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Download The Last Bookaneer: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Last Bookaneer: A Novel, by Matthew Pearl Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Matthew Pearl Narrator: J. D. Jackson, Simon Vance Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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book’a-neer’ (book’kå-ner’), n. a literary pirate; an individual capable of doing all that must be done in the universe of books that publishers, authors, and readers must not have a part in

London, 1890. Pen Davenport is the most infamous bookaneer in Europe. A master of disguise, he makes his living stalking harbors, coffeehouses, and print shops for the latest manuscript to steal. But this golden age of publishing is on the verge of collapse. For a hundred years, loose copyright laws and a hungry reading public created a unique opportunity: books could easily be published without an author’s permission. Authors gained fame but suffered financially—Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Robert Louis Stevenson to name a few—but publishers reaped enormous profits while readers bought books inexpensively. Yet on the eve of the twentieth century, a new international treaty is signed to grind this literary underground to a sharp halt. The bookaneers are on the verge of extinction.

From the author of The Dante Club, Matthew Pearl, The Last Bookaneer is the astonishing story of these literary thieves’ epic final heist. On the island of Samoa, a dying Robert Louis Stevenson labors over a new novel. The thought of one last book from the great author fires the imaginations of the bookaneers, and soon Davenport sets out for the South Pacific island. As always, Davenport is reluctantly accompanied by his assistant Fergins, who is whisked across the world for one final caper. Fergins soon discovers the supreme thrill of aiding Davenport in his quest to steal Stevenson’s manuscript and make a fortune before the new treaty ends the bookaneers’ trade forever. But Davenport is hardly the only bookaneer with a mind to pirate Stevenson’s last novel. His longtime adversary, the monstrous Belial, appears on the island, and soon Davenport, Fergins, and Belial find themselves embroiled in a conflict larger, perhaps, than literature itself.

In The Last Bookaneer, Pearl crafts a finely wrought tale about a showdown between brilliant men in the last great act of their professions. It is nothing short of a page-turning journey to the heart of a lost era.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The author’s passion for detail, combined with his gift for balancing a leisurely pace with fast-moving action, makes for a deeply satisfying experience.”

    Seattle Times

  • “This swashbuckling tale of greed and great literature will remind you why Pearl is the reigning king of popular literary historical thrillers. His latest is guaranteed to delight lovers of history and mystery.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “An entertaining adventure tale steeped in literary history…[Pearl] offers many of the charms and unrushed distractions of a favorite old bookstore.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “[An] ingenious literary caper…Pearl gives the bookaneers a lively fictitious history…and populates it with a colorful cast of roguish characters…A loving testament to the enduring power of paper books.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Passionately researched and ebulliently imagined…Pearl’s vividly descriptive and energetically plotted novel churns and charms with intriguing literary history, acid social critique, witty dialogue, and delectably surprising and diabolical reversals and betrayals.”


  • “Simon Vance and J. D. Jackson narrate the adventures of a dying breed of pirate in the 1800s who took advantage of the lax copyright laws to sell unpublished works of famous authors to publishers…As Vance drives the twists and turns of this tale to Samoa and Stevenson’s manor and back, he controls the prose and the well-developed characters with a firm but empathetic hand while Jackson adds drama and emotional flair. Rapt listening, especially for book lovers.”


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