Keeley's Reviews > The Geographer's Library

The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman
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's review
Jun 29, 2011

it was ok
Recommended for: really bored Dan Brown fans maybe?
Read from May 24 to June 15, 2011 , read count: 1

As mystery novels with medieval back-stories go, this one is pretty inept. I picked it up because, well, I like mystery novels with medieval back-stories (Eco nut, not going to waste my time on Dan Brown), and the author is a blogger for The Economist. As is appropriate for an Economist writer, Fasman's English is articulate and pretty interesting, but the plausibility of his characters is highly variable. He spends a lot of time in the plot showing off his (journalist's) knowledge of obscure Soviet-era scenarios in Estonia, Ethiopia, etc., while leaving the medieval back-story ill-defined and completely unbelievable. He also sets much of the modern-day action in a thinly disguised Providence, Rhode Island and even more thinly disguised Brown University. Why bother to rename it if you are going to call it Wickenden and put the university on a hill? Come on.
In sum: Rule of Four, by my fellow high school alumni who studied with Anthony Grafton, is FAR better.
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