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Secrets of the Camera Obscura

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Invented by two Chinese eccentrics, stolen by Leonardo da Vinci, and exploited by the Dutch painter Vermeer, the camera obscura has a mysterious and eventful past that now appears to be linked to several murders. In a contemporary American city, a beautiful young woman who frequented the camera obscura is found decapitated just beyond the range of its lens. Another visitor ...more
Hardcover, 138 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by Chronicle Books (CA)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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Jim
Jul 21, 2016 rated it liked it
A strange, yet compelling and interesting, novella. I don't want to spoil anything, but it is fascinating, and although the ending leaves a measure of doubt, for me there is no doubt. Some people will not like the somewhat rambling style, as it is told through the eyes of the protagonist, but others will really enjoy. The fact that the author was a Benedictine monk is also fascinating. No doubt some have spent much time analyzing his words.
Gretchen
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a short novella about the owner and operator of a camera obscura. He is the narrator of the novel, and the story alternates between the present and times from the past that are relevant to the history of the camera obscura. The narrator reveals that a beautiful Italian woman has been decapitated recently near the camera obscura, and that makes him realize that there have been other decapitations connected to the camera obscura throughout its history. He retells these events while also ...more
RB Love
Apr 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a strong book. And I think David Knowles graduated from the same writing program as I did at UC Santa Cruz. And even though it follows the same, first time novelist narrative of becoming unreliable as the surprise ending, (the same direction of labor I spent on my first narrative). The idiosyncratic research, the completely unique setting and the obsessive personality that the thing revolves around are all extremely worthwhile. Besides, I will never be able to forget that coffee grounds ...more
Guilherme Miotto
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bom para caralho. Curto, narrativa simples, mas bem interessante. Algumas curiosidades históricas também constam no enredo. Uma rápida pesquisa pela Wikipedia me confirmou várias delas.
Li a edição em Alemão. Achei tranquilo, mesmo ainda não dominando completamente o idioma. Recomendo para quem quer ler algo para treinar uma língua estrangeira.
Bookkitten (collector of nice things)
One of the most twisted books Ive read. Four different perspectives mixed up in one story of hidden crimes. ...more
liza
Jul 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
the plot is interesting but not unique. however, the author's ability to write the narrator's foggy perspective is amazing. this is a short read and well worth it.
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