A Case of Curiosities

by Allen Kurzweil | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0156012898 Global Overview for this book
Registered by HoserLauren of Burlington, Ontario Canada on 9/19/2009
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Saturday, September 19, 2009
I picked this up from the Mississauga Symphony Sale. It looks like this book is even signed by the author!

From Chapters:
In France, on the eve of the Revolution, a young man named Claude Page sets out to become the most ingenious and daring inventor of his time. In the course of a career filled with violence and passion, Claude learns the arts of enameling and watchmaking from an irascible, defrocked abb, apprentices himself to a pornographic bookseller, and applies his erotic erudition to the seduction of the wife of an impotent wigmaker. But it is Claude''s greatest device-a talking mechanical head-that both crowns his career and leads to an execution as tragic as that of Marie Antoinette, and far more bizarre. Hailed by critics for the shimmering brilliance of its inventions and its uncanny fidelity to the textures of the past, A Case of Curiosities places Allen Kurzweil securely in the ranks of the finest literary artists of our time.

Journal Entry 2 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Claude Page as a young child in pre-Revolution France thinks the mole on his finger is pretty neat. His mother works with a defrocked abbe to find a surgeon to remove the mole but ends up removing his entire middle finger to add to his collection of oddities. Soon after, Claude apprentices with the abbe and learns enameling and watchmaking, the latter of which really interests Claude as his father used to be a watchmaker. Claude uses some of his own time to come up with new inventions. However when Claude sees the abbe do something horrible for which he can never be forgiven, Claude runs away to Paris to try and make a name for himself there.

This book started off a bit slow but eventually came to a good rhythm. Though it's a historical fiction, I found that the time period didn't play too big of a role in the book. It was more about the characters, how they related to each other, and their inventions. It would have been nicer to have a bit more detail on the watchmaking process and Claude's other inventions but this book was more about drama than technical aspects.

Journal Entry 3 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, May 06, 2012
This book is with me :)

Journal Entry 4 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Monday, August 13, 2012
Claude Page is growing up in the French Pyrenees in Pre-revolutionary France. His father was a watchmaker but has died while in Turkey. His mother is a herbalist. Claude is apprenticed to a local disenfranchised cleric.

He first learns to enamel, making some bawdy pieces the abbe can sell to cover his debts. Then Claude learns about watchmaking. Claude is a whiz at anything mechanical.

Eventually Claude leaves the abbe to travel to Paris. He loves mechanical things and wishes to make a talking head.

I found this book intriguing regarding the inventions and the period but thought it lacked any great plot. It was a very slow start and maybe this is what kept me from fully liking the book.

Journal Entry 5 by HoserLauren at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Saturday, August 25, 2012
Mailed to bookstogive from a swap.

Journal Entry 6 by wingbookstogivewing at Springville, Tennessee USA on Tuesday, August 28, 2012
I received this great book as my selection from the YBS Swap, thanks so much for offering it! It looks great and I am looking forward to reading it soon and then passing it on.

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