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The Minutes of the Lazarus Club
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The Minutes of the Lazarus Club

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  282 ratings  ·  39 reviews
London, 1857—the Lazarus Club. Some of the finest, most unconventional minds in Victorian Britain—including Charles Darwin, Charles Babbage and Isambard Kingdom Brunel—are members of this illustrious brotherhood. Their meetings take place behind closed doors, their discussions are revolutionary and their conclusions sometimes forbidden. . . .

Knowing nothing of this secret
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Hardcover, 439 pages
Published 2008 by Michael Joseph
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(showing 1-30 of 1,855)
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Jessamay
This was pretty good fun, but it kind of felt like Tony Pollard wanted to write 3 seperate books here:
1. Genteel Historical Fiction: "More tea, Mr Babbage? And how is your Difference Engine coming along?"
2. Mad Steampunk: "And I wil resurrect her using clockwork and steam!! Bwahahaaa!"
3. The Latest Sherlock Holmes Movie (the one with Robert Downey Jr): "Quickly, he's escaping over the Thames! Fetch the explosives!"

All of these would've been pretty cool, I just felt that at times they sat kind of
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Kris
Apr 25, 2010 Kris rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs
Recommended to Kris by: Sydney Padua (writer of Lovelace &Babbage comic)
Shelves: own-it
I had high hopes for this book - but I was disappointed. The book is a sort of mystery/thriller, set in England in the mid-1800's. Several corpses have been found in the Thames with their hearts and lungs torn out. The story is told by a medical doctor who is first brought into the investigation to help, and then becomes a suspect. Several historical figures play a part (Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Charles Babbage), which is what drew me to the book. However, other than IK Brunel, none of the other ...more
Zeli
A Work of Fiction for those Interested in Facts
This book reads like an A List of all the best thinkers, inventers and notaries of the mid 1800's. Darwin, Charles Babbage, Robert Stephenson, Joseph Bazalgette, Godsworthy Gurney, Isambard Brunel and Florence Nighingale. You name them, they get a mention.
The plot itself is interwoven amongst the historic detail, which is the most fascinating aspect of this book. Reading it is like an incredibly entertaining history lesson, the fact there are murder
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Liviu
I finished The Minutes of the Lazarus Club by A. Pollard. Another addictive book that took over when I read 10 pages from and could not put it down - read last night until my eyes closed and finished it this evening.

Based on real people and real events, it should appeal to both fantasy lovers because of its gothic Victorian atmosphere and plot, as well to sf fans because it has a lot of sfnal stuff. Famous Victorian characters appear including C. Babbage, Ada Lovelace, C. Darwin, Florence Nighti
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James
Really wanted to like this book, as really enjoy historical crime novels, but ended up distinctly underwhelemed. All the components are here but is a series of historical characters woodenly depicted with a vague story built around them. The end twist was particularly lazy. Actually most crime books with a club in the title tend to suck so this could be a new rule e.g. the dante club, the mephisto club or the worst of the them all the vesuvius club.
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
I picked up this little gem for $8 and I think I got more than my money's worth on this one. Set in London in the 1850s, this is a period piece, with the main character being Dr Phillips, a surgeon in a hospital. Dr Phillips is soon befriended by Brunel, the Engineer behind the building of the 'Great Eastern' steam ship, and a connection to the secret society of the Lazarus Club begins to emerge.

Interestingly enough, Pollard takes several well-known historical figures and weaves them into his st
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Ade Couper
Ok , this was a bit of an odd one...

The prologue is superbly atmospheric , telling of a boatman finding an eviscerated body in the Thames: it actually reminded me of "Our Mutual Friend" (my favourite Dickens book).

The main story concerns the Lazarus Club , a society of the great thinkers of the Victorian era , some real, some fictional : Isambard Kingdom Brunel is 1 of the main characters , as is Florence Nightingale , with cameos from Darwin , Dickens , Faraday....

The story twists & turns :
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Oliver
Bad historical fiction has people saying things like "Oh Mr Darwin, how's that crazy book of yours coming along" - and there is a scene in this book where pretty much exactly this happens. The Author might have done quite a bit of research but if it isn't part of the story he should probably leave it in his notes. I don't on the whole mind this kind of thing - get a bunch of historical characters like Brunel and Florence Nightingale and stick them in a fictional murder story - these days it's pr ...more
Majo
De ese tipo de obras en las que una simple pagina se convierte en una riqueza entramada de hechos y personajes cuidadosamente confeccionados. No haré spoilers -
Simon
Oh dear, this was another book that I wanted to like, but didn't enjoy that much.

A young doctor who is just making a name for himself gets approached to join the secret Lazarus Club by none other than Brunel who is at the time completing work on the Great Eastern. the club is a sounding board for all the great minds of mid Victorian Britain. Members include the like of Babbage, Bazelgette and George Stephenson. at he same time horribly mutilated female corpses are being dragged out of the Thames
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Linda
Sometimes Amazon does these annoying little "Recommended" scrolling lists while you're ordering a book based on your purchases. This is one that came up for me and it looked sort of interesting, so I got it.

Obviously, from its title, it has something to do with resurrecting a human being, right? Or something like Frankenstein's monster? Well, yes it does but it's MUCH more than that.

Every time the book gets close to winding up a loose end - who's killing mainly prostitutes and ripping the heart
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Jonathan
A gripping Victorian Thriller/Mystery with many plot twists. It grabs hold of you from the first page and doesn't let go until that last word. I think the blurb undersells the book a little, it makes the story sound like just another detective story, but it is much more than that. It has elements of action and adventure as well as alternative history. I would even put it in the Steampunki bracket. The idea of the characters being well known members of Victorian society is a masterstroke. The li ...more
Daniel
This review is mostly aimed at people who have read the book with as few spoilers as possible.

This was a fascinating read from start to finish, however that is not to say the novel is flawless. I found the first gathering of the Lazarus Club to be too much, the author introduced so many characters in such a short chapter some of which played little if any role in the pages that followed. When introducing new characters I noticed that Pollard seems to give a minimal description of their physical
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Craig Andrews
Thought this book was brilliant, one of the best 'historical adventure' books I've read since Hawkwood :) An engaging plot that kept me wanting more. There's a tiny bit of metaphysical nonsense near the end that doesn't fit in with the theme of the book at all but it didn't spoil the overall story.
Paul Patterson
If anyone is going to be up for reading a gaslight thriller filled with Victorian noteables and gadgetry, it would be me - a lover of all things Dickensian. Unfortunately, once the novelty of the historically accurate descriptions and, in the audiobook version, the great Victorian accents was over - so was I. That was around page 100. Its a 448 page book, though.

Unfortunately, my stubborness to get through it won out; finished it utterly bored, exhausted and wanting my time returned. Too much d
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Les Wilson
There appears to be mixed views on this book, so I can only speak for myself. I found it an absorbing book, and did not want to put it down. One has to as one has to eat.
F.R.
This reminded me of Jeb Rubenfield’s ‘Interpretation of Murder’, except instead of Freud at the centre of sinister crimes it’s Brunel. (Does Brunel have much name recognition beyond these shores? I genuinely have no idea.)

Dr George Phillips is invited to The Lazarus Club, a place of luminaries where Brunel is in constant attendance and Darwin and Farraday also appear. At the same time mutilated bodies start to appear in the Thames.

The opening chapter owes a great debt to ‘Our Mutual Friend’, whi
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Debra Strattford
Excellent, amazing, awesome. This book has all I love since I was a little child. Love this books a lot!
Rachel Hawes
Victorian London, opium dens, murder, anatomy, the dawn of surgery and scientific thought, grave robbing, nightmares and the supernatural. Through in a stereotypical Victorian detective, some prostitutes, Darwin's theory of evolution and a handful of the Victorian eminent and you have everything I love in a nutshell.

So this should have been wonderful. Unfortunately it was almost too much, and very very overly written. Hence the three stars.

However, it's a great plot when it's not meandering off
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Jena
This book is not available in the US so I had to order it for the UK. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to read it! It has everything, murder, mystery, conspiracy – I really did not want to put it down. This is Tony Pollard’s first novel. I have read a lot of other reviews for this book and I will admit that there are parts that drag on a bit and it could have used one last edit. However, it was a great read and I am waiting on “tenterhooks” for Mr. Pollard’s next novel.
Weenie
I loved this book when I started to read it - it was like an exciting history lesson, real-life historical characters and some murder/mystery bits! To me, the plot seemed to become a little weak towards the middle of the book but did pick up again towards the end. I'm glad a 'romance' didn't happen between two of the characters (won't mention the names!) - that would have spoilt it for me for some reason.
Tuesday's Child
The storyline sounded interesting, and i was expecting something in the line of Sherlock Holmes or Jack the Ripper.There are very well written sections, which go into tremendous detail of the development/discovery of machinery.But, if it isn't something you are that interested in, it just bores you to tears.This book is well written and researched, but (i think) with a very specific audience in mind.
Kieran Neylon
Unfortunately I never really *believed* the characters in this book. It felt like the author was trying to weave as many historical figures and facts into the story as possible, which only got in the way instead of adding to the credibility. I did read to the end but only to see the unravelling of the plot, not because I had grown to care for the main characters fate.
Eva
Boring. I was fighting to finish it as I got it for Christmas from my husband. Maybe it is better for male readers with all the technical things but I doubt it. The beginning was quite ok but the last 100 pages were rubbish. Why did the author put Darwin and Nightingale there is a mystery for me. And the conspirational theory with the American Civil War was simply too much!
Chele
More of a 2.5 than a 3
Interesting character mix - fictional and non-fictional, secret societies of scientists and pseudo-scientists, grave robbers,pretensions to Dr Drankenstein and conspiracies. More than enough sub-plots you'd think, but no, 2 of the protagonists have to share dreams as well. Ptui.
Tuuli Platner
Although it plods along for most of the first half of the book, the historical context is interesting enough to hold your attention until the second half, where it all kicks off in spectacular fashion. A fun-enough holiday read.
Colleen
It was somehwat disjointed and there was some needless name dropping. As a Darwin fan- I'd have to say-not enough Darwin and a bit too much of everythiung else-but a good first attempt at fiction
Paula
There were no blurbs on the jacket cover from anyone, but Pollard's book was a good first effort. Historical mystery/crime fiction with real life historical figures sprinkled about is a fun read.
Karen
Jan 29, 2010 Karen rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
I've given this two stars and that's because I'm feeling generous.The only reason I finished this book is because once I've started reading something I must finish it.
Crystal
It was an awfully descriptive read but the fact that I couldn't read the story continuously contributed my disjointed understanding of the novel.
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Dr Tony Pollard is an internationally renowned archaeologist and Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at Glasgow University. He has carried out pioneering investigations of battlefields in South and North Africa, South America and Europe and as a Forensic Archaeologist has worked with police forces throughout Britain.

He has written numerous papers and articles on archaeology and hist
...more
More about Tony Pollard...
Two Men in a Trench: Battlefield Archaeology - The Key to Unlocking the Past (Two Men in a Trench, #1) Culloden: The History and Archaeology of the Last Clan Battle Property and Politics: Essays in Later Medieval English History Two Men in a Trench II: Uncovering The Secrets Of British Battlefields (Two Men in a Trench, #2) The Early Prehistory of Scotland

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