Gutenberg's Apprentice

Gutenberg's Apprentice

A Novel

Audiobook CD - 2014
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Youthful, ambitious Peter Schoeffer is on the verge of professional success as a scribe in Paris when his foster father, wealthy merchant and bookseller Johann Fust, summons him home to corrupt, feud-plagued Mainz to meet "a most amazing man." Johann Gutenberg, a driven and caustic inventor, has devised a revolutionary--and to some, blasphemous--method of bookmaking: a machine he calls a printing press. Fust is financing Gutenberg's workshop and he orders Peter, his adopted son, to become Gutenberg's apprentice. Resentful at having to abandon a prestigious career as a scribe, Peter begins his education in the "darkest art." As his skill grows, so, too, does his admiration for Gutenberg and his dedication to their daring venture: copies of the Holy Bible. But mechanical difficulties and the crushing power of the Catholic Church threaten their work. As outside forces align against them, Peter finds himself torn between two father figures: the generous Fust, who saved him from poverty after his mother died; and the brilliant, mercurial Gutenberg, who inspires Peter to achieve his own mastery. Caught between the genius and the merchant, the old ways and the new, Peter and the men he admires must work together to prevail against overwhelming obstacles--a battle that will change history ... and irrevocably transform them.
Publisher: [Ashland, Oregon] : Blackstone Audio, Inc. : Harper Audio, [2014]
Edition: Unabridged
Copyright Date: ℗2014
ISBN: 9781483028446
Branch Call Number: Fiction Christie CD
Characteristics: audio file,CD audio
12 audio discs (14 hr.) : digital, CD audio ; 4 3/4 in


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Apr 30, 2015

Well done. Excellent example of historical fiction set at the dawn of the information age: Circa 1450, Mainz, Germany. The story of investor Fust, inventor Gutenberg, and printer's apprentice Peter_Schoffer, and how they came together, invented the required technology, and produced their 180 volume run of the first book ever printed with moveable type, the Gutenberg Bible. Books up to then were laboriously hand-copied by scribes. This new printing method is considered by many to be the most important invention of the modern era, and the start of the information age. Within 50 years there were 200 print shops spread across Europe. The author does a credible job of re-creating the events as they unfold. Or probably did. The author engages in some degree of speculation. There's not a lot of detail actually known, since it was considered an immensely valuable trade secret at the time. The audio reader does an excellent job. There might be a little too much soap-opera drama interjected for some readers, but that's what you get with the historical fiction genre. All in all, well recommended.


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