By Alix Christie
'Brilliantly-observed... Her characters are engaging, the world as beautifully crafted as one of Gutenberg's hot-metal letters, and the themes more relevant now than ever' Naomi Alderman, author of The Power
'Brilliantly-observed detail. Her characters are engaging, the world as beautifully crafted as one of Gutenberg's hot-metal letters, and the themes more relevant now than ever' Naomi Alderman, author of The Power
A gripping historical novel that brings tumultuous medieval Europe to life. Not to be missed by readers of Hilary Mantel, Peter Ackroyd and C. J. Sansom.
Johann Gutenberg's first printed Bibles amazed and shocked medieval Europe. He had started a revolution that would one day put books in the hands of any man or woman who wanted them. The project was fraught with danger, for it threatened the power of politicians and the Catholic church.
Who was this Gutenberg? In Alix Christie's evocative and compelling novel, he comes vividly to life - driven, caustic and ruthless. Behind him stands a brilliant young scribe, Peter Schoeffer, whose genius is to stay true to his artistic values in the cauldron of the printer's workshop. Caught between the old ways and the new, the two men struggle with one another and the world outside to prevail against overwhelming obstacles... and change history.
'A lovely piece of work: finely researched and beautifully, atmospherically, written' Sarah Dunant
A semifinalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.
Alix Christie is a journalist and writer who has lived in the USA, Paris and Berlin and is now settled in London with her husband and two children. She has been a reporter and foreign correspondent for many years, and has published widely in major international media, from the Washington Post and the Guardian to the San Francisco Chronicle and Salon.com; she regularly reviews books and arts for The Economist. In the late 1990s she began writing fiction, publishing short stories in the Southwest Review and Other Voices. Gutenberg's Apprentice is her first novel.
Alix spent five years researching the background to Gutenberg's Apprentice. A passionate printer herself, she brought her personal experience to her vivid descriptions of the travails of the early printers in the novel.
- Other details
- Publication date:
23 Sep 2014
- Page count:
A sophisticated and moving story of the creation of the Gutenberg Bible... Christie provides a powerful portrait of the intense, irascible and egotistical Gutenberg, but her novel's real strength lies in its depiction of [his apprentice, Peter] Schoeffer, drawn unwillingly into the struggle to build a new technology, yet eventually becoming its most committed advocate — Sunday Times
A lovely piece of work: finely researched and beautifully, atmospherically, written. I learned a huge amount from it, though never at any point did I feel I was being 'taught' - in my view the test of really good historical novel — Sarah Dunant
A deep, immersive recreation of a pivotal moment in history and a bold exploration of an eternal theme: the madness, rivalry, torment and ecstasy of creation — A. D. Miller
If ever there were a historical novel with up-to-the-minute resonance, this is it... Brilliantly-observed detail. Her characters are engaging, the world as beautifully crafted as one of Gutenberg's hot-metal letters, and the themes more relevant now than ever... Richly-imagined — Naomi Alderman
'So rich and gorgeous it is making me dizzy' — Lucy Mangan
'As beautifully written as the printed pages it describes, this is an intelligent, masterful novel that immerses the reader in a fascinating historical time and place' — Rosamund Lupton
A lovely piece of work: finely researched and beautifully, atmospherically, written — Sarah Dunant
'Deserves to be a bestseller - a great story, meticulously researched...fascinating' — Mark Easton
'Deftly chronicled ... Christie masterfully depicts the time and energy required to print the first Bibles... A bravura debut' — Kirkus
'Gorgeously written... An inspiring tale of ambition, camaraderie, betrayal, and cultural transformation based on actual events and people, this wonderful novel fully inhabits its age' — Booklist
'I loved this novel! Alix Christie's debut is intensely observed, so much that I felt in the dark rooms of history with the people laboring over the metal and words to bring us print, but also laboring over their own lives and love and survival' — Susan Straight