The Technologists
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The Technologists

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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  2,105 ratings  ·  503 reviews
“A terrific historical mystery in the fine old Arthur Conan Doyle style . . . Who knew that a mystery formed around the founding of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could be so good? . . . There are cliffhanger endings and fortuitous escapes. . . . There are even a couple of very sweet romances.”—The Globe and Mail

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Boston, 1868. The Civil War...more
ebook, 576 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Random House (first published January 1st 2012)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: one ill-tempered star (p54)

I gave up on this boring, clanking, juddering steampunk-lite edifice of rusty cogs and leaking pipes when I read one character from MIT's first graduating class saying to another that their technological age had an engine but no engineer. (A quote from Emerson.)

Ugh.

I started the book with serious interest, based on some good reviews of people whose taste I trust, and on my great desire to see technology applied to problem-solving in extreme situations (the reas...more
Clare Cannon
May 02, 2012 Clare Cannon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults & Young Adults
Shelves: adults, young-adult

Quite a surprise on two accounts: first because it is a little slower to start than expected, but second because the characters, action, intrigue and all-round quality of the story increases exponentially from there to the end. I admit I am impatient with scene-setting and sorting out who's who, but perhaps a little more preparation in the reader would allow them to enjoy it sooner.

Boston in the 1860s, at the tail end of the Industrial Revolution, is still generally uneasy about scientific deve...more
Jill
On a foggy night in 1868, all the ships in the Boston Harbor find that their compasses and other instruments inexplicably spin out of control, and because of the poor visibility, several ships collide. Shortly thereafter, the glass in the windows of the businesses in the central city begins to melt! The glass windows become liquid, but then as they drain out of their frames they reconstitute into glass and shatter as they hit the ground, causing some death and a fair amount of destruction. In an...more
Mary Shyne
This book suffers from a marketing problem. The blurbs call it a thriller, but it's written like a straight historical fiction. Pearl does his damndest to end every chapter -- and sometimes every section! -- dangling off a ledge, but somehow the adrenaline just doesn't kick in. The lush writing style defuses the urgency and the pacing's slow (it's 500+ pages but it seems like 200 pages could've been removed; editors? editors?). All the technobabble, while thorough, makes the mind glaze over. Als...more
Jason Golomb
Matthew Pearl’s “The Technologists” is a historical mystery set in post-Civil War Boston. Pearl does a magnificent job of recreating a 19th century Boston that I can only compare to the New York City of Caleb Carr’s “The Alienist”. The book is sort of a CSI-Boston (1800’s)…a cast of strong characters sleuth a series of attacks on the city and use science to uncover a growing plot.

Pearl centers his mystery on a few members of the first-ever graduating class of the Massachusetts Institute of Techn...more
Judith

One fine day, when the compasses on all the ships in Boston Harbor went haywire......and a while later, all the glass (on Bank Street) melted.....it became obvious that “something was up”, and not just the sky

it’s 1868...shortly after the Civil War

The first class of THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY is about to graduate....and all Hell breaks loose!!Fear and Ignorance among the general populace......The Hardy Boys meet Harry Potter (meet The Technologists)....Harum scarum pyrotechnics......more
David
The Technologists has all the ingredients to create a compelling Boston sited historical thriller. The only thing missing is a good story. At first, I thought that a story about the beginning of MIT with a historical fiction component would make for a great tale but somehow, at least for me, Pearl manages to dilute the post-Civil War Boston scene into a story that appears to be a supernatural story. The plot eventually settles on a path that mires upwards of fifteen potential villains that might...more
Michelle
The only way for me to really talk about The Technologists is to pull it apart into its different layers. At its most basic, Pearl's The Technologists is a mystery, a thriller. It is also a novel with a profound sense of place - not only of the where but also when. Pearl takes his setting very seriously, and in it is entirely convincing - in fact, it is primarily in the steampunkish technology that we wander outside of historical fiction into alternative history. Finally, The Technologists reads...more
Dan Radovich
A new favorite from one of America's better historical thriller writers. Pearl creates fantastic adventures spinning fact with fiction and you can believe everything. THE TECHNOLOGISTS takes you to Boston in 1868, the first graduating of MIT prepared to meet the world. He starts the story off with a huge BANG and from there the pace gets ever faster. Sub-plots, major and minor, are handled with the typical Pearl skill. Nothing he spins into his story is un-needed, this guy really can write. The...more
Ms.pegasus
Author Matthew Pearl recreates post-Civil War Boston in this mystery-thriller. To that end, much of the book is spent establishing the historical Zeitgeist. Despite it's prospering manufacturing and shipping industries, Boston was a very conservative city, conscious of social class and “Brahmin” family lines, hobbled by the weight of tradition. Harvard University already enjoyed its elite aura with a curriculum that adhered to mastery of Latin, Greek, classical literature and history as the foun...more
Susan Tunis
My long-awaited intro to Pearl is a mixed bag

I’ve had a galley of Matthew Pearl’s The Dante Club sitting on my bookshelf since before it was published. How long ago was that? That’s how long I’ve been meaning to get around to reading the man. Story of my life. Hurrah! I have finally met this goal!

Set in 1868, this period thriller opens with an act of terrorism. Early one Boston morning, several ships’ compasses and other instruments fail. In the fog, they crash into each other and the wharves. T...more
Paul Pessolano
“The Technologists” by Matthew Pearl, published by Random House.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

If you have read any of the previous books of Matthew Pearl you know that his books are based on actual events in history that he adds fiction and mystery to the story.

In “The Technologists” Pearl goes back to Boston in 1868 and traces the beginning of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Technologists are formed of four members of the student body, but only after Boston has been struck by severa...more
Franky
In The Technologists, Pearl blends historical with fiction and fantasy to pit the original MIT team against a technologically-savvy villain in late nineteenth century Boston. Dubbing themselves “The Technologists,” the brainy team uses their scientific backgrounds in attempts to unearth bizarre catastrophic events happening within the Boston area. The plot focuses on the team’s efforts to piece together the causes of the catastrophe as well as their hopes of saving the city from its next potenti...more
Felice
Matthew Pearl has made a career out of capitalizing on authors we love. He’s the ultimate success story in fan fiction. In his novels: The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow and The Last Dickens Pearl build on our general knowledge of the lives of Dante, Poe and Dickens to become enjoyable What If mysteries that allow us to visit a favorite writer. However Pearl’s latest novel, The Technologists doesn’t have that classics author hook that has served him so well. I guess in that regard it is his first st...more
Althea Ann
I've been intrigued by Matthew Pearl for a while - I actually own both 'The Dante Club' and 'The Poe Shadow' and have been planning on reading them - but I got an ARC of his latest, so it went to the top of the list. Well, eh, I might have been a little overexcited.
This wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't really what I expected. I'd read things comparing it to 'The Alienist' so I was expecting a serious, realistic thriller set in the 19th century. It wasn't. Although the author did his research on...more
Julia
3.5 stars, won in a Goodreads Giveaway.

Matthew Pearl's The Technologists is the fictional story of several students of the inaugural class of MIT, as they race to stop a mad man from destroying Boston.

The Technolgists opens with the events of a mysterious harbor disaster as boat crew mates and sailors find their compasses going haywire. On a night when the harbor is blanketed by heavy fog, this leads to a huge disaster as ships crash into each other and into the docks, destroying the harbor. Sh...more
Maya Panika
Fact and fantasy mix in this intricately woven and engaging tale of the first MIT graduates taking on a mad-scientist bent on death and destruction in the city of Boston.

The plot is wildly, madly, terrifically unbelievable! Several stories interweave – the battles between town and gown - and gown and gown, the terror of ordinary people and traditional academia of the new science that is steamrollering over their world, memories of the very recent Civil War, the burgeoning fight for female indep...more
Melodie
The Technologists are the first ready to graduate seniors, and a freshman young woman at Massachusetts Institute if Technology in Boston.With the Civil War just barely in the rear view mirror,it is an exciting, tumultuous time.Big strides are being made in technology, and with innovation as we all know comes fear.
Boston is besieged by increasingly dramatic, frightening and dangerous phenomenon.And the most likely culprits to the police and general population are the students at MIT.In turn, The...more
Bob
April 4, 1868 and Boston harbor is shut down with a heavy fog when shipping entering or leaving the port experience all the compasses going wild causing many crashes between ships and with docks.
This is the beginning of a book about the compass disaster and several others causing damage and loss of life in the city, The first graduating class of a new technological institute (MIT) and the lack of acceptance and fear of the “New Science”. Several of the soon to be graduates decide to investigate...more
DWGibb
This time Pearl turned his back on his historical literary friends and opted for the first class of would-be engineers at MIT, known only in the book as the Institute of Technology. He returns to what apparently is his first love geographically, Boston, although this time I sense a certain disdain for Harvard. Perhaps that's necessary because the academic tradition of Harvard has been thoroughly disrupted by this upstart school of science and engineering out on the marshy flats.

But after a serie...more
Katy
May 03, 2013 Katy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in history of technology, Boston; fans of thrillers
Recommended to Katy by: Amazon Vine program
My original review can be seen here:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R1A4PYWR...

Please note: Read and reviewed in February 2012 from a copy provided by Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

My Synopsis: In 1868, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) had been in operation for four years, and the first class was preparing for their graduation. "Technology" was a new word, and people were as skittish about the results of technology as more ancient people were of witchcraft - unionists rage...more
William
I picked this book up at the local public library when I ran out of things to read, and to some extent regret having done so. I also keep wondering why I feel compelled to finish books I don't really like.

This was a tedious read, all 480 pages of it. It seems more like an author showing off than telling a story. It's well past the middle of the book before the plot gathers any momentum, and after this incredibly slow pace, the last fifty pages or contain an astonishing number of plot twists. Pac...more
Patrice Hoffman
*Won Through a Goodreads Giveaway*

It is no secret I enjoy historical-fictions wrapped in a mysterious cloak. The history is a very important part of our society and should be reflected on as often as possible. I am able to do this by reading books that are set in times where the world was completely different. The Technologists is set in 1868's Boston. The Civil War had been over for a few years and the world was a changing place. Technology and sciences were amongst those changes that was not a...more
Peter Boysen
It would take a vivid imagination to conjure up a way to dump enough iron in Boston Harbor to interfere with the compass of every ship that comes in -- and spook thousands of superstitious sailors. Even more so to find a way to rig all of the fire hydrants on a city block so that they release a noxious gas that turns all of the glass on that block to liquid. And then to use the railway system to...well, I can't tell you everything.

I can tell you that this latest offering from the author of The D...more
Barbara
Oh, I wanted to like this book. A mystery set in Boston in 1868, centered around the first graduating class of MIT. I think that particular historical period is rich ground for mysteries, because the developing technology makes for new types of detecting, and societal roles are so in flux. And this book has William Barton Rogers and Ellen Swallows as characters, names writ large in the establishment of my alma mater.
But it's just so bad. The characters are sketchily developed and sometimes just...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
This is a hefty historical (496 pages) with a good chunk of nerdiness, a big cast, and a lovely mix of fantasy and fact. Set in the late 1860s, the story follows the first class of MIT -- the Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- while the city of Boston is being plagued by bizarre disasters. In an era when the word 'technology' was feared and the aims of MIT distrusted, the scientific studies pursued by the students was challenge enough, but made all the more difficult as the public accused...more
Susan
I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book and I really liked it. I will admit it was a little methodical to begin with but if you sit back and enjoy the ride back in time - it is worth it. I found it fascinating to view the fear and suspicion that people felt toward technological advances in this time period and compared it with the current outcries against stem cells, (evolution), etc. that are happening today.

I enjoyed listening to this book and would recommend it. I will defini...more
Linda
It is 1868 and MIT is getting ready for its first graduation but things are not well in Boston. Someone seems to want the world's first school of technology to fail in grand style. Compasses go awry, glass melts, explosions occur and no one knows who is causing such havoc but the students of MIT are the main suspects because everyone is afraid of science and technology. Can the MIT students save the day and prove their worth? Twists and turns abound!

Though this is a work of fiction there is much...more
Sjancourtz
Mar 03, 2012 Sjancourtz rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Okay, the writing is clunky and for an author who went to Harvard and Yale, full of malaprops. It gets off to a slow start with a profusion of characters. But on the plus side, it's a real page-turner, full of humble but brilliant heroes running hither and yon, numerous near-death experiences, hideous villains, and crass Harvard and Boston snobs. I'm sure it'll make a great movie, full of exploding boilers (get whoever did Transformers to do the special effects) and balls of fire and speeding ex...more
Robert
I bought this book hoping for something like a Preston and Child Pendergast novel set in late 1860's Boston. It's nothing like that. It's sprinkled with a few 19th century words and idioms, some archaic chemistry terms, and a few references to old Boston and the Back Bay. That's about it. Oh, yes, and there is the 19th century male chauvinism. Otherwise, most of the dialog could be from today.

The plot could be quite interesting if it moved rather than crawled along under the burden of way to mu...more
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Matthew Pearl is the author of the novels The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow and his newest work, The Last Dickens. His books have been New York Times bestsellers and international bestsellers translated into more than 30 languages. His nonfiction writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and Slate.com. He has been heard on shows including NPR's "All Things...more
More about Matthew Pearl...
The Dante Club The Poe Shadow The Last Dickens The Professor's Assassin The Bookaneer

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