The Chess Machine: A Novel
Vienna 1770: Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen unveils a strange and amazing invention, the Mechanical Turk, a sensational and unbeatable chess-playing automaton. But what the Habsburg court hails as the greatest innovation of the cen...more
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Except that instead of d ...more
Don’t expect a traditional novel arc with The Chess Machine, as the book simply does not begin with the “usual” character introductions. This will reject some readers due to the novel’s somewhat fl ...more
As regular readers know, one of the topics that often comes up here at the CCLaP website is of the slippery line between what we commonly refer to as "mainstream" literature versus "genre;" of not only where that line should be drawn, but of how we look at books differently based on what side it falls, not to mention the different smaller lines that can be drawn once you're on one si ...more
I think that this novel falls into the trap that many books in the "historical fiction" fall into regardless of the subject. The fictional characters, or the events/dialogue created around the historical characters, are just not nearly as interesting as the actual events.
This was Löhr's debut novel and it shows. He didn't get the pacing right, nor was he able to give his characters any depth. The story revolves around a mechanical chess machine. The first machine able to think and play chess - or that's ...more
La novela engancha, empieza por el final (el meollo del asunto te lo dicen no en la primera página sino en el primer párrafo) pero ello no impide que disfrutes el trayecto.
El mayo ...more
I very much enjoyed the historical setting of the book, which travelled from Venice to Slovakia via Prussia and Austria. The plot is quite pacey and while it does culminate in a bit of a far-fetched blood-spilling climax, I could imagine this book making a good historical action movie, with all its soldiers and generals, roy ...more
The Chess Machine tracks the adventures of a human being, whose curious mix of talents is exploited by another brilliant man to create a marvel to amaze the world. Keeping up the appearances proves challenging and plans ...more
My only problem with the book was that it seemed a little uneven. Some of the shifts in narrative did not flow well and were a little confusing. I have no evidence for this theory, but it seems to me that something was lost in the translation from German to English.
If you ...more
A flaw in the plan: he knows building such a machine is impossible, at least for now. So instead, he hires a dwarf, who also happens to be a chess expert, to sit in the machine and act as the automaton's mind.
Even more unbelievable that the plot is the fact that all this actually happened. Berlin-b ...more
That was basically my thought process when I picked this up off the shelves.
It's great. And it's based off an actual thing that actually happened! THOSE CRAZY HABSBURGS.
La maquina de ajedrez es una novela que narra la historia de Wolfgang Von Kempelen, un aristócrata e inventor alemán del siglo XVIII cuyo autómata que juega ajedrez fue más bien una máquina operada por un enano. Es una historia basada en hechos reales, pero con algunos personajes ficticios. Este autor se ha ganado la comparación con Patrick Süskind (autor del perfume) por la maravillosa forma de recrear una historia, y al igual que el autor antes mencionado, su obra también vale ...more
Ahora solo me queda googlear la historia verdadera, tengo entendido de que en esta novela el autor solo lleno los espcaios vacios en la historia original, igualmente voy a hacer mi trabajo de investigación!