The Clockwork Man is a messy, fundamentally flawed adventure, which nevertheless keeps you turning the pages until the very end. It is steampunk fluff, but if you can deal the lack of literary merit, its still a fun little romp through Hodder’s twisted pas...more
The Clockwork Man continues and expands on the Spring Heeled Jack story with which the author debuted; in a quite changed world of 1862, Sir Francis Burton now king's investigator and his assistant Algernon Swinburne, plus a motley cast including beggar/philosopher Herbert Spencer, various policemen and special agents of the Crown have to deal with new threats to "life as we know it" different from the events in the first volume, but related in subtle ways .

Starting innocuously with a robbery,...more
This is the second book in this series, and the alternate world of Albertian England (Victoria was killed before she could assume the throne and her husband was chosen to reign as her successor) becomes stranger and stranger. The streets are full of mechanical animals and insects that are used for transportation and labour, the air is filled with steam and mechanical men are starting to be seen. The newspapers are full of the story of the Tichborne Affair in which a missing Aristocrat returns ho...more
Historia zmieniła swój bieg…

Mark Hodder to najpopularniejszy amerykański autor, specjalizujący się w powieściach z gatunku steampunk. Trylogia Burton & Swinburne przyniosła mu nie tylko rozgłos, ale także i nagrodę im. Philipa K. Dick’a. Zdumiewająca sprawa Nakręcanego Człowieka to już drugi tom tej trylogii. Obecnie autor mieszka w Hiszpanii, a w zeszłym roku wyszła kolejna jego powieść, której fabuła także została osadzona w świecie, który łączy ze sobą elementy steampunku oraz science-fic...more

There are a number of things which connect this book with The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, so some spoilers are inevitable (at least for the first book).

When Spring Heeled Jack had altered time, he changed the original future. One of the main questions in this book is "When you take route A over route B, does route B cease to exist?". It seems that is not the case. Each time Spring Heeled Jack jumped, he disturbed what was supposed to happen, but that didn't mean the original e...more
This book is an excellent follow-up to the first book in the series, The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Burton & Swinburne #1). More than just a sequel, it continues themes and storylines, answers questions, and ties up some threads from the first book that I hadn't even thought of as incomplete, because the first book was so satisfying.

The story continues in the wonderful alternate universe created in the first book, with many of the same characters and plenty of new ones as well. Ri...more
Fred Hughes
This is a great story about Sir Richard Francis Burton and his assistant Algernon Charles Swinburne

Set in the Victorian period Burton is an explorer whose biggest quest was the find the headwaters of the Nile. Which he never accomplished due to a case of Malaria which still attacks him on a regular basis.

Burton is summoned by the King and becomes his agent to deal with affairs that are best kept from the public’s eye or are so far out of reality as to defeat conventional policing work.

Jared Millet
By Jove, I love Mark Hodder. Once again he's set the bar that all other steampunk ought to be measured by. One - he knows his history. Two - he knows how to spin a fantastic adventure. Three - he's completely nuts. Gone are the exploding werewolves of the first book in this series, only to be replaced by a behemoth, flesh-eating rabblerouser, ghosts made of steam, and unfailingly polite zombies.

This book starts off at a slower burn than the first installment, but rises through several how-do-the...more
Druga część przygód Burtona i Swinburne'a podobała mi się trochę mniej od poprzedniej. Tym razem większy nacisk położony został na mistycyzm oraz eugenikę niż na steampunk, co nie do końca przypadło mi do gustu. Więcej też spodziewałem się po głównym wątku sprawy Tichborne'ów, który nie przypominał już kryminalno-detektywistycznej opowieści z pierwszego tomu.

Niemniej jednak autor nadrobił zakończeniem, które było naprawdę interesujące i sprawiło, że sytuacja (szczególnie polityczna) w tej altern...more
Awesome, Awesome Awesome!!!

Can't wait to read the next Burton & Swinburne adventure

It started with an excellent debut.
The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack
is the intelligent, terrific, magnificent
and fulminating hooray into the world of steampunk novels.

And now it continues with a sequel on the next level of inventiveness and execution.
The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man
is a world full of bizarre characters, phat steam-driven technology, mysterious mysteries and unbelievable conspiracie...more
Not quite as enjoyable as the first book in the series, mostly due to repetition between the two books. I get easily annoyed when authors try to recap too much of the previous book(s) in the sequel(s). The overall mystery was very intriguing, and I like the way the author plays with alternate versions of real historical people and events, but the pacing seemed uneven. Parts of the book just dragged for me, and I admit I skimmed large portions of certain chapters because they didn't really seem t...more
I wrote a review here, and on my blog.

The book
This is the second book in the series Burton & Swinburne. It’s about Sir Richard Burton, noted geographer and Algernon Swinburne, poet and follower of Marquis de Sade, who live in Albertian England. Basically what happened before the first book started is that a man jumped back in time, fucked up and got queen Victoria killed, and now Prince Albert rules England as king. It’s set in the mid 1800s obviously, and this 1800s is a lot more advanced t...more
Cécile C.
Good fun! Utter nonsense! Robots, lizard-men, zombies! (of course zombies. What did you expect?) Time travel! Stuff!

Possibly better-written than the first volume, although I still think the hero is over the top and the author bit off more than he could chew with the revolution of the working classes against the aristocracy. There's nothing wrong if you want to write a book for pure fun with no intent to get into social philosophy at all, but then I do think it's best to avoid starting to include...more
Tim Hicks
Not bad. I don't think I've read volume 1, but it's hard to be sure because a lot of authors are using the "Spring-heeled Jack" idea. Not a problem.

This fantasy is laid atop real events, and since we're in a world altered from our reality there is plenty of room for whimsy. There are quite a few interesting ideas and characters here, but a few details distracted.

Steam-powered penny farthings seem to be as close to infeasible as anything I've seen for a while. High centre of gravity, anyone?
I'm enjoying this series very much. It reminds me of Indiana Jones combined with Sherlock Holms & Watson. Can't put it down. I really like how at the end of the book the author includes the actual history of certain characters during the time period mentioned in the book. It makes me want to look up English history and see what was changed. :D
Rosalind M
I had a hard time getting through this, though it was quite engaging at times (still love the advertisements). I think it would have been a smoother read if it hadn't stretched out over such a long time period. Several times I was distracted because it felt like I was beginning another book entirely.
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British writer living in Valencia, Spain.

Mark Hodder is the creator and caretaker of the Blakiana: The Sexton Blake Resource web site, which he designed to celebrate, record, and revive Sexton Blake, the most written about fictional detective in English publishing history.

A former BBC writer, editor, journalist, and Web producer, Mark has worked in all the new and traditional medias and was based...more
More about Mark Hodder...
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Burton & Swinburne, #1) Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (Burton & Swinburne, #3) The Secret of Abdu El-Yezdi (Burton & Swinburne, #4) A Red Sun Also Rises The Return of the Discontinued Man (Burton & Swinburne, #5)

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