V.R. Barkowski's Reviews > The Technologists

The Technologists by Matthew Pearl
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's review
Apr 06, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: crime-mystery, historical-fiction

To make a long story short—and the The Technologists is a very long story—the book didn't do it for me. I had to force myself to finish. Had it been written by someone other than Matthew Pearl (The Dante Club), I wouldn't have bothered, but it was and I did. I can't even say for certain why the book didn't appeal other than it was overly long and I was bored. The plot, while stretching believability, was intriguing: MIT's first graduating class saves Boston from destruction. Problem was, I felt absolutely no connection with any of the characters—and this book has a lot of characters. Despite substantial backstory, one character was pretty much like the next. Yeah there was Hammie, the rich kid; Marcus, the heroic charity scholar; Ellen, the token woman, etc. etc. etc., but cardboard stereotypes can't replace characters who live and breathe on the page.

To sum: intriguing plot, great historical context (the book's highlight), but much too long and lacking in character development. If I could give this one 2.5 stars, I would.

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