Step Back Into A World Becoming Modern
By David G. Lalka "MontanaBooks"
- April 19, 2000
David Liss takes his readers to the 18th century. Not only does he capture, from extensive and detailed research, the ethos, color, and texture of the time, but his novel, written in the first person voice of Benjamin Weaver, is a near mirror of the writing style and tenor of 18th century British literature.In this first novel, Mr. Liss educates about the beginnings of the modern financial world--did you ever wonder how and why poeple started attaching value to paper? But, he does so with the intrigue of murder, clandestine meetings, brawls, and the dark alley mysteries of London life. He paints great pictures of the sights and sounds of 18th century London, and yes you can almost smell the stench of the open sewers which were the streets.His characters come alive. They are well drawn and vigorous. Benjamin Weaver, his narrative protagonist, is not only likeable, but he is extremely interesting, worldly, and persceptive of human nature and human condidion. (We... read more
"Blessed is the season which engages the ...world in a consipacy of love." H.W. Mabie
By michael a. draper
- March 8, 2011
This is a novel that captured my interest and charmed me with the history of London in 1719. The setting was so well developed that I felt I could see the ravages of disease in the prisoners at Newgate Prison and hear the crowd as they taunted a prisoner for being a Jacobite.
Underneath the story itself, there are also political lessons for today when we watch the news and see the political unrest in Egypt and Lybia. This is a time when England is in fear of the French and their support of the deposed King James.
Benjamin Weaver is a Jewish detective who is contacted by a snobbish gentleman named Balfour. Balfour states that he questions his father's suicide and that the person responsible for his father's death is also the person who murdered Weaver's father. This astounds Weaver who was not close to his father and presumed that his father's death was accidental.
Underneath the possible murders is the fact that Weaver's father was a stock trader and... read more
Intriguing and compelling
By Candace Siegle, Greedy Reader
- January 29, 2000
Benjamin Weaver is an 18th century London Jew making his way in a complex Christian society, and an equally arcane criminal underworld. After turning his back on family and religion, he has made his living as a boxer, a highwayman, and a thief, until he found the less dangerous occupation of thief-taker. Now drawn back into the world of London's Sephardic Jews by a client who raises questions about Weaver's own father's death, Benjamin is surprised to find himself comforted by the traditions and family he thought he had rejected.This is one of those books that plop you right in the middle of a fascinating world completely unknown to you. Author David Liss creates the richly textured world of 18th century London Jewry, their traditions, their aspirations, played out against the famous stock speculation by the South Sea Company. Early stock brokers funded much of the 18th century's wars and economic growth from their tables in coffeehouses across London. Of course, there... read more