The Grand Complication: A Novel Hardcover – 2001
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Good condition. Ships from Toronto, ON, Canada.
Top Customer Reviews
Sixtyish Henry James Jesson III submits a library call slip requesting Secret Compartments, an eighteenth century furniture book. The beautiful rarely seen-today writing style catches Alex's eye and he breaks the rules by delivering the book to the requester. Henry offers Alex a job to complete a collection that contains a secret compartment with a hanging nail inside but the attached item is missing. Henry begins to follow the trail of THE GRAND COMPLICATION, a lost eighteenth century watch, and a search that could prove to cost him his soul.
THE GRAND COMPLICATION is a different type of mystery one that seems so simple yet is so rich and complex. The library, Nic's pop-ups, eighteenth century cabinets to conserve precious items, and Henry's Manhattan townhouse are filled with layers of detail weaved into the delightful story line. The investigation is intelligent and adds to the strange relationship between Henry and Alex. Readers who delight in well-written, off beat literature will want to obtain Allen Kurzweil's first novel in a decade because few writers enter the soul of his characters quite like this author does.
I have not read the book that preceded this and I felt as though I missed out on much of the fun as the story progressed. I do not know if the Author has closed the loop with these two works, however if he has, and if you read only this fine work, as I did, the loop is incomplete. The book is not a sequel in a traditional manner. There are issues of continuity that I believe to be very clever, I will not be certain until I read the earlier book.
Abraham-Louis Breguet made the watch that is the center of attention in this novel. This is a company that is celebrating its 225th Anniversary with a limited edition watch that requires as much money to posses it, as a rather substantial house. These timepieces are so intricate that elements of them can be produced to this day by only a very few companies that have the talent and the technology.
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Most recent customer reviews
A beautiful pocket watch. A mad librarian. An antiquated old man. All of this adds up to a most delightful, enchanting read in Allen Kurzwell's "A Grand... Read morePublished on April 4 2004 by James Hiller
OK, the story line is original (I can't imagine anyone could have come up with it), but totally boring. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2004 by D. K. Miles
Alexander Short is a librarian. His job is in jeopardy and his marriage is coming apart. He meets a curious figure improbably named Henry James Jesson III, a book-lover who hires... Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2003 by HORAK
a book written with the full use of the english language. words pour out here in a very intriguing way and capture the audience very well. Read morePublished on July 27 2003 by William D. Tompkins
I did love this book. It was very different from most of the good modern fiction that I read (Poisonwood Bible, The Orchid Thief, Balzac and The Little Chinese Seamstress, etc.). Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2003
A decent premise, marred by unsympathetic and not particularly interesting characters, mediocre writing, and a dead-end plot. Other than that, it was OK. Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2003
Alexander Short, the hero of this pretentious yarn, is a reference librarian who has written "Slips of Love", a book featuring the use of call slips used to endear himself to his... Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2003 by Victor Cresskill
A suspense novel, this book is full of eccentrics and literary/historical curiosities. Alexander Short is a quirky reference librarian; Henry Jesson is an extremely eccentric,... Read morePublished on Dec 5 2002 by Fanoula Sevastos
Alexander Short is the main character of this book and reminds you of that one strange friend of yours that just gets very caught up in the weirdest things. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2002 by Melanie A. Burton