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Download The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre: A Novel Audiobook, by Dominic Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (219 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dominic Smith Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2006 ISBN: 9781455183425
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In this luminous novel, Dominic Smith reinvents the life of one of photography’s founding fathers. In 1839, Louis Daguerre’s invention took the world by storm. A decade later, he is sinking deep into delusions brought on by exposure to mercury, the very agent that allowed his daguerreotype process. Believing the world will end within one year, he creates his “Doomsday List,” ten items he must photograph before the final day. It includes a woman he has always loved but has not seen in half a century.

Paris in 1847 was a city of Bohemian excess and social unrest. Into this strange and beguiling world, Louis Daguerre sets off to capture his doomsday images, with the help of the womanizing poet Baudelaire and a beautiful prostitute named Pigeon, in this moving story of ruined love, fame unraveling, and a prodigious mind coming undone.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Highly entertaining.” 

    New York Times

  • “Smith renders a clear-eyed portrait of Daguerre and his thinking, against a backdrop of tumultuous times.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Stephen Hoye narrates with joy and expertise. Here is listening intensity that makes the brain create an imaginary world that diminishes reality.” 

    AudioFile

  • “Smith’s beautifully written debut uses the life of photography’s inventor as the framework for a touching tale of youthful love regained in maturity…A compelling psychological study, a thoughtful tracing of the birth of a new art form, and an atmospheric portrait of nineteenth-century France: impressive on all three counts.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 City Girl | 2/14/2014

    " Pretty boring...made it almost all the way through and just couldn't bring myself to finish it. That being said the other book by this author is FABULOUS. Beautiful Miscellaneous was a must read. This one....not so much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamilah | 1/17/2014

    " About the creator of the daguerrotype photographic process, his life and art, and his health troubles (including madness) from the mercury used in his work. Also includes a love story, of the tragic, wistful unrequited variety. I loved it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Colleen | 1/16/2014

    " The author mentions a woman wearing a brassiere...in the mid-19th century. An obvious sign that this book was not well researched, and the plot wasn't good enough for me to overlook such inaccuracies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob Rosenow | 1/13/2014

    " This is a wonderful story of 19th century paris. Well told. well researched or very, very inventive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 12/16/2013

    " Not a perfect book but lovely, hallucinatory descriptions make it worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julianna Sauber | 12/8/2013

    " very interesting for those who like historical fiction and photography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kris | 12/8/2013

    " Enjoyable book. The historical detail and discussion of photography was great. The ebb and flow of insanity was fascinating. However, the conclusion was a little trite, and not particularly satisfying. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marjorie Hakala | 8/19/2013

    " This book had an intriguing premise, but it sort of petered out. By the end I almost forgot the main character was Louis Daguerre. Reasonably well done for what it is, but I got the feeling it wanted to be something else. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 6/27/2013

    " Read this with book club and appreciated it more after the discussion. Glad we talked about it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evelyn Porter | 12/16/2012

    " Filled with historical detail that brings 19th century Paris alive. An interesting novel about the man responsible for developing the 'daguerreotype' (the precursor to our modern day photograph) and his muse. A good read for those interested in art and photography. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 11/23/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book. I will read other by him to see... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 wendy | 9/21/2012

    " This wasn't as good as I thought it would be...his discovery of the daguerrotype was sort of in the background. It was mostly a just ok love story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melanie | 8/7/2012

    " So far it is a delightful read, with sumptuous descriptions of the light, color, & texture of 19th century Paris. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathleen | 7/16/2012

    " Everything I hoped it would be. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matt Wood | 1/10/2012

    " This fictitious account of the life of Louis Daguerre is at a vivid and sensuous tale. Small nuggets of fact coated with a candy sheen of fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard Kirsch | 12/19/2011

    " Loved this little book. It is a fictional account of the life of Louis Daguerre -- inventor of the daguerrotype. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barb | 8/5/2011

    " Very interesting from a historic perspective; author was good at putting the reader right into Paris at the time that Daguerre lived. He dragged it on at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julianna | 2/27/2011

    " very interesting for those who like historical fiction and photography. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 bob | 10/22/2008

    " This is a wonderful story of 19th century paris. Well told. well researched or very, very inventive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathleen | 10/10/2008

    " Everything I hoped it would be. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 wendy | 8/14/2008

    " This wasn't as good as I thought it would be...his discovery of the daguerrotype was sort of in the background. It was mostly a just ok love story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melanie | 5/18/2008

    " So far it is a delightful read, with sumptuous descriptions of the light, color, & texture of 19th century Paris. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evelyn | 5/11/2008

    " Filled with historical detail that brings 19th century Paris alive. An interesting novel about the man responsible for developing the 'daguerreotype' (the precursor to our modern day photograph) and his muse. A good read for those interested in art and photography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kris | 3/3/2008

    " Enjoyable book. The historical detail and discussion of photography was great. The ebb and flow of insanity was fascinating. However, the conclusion was a little trite, and not particularly satisfying. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matt | 2/20/2008

    " This fictitious account of the life of Louis Daguerre is at a vivid and sensuous tale. Small nuggets of fact coated with a candy sheen of fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 2/11/2008

    " Not a perfect book but lovely, hallucinatory descriptions make it worth the read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marjorie | 1/11/2008

    " This book had an intriguing premise, but it sort of petered out. By the end I almost forgot the main character was Louis Daguerre. Reasonably well done for what it is, but I got the feeling it wanted to be something else. "

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About the Author
Author Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith is the author of The Beautiful Miscellaneous. He is a former recipient of the Dobie Paisano Fellowship from the Texas Institute of Letters. His fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. He grew up in Australia and now lives in Austin, Texas, where he received an MFA from the James A. Michener Center for Writers.

About the Narrator

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End.