About Gutenberg’s Apprentice
• Hardcover: 416 pages
• Publisher: Harper (September 23, 2014)
An enthralling literary debut that evokes one of the most momentous events in history, the birth of printing in medieval Germany—a story of invention, intrigue, and betrayal.
Youthful, ambitious Peter Schoeffer is on the verge of professional success as a scribe in Paris when his foster father, the wealthy merchant and bookseller Johann Fust, summons him home to corruption- riddled, feud-plagued Mainz to meet “a most amazing man.”
Johann Gutenberg, a driven and caustic inventor, has devised a revolutionary—and, to some, blasphemous—method of bookmaking: a machine he calls a printing press. Fust is financing Gutenberg’s workshop, and he orders Peter to become Gutenberg’s apprentice. Resentful at having to abandon a prestigious career as a scribe, Peter begins his education in the “darkest art.”
As his skill grows, so too does his admiration for Gutenberg and his dedication to their daring venture: printing copies of the Holy Bible. But when outside forces align against them, Peter finds himself torn between two father figures—the generous Fust and the brilliant, mercurial Gutenberg, who inspires Peter to achieve his own mastery.
Caught between the genius and the merchant, the old ways and the new, Peter and the men he admires must work together to prevail against overwhelming obstacles in a battle that will change history . . . and irrevocably transform them all.
Praise for Gutenberg’s Apprentice
“Rich in historical detail…the story of the birth of the printing press is fascinating. Readers who enjoy historical fiction such as Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures enjoy this.” —Library Journal
“Schoeffer anchors the story, but Gutenberg flashes-megalomaniacal and duplicitous, with hair ‘wild and bristling to his shoulders…beard cascad[ing]…glinting here and there like twists of wire,’ and ‘glowing, canine eyes.’ Christie masterfully depicts the time and energy required to print the first Bibles…A bravura debut.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Gorgeously written…dramatizes the creation of the Gutenberg Bible in a story that devotees of book history and authentic historical fiction will relish…An inspiring tale of ambition, camaraderie, betrayal, and cultural transformation based on actual events and people, this wonderful novel fully inhabits its age.” —Booklist
About Alix Christie
Alix Christie was born in California, spent her childhood summers in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, and has lived in Paris, San Francisco, and Berlin. She has been a widely published journalist for thirty years, with work featured in the Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, Salon, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her short fiction has been published by Southwest Review and Other Voices. A letterpress printer since her youth, Alix Christie currently lives in London, where she reviews books and the arts for The Economist.
Alix’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, September 23rd: The Steadfast Reader
Wednesday, September 24th: JulzReads
Thursday, September 25th: BookNAround
Friday, September 26th: nightlyreading
Monday, September 29th: Based on a True Story
Wednesday, October 1st: The Book Wheel
Thursday, October 2nd: guiltless reading
Friday, October 3rd: 5 Minutes For Books
Monday, October 6th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, October 7th: Always With a Book
Wednesday, October 8th: The Book Binder’s Daughter
Thursday, October 9th: Books on the Table
Friday, October 10th: Literary Lindsey
Monday, October 13th: Doing Dewey
Wednesday, October 15th: More Than Just Magic
Friday, October 17th: WildmooBooks
Monday, October 20th: Read Lately