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The Bookman (The Bookman Histories #1)

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  1,024 ratings  ·  188 reviews
A masked terrorist has brought London to its knees - there are bombs inside books, and nobody knows which ones. On the day of the launch of the first expedition to Mars, by giant cannon, he outdoes himself with an audacious attack. For young poet Orphan, trapped in the screaming audience, it seems his destiny is entwined with that of the shadowy terrorist, but how? Like a ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 151)
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Dan 1.0
Just minutes before a space cannon launches a probe to Mars, a terrorist called The Bookman kills poet Orphan's love in an explosion. Orphan's quest for the truth about her death takes him below the streets of London, aboard the Nautilus with Jules Verne and Captain Nemo, and to the mysterious island home of Les Lezards, the lizard men who rule the world...

Okay, now this is what all steampunk books should aspire to be! What Lavie Tidhar has done in The Bookman is simply marvelous. Most of the st
♍ichael Ƒierce
Apr 02, 2015 ♍ichael Ƒierce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of steampunk, Jules Verne, Sherlock Holmes, Blade Runner, and nearly everyone else

When I first caught sight of this book cover, I was immediately taken in.


I wanted to read the synopsis but felt that if I did, there was a good chance it would spoil some of the surprises for me best left for later down the road.

So, I didn't.

It was enough for me that it was steampunk, obviously influenced by Jules Verne, had airships in it, and I'd accidentally caught wind that there were lizard men in it. *Drool*.

I did my research and from the reviews + info I found, Lavie Tidhar, sounded lik
Set in an alternative version of 19th century earth, with a point of divergence to our timeline sometime in the early 16th century, The Bookman is without a doubt the most enjoyable, fascinating and captivating book I have read in a long time. It has managed to claim the throne as my favorite steampunk novel from Moorcock’s A Nomad of the Time Streams.

The Bookman is steampunk on multiple levels. Not only because of the plot and the world with its automatons, simulacra and the giant space cannon,
Jul 14, 2011 Tony rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: steampnk fans
This is yet another great release from Angry Robot Books. It was purchased for the price of 99p from Amazon UK. That is less that a cup of coffee, less even than a vote for Britain’s got “talent”. This book is so cheap I almost feel guilty.

Lavie Tidhar is an interesting person to follow on Twitter, or to read short stories by. I don’t always agree with what he says, but he is nearly always thought provoking.

This book is different from all the other Angry Robot books I have read so far. Normally
Barry Huddleston
Need a taste of some steampunk goodness? Try "The Bookman" by Lavie Tidhar.

Imagine a Victorian England with blimps dotting the sky, Automatons roaming the streets, and brushing elbows with legends from historical fact and fiction. That, and reptilian royalty, is the background for "The Bookman." The story is very much what you will find in classical heroic fiction.

Our Arthurian-like protagonist, by the name of Orphan, is propelled into the mystery while seeking revenge for the murder of his gir
Just finished this novel and it's superb; a cross of steampunk/lizard invasion a la Turtledove/Victoriana with a London cca 1890-1900 where Professor Moriarty (that one) is Prime Minister at the court of the Calibanic Kings - Queen Victoria is now from the lizard race - who were discovered/revived by Amerigo Vespucci on his return voyage from "Vespucciana" (ie America) which "today" is still a land of the indigenous people with some colonists, and whom took power in England aka The Everlasting E ...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
London circa 1880-1900 where Professor Moriarty is Prime Minister at the court of the Calibanic Kings/Queens - it's still Queen Victoria but she is now from the "lizard race" - who were discovered/revived by Amerigo Vespucci on his return voyage from "Vespucciana" (ie America) which "today" is still a land of the indigenous people with some colonists.

Coming to London in the 1500's, the more advanced "Les Lezards" took power in England aka The Everlasting Empire with William Shakespeare as their
I found this an exciting book to read.

It is set in a strange kind of alternate history / alien / Steampunk world where characters from literature are simply a normal part of scenery. Moriarty is prime minister and The Ancient Mariner has caused a bit of a problem by bringing the ruling race of Royal Lizards back with him from Caliban's Island.

But what or who is the Bookman? All we know is that he is inexplicably blowing people's heads off with books.

An absolutely delightful mix of genres with
Confusing experience rating this one. I was about to give it a 5-star after the first 50-so pages but then, after reading more into it, I'm left without rating options. Seriously, this book made me reconsider all books read so far, because since I cannot rate it say a 7-star all rest have to be downgraded. Sorry for (most) of the rest of the authors, but Mr. Tidhar simply blew my mind. Well done!
Self referencing SF at it's very best - you could start a game to see how many noted SF authors and texts crop up throughout the novel. And the identity of the Royal Family is so gonzo that on first read, it stretches brain tissue. Best book of 2010.
Drew Alfgren
Wonderfully literary commingling of steampunk, fantasy and who-knows-what. Anytime you have the Holmes brothers, Gilgamesh, lizard invaders, a Byron robot and blimps in the same book it's something special.
Most fun I've had since the Eyre Affair.
This one was a good choice to start my book year with. While reading it I had the most unusual feel for the essence of steampunk, the punk in this is very alive.

The beginning is a bit of a mess wait till you get to the 2nd part, things start happening. A true adventure book begins, and then you find stuff out and you aren't kept hanging in ignorance forever with a cliffhanger ending. The story is quite sweet from a romantic point of view. And if you are a book lover with everything related like
Dea Parkin
I've not read much steampunk but if this is typical, I'll read much more. It was enchanting. Every page was a new delight. A fabulous story, though the fact I can't remember the very ending a couple of months after I read it might suggest that wasn't as satisfying as the rest. I loved reading it,it was pure pleasure. Books, history, pirates, more history, desert island, lizard queens, singing whales in the Thames, a quest to bring a loved one back from the dead...and more history. And literature ...more
Laura Morrigan
You can also read this review on my blog:

In this novel, historical whimsy, science fiction and a love of literature walk hand in hand down the dreamlike corridors of the authors mind. There is no doubt that the world Lavie Tidhar has created is a masterpiece. In an alternate England filled with the luminaries of science, literature, politics, and ruled by lizards from space, a boy called Orphan must find his place in the world, facing the mysterious Bookm
Ashley Choo
I'm surprised and a bit disappointed that I've never heard of this book or its author. I picked it up because I'm drawn to books that have the word "book" in its title. I really didn't expect the utter delight I felt when I recognised all of the Sherlock Holmes' references and characters. I do wish there could've been more about Sherlock, and possibly Watson, but I do love this world, where there are bookshops everywhere, and mysterious sightings of black blimps, and lizard pirates! I really enj ...more
Ana Long
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Victorian steampunk romp. the Royal family has been replaced by Lizards from outer space. Many Literary figures are given new roles amidst the reconfigured world.

Fun addictive romp.
D.J. Butler
Freewheeling fun, with a plot and feeling reminiscent of some of the original steampunk fiction, K.W. Jeter's Morlock Night and Infernal Devices. Lizards from space rule the earth, and someone called the Bookman battles them from the shadows. The main character, Orphan, gets pretty passive ("I did nothing!" Orphan said. You can't blame me, he thought. "You were," said the Turk. "You are. Sometimes, that is enough."), but explosions, spectacle, action, and lots and lots of tongue and cheek whippi ...more
Steampunk, references to every character and real-life person of the turn of the centure ever, and Queen Victoria comes from a long line of lizard queens. What's NOT to like??
Thoroughly soaked in knowledge of British literature, this novel deserves to transcend the genre ghetto into which it has been put. Delightful rather than didactic in delivering a subtle set of speculative ideas, it deserves a longer treatment and more attention than this short space can give. Don't be fooled by marketing attempts to place The Bookman into SF and steampunk novelty categories. It deserves far better.
This is the third book I read in 2010. And again I hit the bull's eye!
What a shining steampunk bijou, brims over with allusions and cameos, vibrant, gorgeous depicted, clever constructed, compelling .
That is steampunk in 3D!
Highly recommended from the bottom of my heart.

Read my full Review: The Bookman
Jessica Paquette
This was my intro to the steampunk genre and have been hooked ever since! It has murderous bombers, fun historical figures and an evil queen reptilian overlord that rules England. What more could you ask for on a novel! Highly recommended!!!
Pete Aldin
A very very satisfying read. A ripping yarn. A beautiful blend of alternate history, literary/historical parody, adventure and science fiction. Couldn't have enjoyed it more.
Artur Coelho
até agora, uma leitura imparável. Steampunk, referências bibliográficas obscuras e lagartos alienígenas que dominam o império britânico. Way cool!
Great Steampunk, Liked the use of out of copyright characters like Moriarty, Mycroft, Verne and others to instantly build a background.
Steven Raszewski
What an EXCELLENT book!!!! Loved it! Read all three in one volume. Actually had a so called "book hangover" from this one.
LeAnna Shields
Great read! Exciting to the last.
A great read for those who are just
starting to get into the steam punk
Thus far, my favorite book in the Steampunk genre. Looking forward to reading Tidhar's Camera Obscura next.
This is probably my first steampunk novel and I'm hooked. I've started on the second book in this series.
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Lavie Tidhar was raised on a kibbutz in Israel. He has travelled extensively since he was a teenager, living in South Africa, the UK, Laos, and the small island nation of Vanuatu.

Tidhar began publishing with a poetry collection in Hebrew in 1998, but soon moved to fiction, becoming a prolific author of short stories early in the 21st century.

Temporal Spiders, Spatial Webs won the 2003 Clarke-Bradb
More about Lavie Tidhar...

Other Books in the Series

The Bookman Histories (3 books)
  • Camera Obscura (The Bookman Histories, #2)
  • The Great Game (The Bookman Histories, #3)
Osama The Violent Century Camera Obscura (The Bookman Histories, #2) The Great Game (The Bookman Histories, #3) A Man Lies Dreaming

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