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New PDF release: A Case of Curiosities

By Allen Kurzweil

ISBN-10: 0151157936

ISBN-13: 9780151157938

In France, at the eve of the Revolution, a tender guy named Claude web page units out to turn into the main creative and bold inventor of his time. during a profession jam-packed with violence and keenness, Claude learns the humanities of enameling and watchmaking from an irascible, defrocked abbé, apprentices himself to a pornographic bookseller, and applies his erotic erudition to the seduction of the spouse of an impotent wigmaker. however it is Claude's maximum device-a speaking mechanical head-that either crowns his profession and results in an execution as tragic as that of Marie Antoinette, and much extra bizarre.

Hailed by way of critics for the shimmering brilliance of its innovations and its uncanny constancy to the textures of the prior, A Case of Curiosities locations Allen Kurzweil securely within the ranks of the best literary artists of our time.

The innovative tale spun right here via first novelist Kurzweil is in itself a curious melange: a portrait of a tender mechanical genius, a gallimaufry of strange and fascinating evidence, and a wealthy, lusty photograph of overdue 18th-century French society. A kindly, heretical abbe acknowledges state lad Claude Page's ability for drawing. below his mentor's tutelege, Claude discovers capacities for clinical inquiry, watchmaking and portray erotic scenes in miniature. yet his genius is denied expression while he unexpectedly runs away to Paris and apprentices to a loathsome bookseller and broker in pornography. The occasions that result in the blossoming of Claude's abilities are similar by way of Kurzweil in leisurely prose lively by way of irony, humor and aphoristic asides. Nuggets of arcane wisdom are well interpolated into the tale, and there are whimsical proof, too; we research, for instance, that kurzweil potential "pastime" in German. the writer is such a lot profitable, notwithstanding, in making a gallery of memorable, Dickensian characters. The bawdy population of Paris's fetid slums are depicted with affection, not like the hypocritical, pretentious individuals of the higher classification, who're unaware that the Revolution lurks round the nook. although Claude's so much remarkable invention, the "Talking Turk," falls sufferer to that cataclysm, he leaves to posterity a "case of curiosities": a building referred to as a momentum hominum , "the chronicle of a existence. " during this diverting novel, his inventor does an analogous. BOMC and QPB decisions; significant ad/promo.
Copyright 1991 Reed enterprise details, Inc.
From Library Journal
The narrator buys a field of randomly assembled items at a Paris public sale. it's a lifestyles field, the souvenir hominem of Claude web page, an awfully proficient 18th-century French clockmaker with a keenness for the mechanical and a very good zest for all times. As a tender guy, he's taken in by means of a God-hating abbe who employs him to color naughty scenes, with relocating components, at the faces of watches and clocks. "The tree of information is there for us to climb," counsels his mentor. "Climb it. forget about the fences. Swing from department to department . . . . You, Claude, are a discoverer." In Paris, later, Claude struggles to build a wonderful speaking automaton, with which he hopes to earn his fortune. yet fortune has a unique plan for Claude. The eccentrics and bohemians who contact Claude's existence are all and sundry grotesques of compelling curiosity and comedian strength. Kurzweil tells a true tale; it truly is humorous, human, and fascinating unexpectedly. hugely steered for common collections. BOMC and caliber Paperback choices; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/91.
- David Keymer, SUNY Inst. of know-how, Utica

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En France le monde officiel se félicita de ce changement et pensa que l’asile accordé par notre pays à l’ayatollah Komeyni nous vaudrait la reconnaissance durable de celui-ci, ainsi qu’un accès assuré au pétrole iranien, alors que s’amorçait le deuxième choc pétrolier. Les remerciements de Téhéran durèrent quelques semaines, après quoi la France fut classée parmi les « petits Satans ». Certains « experts » occidentaux pensaient que cette révolution khomeyniste ne concernerait que la communauté chiite, très minoritaire dans l’islam.

Parmi les autres mesures importantes prises durant cette législature, il y eut l’abolition de la peine de mort, remplacée, déclara-t-on, par la réclusion à perpétuité. Une formule destinée à rassurer le bon peuple, qui pouvait ainsi penser qu’il serait pour toujours débarrassé de ces monstres qui torturent, tuent et récidivent. C’était en fait un trompe-l’œil et un abus de langage, puisque la réalité était dans la « période de sûreté », de vingt à trente ans, dont est la plupart du temps assortie cette perpétuité, alors que celle-ci n’est prononcée que très exceptionnellement.

Tandis que l’Europe poursuivait sa route et avait accueilli de nouveaux membres : l’Angleterre, l’Irlande, le Danemark, puis la Grèce, son évolution était émaillée de difficultés nouvelles, dues notamment à un ralentissement de la croissance et à une montée de l’inflation. À cela s’ajoutaient des difficultés monétaires, avec un franc faiblissant, devant un deutsche mark de plus en plus fort, difficultés dues également – du moins en partie – à la décision prise par les États-Unis de rendre le dollar « flottant » en abandonnant le lien fixe entre leur monnaie et l’or, mettant ainsi fin aux accords de Bretton Woods.

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A Case of Curiosities by Allen Kurzweil


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