The Grand Complication

The Grand Complication A delicious compendium of quirky colleagues erotic pop ups deviant passions and miraculous examples of theft the book is a grand and complicated timepiece told with a devilish sense of fun Narrat

  • Title: The Grand Complication
  • Author: Allen Kurzweil
  • ISBN: 9780786885183
  • Page: 344
  • Format: Paperback
  • A delicious compendium of quirky colleagues, erotic pop ups, deviant passions, and miraculous examples of theft, the book is a grand and complicated timepiece, told with a devilish sense of fun.Narrated by Alexander Short, a stylish young reference librarian of arcane interests, The Grand Complication propels the reader through a card catalog of desperation and delight,A delicious compendium of quirky colleagues, erotic pop ups, deviant passions, and miraculous examples of theft, the book is a grand and complicated timepiece, told with a devilish sense of fun.Narrated by Alexander Short, a stylish young reference librarian of arcane interests, The Grand Complication propels the reader through a card catalog of desperation and delight, of intrigue and theft It s a novel of suspense that comes full circle, with a clock maker s precision and a storyteller s surprise, on page 360 The account begins with Alexander s job in jeopardy and his marriage destined for the Discard shelf Enter the improbably named Henry James Jesson III, a bibliophile who hires the librarian for some after hours research The task to render whole an incomplete cabinet of wonders chronicling the life of a mysterious eighteenth century inventor As the investigation heats up, Alexander realizes there are many secrets lurking in Jesson s cloistered world than those found inside his elegant Manhattan town house With a notebook tethered to his jacket, Alexander plunges headlong into the search, only to discover that the void in the cabinet is rivaled by an emptiness in his heart A delicious compendium of quirky colleagues, erotic pop ups, deviant passions, and miraculous examples of theft, the book is a grand and complicated timepiece, told with a devilish sense of fun.

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      Published :2019-07-18T06:16:57+00:00

    About "Allen Kurzweil"

    1. Allen Kurzweil

      The son of Viennese migr s, novelist Allen Kurzweil was raised in Europe and the United States Educated at Yale and the University of Rome, he worked for ten years as a freelance journalist in France, Italy, and Australia before settling in the United States and turning his attention to fiction.Devotion to the complicated passions of his characters has led Allen to take courses in pop up book design, study the repair of player pianos and work behind the reference desk of a public library He regularly constructs the contraptions invented by his characters To date these devices have included roll players, potato cannons, and color wheels designed to distinguish different brands of potato chips.Despite a lacklustre performance in grade school, Allen, since 2002, has been writing children s books He has published two novels in the bestselling Leon series Leon and the Spitting Image 2003 followed by Leon and the Champion Chip 2005.Allen has received fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the New York Public Library Center for Scholars Writers He currently sits on the board of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and is a fellow at the John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization at Brown University He lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his wife and son.

    685 thoughts on “The Grand Complication”

    1. Onvan : The Grand Complication - Nevisande : Allen Kurzweil - ISBN : 786885181 - ISBN13 : 9780786885183 - Dar 368 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2001


    2. The Grand Complication follows a New York public librarian, Alexander, on his adventure to solve a case of a missing watch for a patron, the mysterious Mr. Jesson. It's no ordinary watch though, but the real life legendary Marie Antoinette watch that really was stolen out a museum in Jerusalem in 1983. This all sounded delightful to me and I was happy my husband bought it for me for Christmas, but it turns out that the premise is the best thing about this book. It honestly took the author about [...]


    3. I'm a sucker of fiction in which a main character is a librarian -- that's how I ended up with this book. The story sounded promising: a librarian who does research independently as a side job takes on the task of figuring out the meaning behind a collection of items that belonged to an 18th Century inventor for a wealthy (how convenient), eccentric client who is a bit of a mystery himself. There's also a kind of anti-love story goin on, and while parts of it are interesting, basically what's ha [...]


    4. to be honest, i don't remember much from this book except that it's about librarians and has this really great scene where library workers are playing this annual game, maybe it's a holiday game?, in the basement of i think it's the NYPL humanities research library and the game is who can come up with the most accurate dewey number for a book. i so geeked out over that one


    5. Ik vond dit een goed boek. Een man die in een bibliotheek werkt, wordt door een klant gevraagd om privé voor hem wat opzoekingswerk te doen. Nadat hij hoort waarover het gaat, is hij gefascineerd en begint aan zijn speurtocht. Dit brengt spanningen teweeg in zijn huwelijk, dat toch al in moeilijkheden verkeerde. Hij laat zich echter meer en meer meeslepen door zijn onderzoek, tot hij ontdekt dat zijn 'vriend' misbruik van hem maakt. Samen met zijn vrouw en enkele vrienden besluit hij het hem be [...]


    6. The basic plot seems simple enough: a rich older gentleman hires a research librarian to help him track down an object that once resided in a compartmentalized case (in fact, the case is the eponymous Case of Curiosities from Kurzweil’s first novel). The search, its results, and its aftermath form the framework of the book. But hidden within this seemingly bland framework is a story as wonderfully complex as an Escher print: characters are not who they seem to be; motivations are called into q [...]


    7. Yet another mystery book that took me about 5 weeks to read, I don't know what is wrong with me. By the end I enjoyed it so for the rating (I don't know why every book needs a personal rating) I'm really on the fence between a three and a four.I picked a three because of the amount of time it took me to get into it. It about a librarian that gets commisioned by a rich individual to solve an artifact mystery. Because I'm a librarian some of the attempted dewey humor came off as lame or grating at [...]


    8. Will say up front that I didn't realize this was a followon to a previous novel. I have not read anything else by this author AFAIK.This book had interesting ideas and a premise that drew me in - fantastic carpentry with hidden compartments! An amazingly engineered watch! Lots of old books! - but I found it to be ludicrous and pretentious in its execution. It started out well - I love books and libraries - but quickly turned into a farce. A contemporary urban fantasy for men with obsessive-compu [...]


    9. The Grand Complication by Allen Kurzweil was a mixed bag. Alexander Short is a librarian working at a large public library in New York City. One day, while working at the reference desk, he is approached by a man who wants “to steal a moment of his time” and requests a book about secret compartments in old furniture, a topic Alexander is furiously interested in. The two, Short and the patron, Henry Jesson, embark on a quest to find a lost watch to complete Jesson’s collection. The journey [...]


    10. Unfortunately, as good as A Case of Curiosities was, it only heightened the dissappointment of The Grand Complicatioon. Trying very hard to be Richard Powers or Paul Auster was not the way to go here. The tone of the first book is completely missing. I love historical novels, and the sense of time and place in A Case of Curiosities was captivating, but totally lacking here. Too much twee nonsense about library nerds, boolean search strings and art heists. None of the characters seemed the least [...]



    11. If the publishing industry is any guide (and, of course, it's not), expect to see a new line of librarian action figures under the tree this Christmas. Kids will clamor for Marian(TM), armed with her stubby, eraserless pencil. She vanquishes foes with a single "Shhhh."For the second time this year, the dusty souls who read newspaper book sections are being rewarded with a high-adventure novel about an intrepid librarian. (You heard it here first: Tom Cruise will star in a new thriller called "Mi [...]


    12. If you don't know anything about the dewey decimal system or a card catalog in a library (the younger generation), you won't enjoy this book, simple as that. However, if you know what those terms refer to AND you love books about libraries, librarians AND mysteries - you will enjoy this book! Its got twists and turns; some chapters are but a few pages but hold much intrigue. I won't go into details, others have already done that. I admit, it took me a while to get "into" this book, the beginning [...]


    13. That was a fun ride! This book had a lot to offer that appealed to someone like me. The main character is librarian and he goes on a romp through history using the library and other avenues. What's not to like? If you are looking for a mystery that has some of the same feeling as Tey's Daughter of Time, you might like this one. Here are a few quotes that struck me."Festinalente = Make haste slowly. A private challenge to the fast-paced mediocrity society teaches us to worship." (I know that this [...]


    14. As a suspenseful mystery thriller, this novel could very well become an entertaining film, especially with the final scenes in the book. I enjoyed the 'insider' humor on conducting research, and working in libraries. Someone less familiar might need to look up certain terms and practices regarding the organization and operation of libraries. That should not deter readers from this book; it's not that complicated Actually, I believe the author's intention (or one of them) is to motivate us to eng [...]


    15. This book seemed to be mainly a vehicle for library in-jokes (which was actually fine with me, but might not appeal to a broader reader base). There are constant mentions of things like OCLC, retrospective conversion and one person is described as being less sharing than the Stanford University interlibrary loan policy (hint: they don't loan anything, but that's never explained). The characters are weak and, for the most part, unlikable. I don't always think I need to like a character to enjoy a [...]


    16. It’s weird when someone gives me a book they think I might like. First of all, how obligated am I to read it right away- or at all? I mean, I have my own reading list to go through. There’s also the issue of what if I don’t end up liking it?The book in question was “The Grand Complication” by Allen Kurzweil. Someone recommended it to me because the main character was a librarian and had all these inside jokes about libraries and working in one. Luckily, I enjoyed reading it because of [...]


    17. I loved the idea behind this novel and getting to know the library the main character works in. It's characters are fascinating and being a part of their lives for awhile was my favourite part of this book. Unfortunately, I found the writing style a little dry, so it was difficult to really get into the parts that didn't directly connect with the library itself. Perhaps it deserves a second look from me, as there were many parts about this book that I loved and would recommend it for readers, li [...]


    18. Your Local library may have this book shelved as a Mystery. Well it's not really a mystery at least not a traditional mystery yes something has been stolen and the main character is looking for it but that is really a side plot to the greater mystery of human relationships. Alexander short has to uncover the secret to gettign along with people. His wife his coworkers his mysterious benefactor. Everyone really. Normally I would avoid a book like this but it was so well written that I did realize [...]


    19. I very much enjoyed this book and even more so after the fact after doing a little research and discovered that the Marie Antoinette is not a figment of the author's imagination but, in fact, very real, and that its theft was as described in the book.(FACT UPDATE: I was delighted to learn that, 25 years after the occurrence of the theft described in the novel and several years after the book was written, the mystery was finally solved. All but a very few of the items stolen have been recovered, [...]


    20. This is a very odd book in that it is a book about book writing, yet it is also a mystery, a "complication" (hence the book title). The protagonist, a research librarian, is hired by a man of means, who wants to fulfill a dream of finding a watch that was commissioned by Marie Antoinette. The watch is subsequently stolen from a museum and the "man" hires the research librarian to find (by means of library research and other activity) based on information that the man possesses. It is an intrigui [...]


    21. It's nice to read a complicated historical/science novel that doesn't have to save the world/universe. Just a librarian trying to track down a famous watch for a creepy client. It could have easily gone down the Dan Brown path, but it was more interested in the journey. Of interest are digressions into historical watches; pop-up books; the Dewey Decimal System and its relation to life, universe and everything; tattoos; curiosity cabinets; automatons; and the lifestyles of the rich and introverte [...]


    22. It isn't every day that you find a mystery-suspense novel about librarians, and these sort of books don't usually make for good airport reading. But this one did keep my attention riveted, was easy to jump into amidst the chaos of my reading environment, and had numerous section breaks inside short chapters so that I didn't mind multiple interruptions. I appreciated that the small gear which separated the sections turned by exactly 360 degrees throughout the book and that the pages numbered 360. [...]


    23. no spoilers.I was hoping this would live up to the descriptions I read about this book, but it's not all that intriguing, it's not all that sexy, and it isn't all that smart. Perhaps being a librarian skewed things for me, but the main character seemed like a wuss that I wouldn't want to work with. And while there are some really interesting descriptions of rooms and objects, that wasn't enough to keep me going.It's not a "bad" book, though. I can imagine someone finding the inventiveness and th [...]


    24. I know many people in the literary world, but this book is the first novel I've read written by a friend. Allen's personality and idiosyncrasies ring throughout, e.g la femme francaise. I loved how Allen portrays the culture of the library: Dewey decimal system smackdowns, pneumatic tubes transporting lost manuscripts, library trolls living in forgotten rooms, obsessive compulsive observations, uber rationalizations, etc. Every librarian and archivist needs to read this book!


    25. This is a book that most of the world will not find engaging. Perhaps because it employs the use of Library Science in addition to 19th century history. I quite enjoyed it as a secondary read-having a first edition from when it came out. I would suggest that if you think The Book of Theseus is a good read, that you try this. It may inform you about life before/as it became a bit more distracting.


    26. A literary thriller, this story is about a reference librarian who gets recruited by an eccentric old man to do research about a case he possesses. It's a fun little book that reads quickly. For me, the most interesting part was the research, particularly electronically. Since the book was published in 2001, it shows its age in this area especially, but serves as a good reminder how far things have come in a relatively short period of time.


    27. This is set in NYC, the hero being a librarian and eccentric. He is hired by an even more eccentric patron to research a watch originally dedicated to Marie Antoinette and stolen 20 years ago from the museum that housed it. The search goes along well-enough but then Our Hero discovers he is actually retracing his employer's steps, and then he gets angry. Bizarre, somewhat pleasant, good characterizations of life as a library employee.


    28. The Grand Complication is the story of a search for a stolen Brueger watch alternately known as the Marie Antoinette. Yet it is more is the relationship between Nic and Alexander, between Alexander and Mr. Jesson, and the interweaving of it all. The book has 360 pages which seems to relate to 360 degrees of a clock face. It is an intricately molded story that grasps the reader by the lapels and insists that s/he come along.


    29. So far silly book about librarian researching a missing pocket watch that belonged to Marie Antoinette. It's always fun to read a fictional account of a real life mystery. However, the author's rambling prose about his divorce is whiny and says more about the author than it adds to the ongoing plot.


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