Adam's Reviews > Pasquale's Angel

Pasquale's Angel by Paul McAuley
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's review
Jul 25, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: literature-disguised-as-science-fic, steampunkery

If you have a bookshelf containing Sterling/Gibson’s The Difference engine, Eco’s Name of the Rose, Poe’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue”, Hammett’s Maltese Falcon, Chandler’s The Big Sleep and Powers’s Anubis Gates then throw this on that shelf as this book references and encapsulates all of them (after you’ve finished it of course) or you have been fascinated by Da Vinci’s technology then find this book. My first McAuley and I’m kicking myself for taking this long to get around to him. This works as great science fiction, alternative history/steampunk, detective/noir, and philosophical piece overflowing with ideas about art, history, reality and technology. The plot moves relentlessly and is labyrinthine as its shadowy conspiracy is slowly revealed, the characters are fully realized(Pasquale, Machiavelli as drunk reporter/Sherlock Holmes character, the Great Inventor himself , Ferdinand the ape and many more), the politics complex, the world building is terrific(information revealed through art installations and dialogue) and lots of wild steampunk technology. Could not put this book down.

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