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Infernal Devices (Angry Robot) Paperback – 7 Apr 2011

3.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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£7.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot; paperback / softback edition (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857660969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857660961
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.4 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

K.W. Jeter is a respected American novelist who wrote what was likely the first true cyberpunk novel, Dr. Adder, which was enthusiastically recommended by Philip K. Dick. His many original novels range between dark noir-horrorand visionary science fiction. He has also written several authorized sequels to Blade Runner (aka Do Androids Dream ofElectric Sheep). The author lives in Las Vegas, NV.


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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read this book many times since it first appeared in the mid 1980s. It's beautifully written and a real page turner. Dower's slightly stuffy and naive first person voice produces remarkable story telling.
If you're into Steampunk (K. W. Jeter invented the term) and Victoriana, just buy it.
(Also, please see my review of Fiendish Schemes, the sequel to Infernal Devices.)
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Format: Paperback
Pro sides:
interesting book, easy reading, gripping at times. I liked the story, full of twists and turns, some good ideas with always something happening leaving you wondering and thinking it over when you stop reading.
the story is articulated and each character always have something new to add to the stroy. very interesting ideas about the device to see the future and Americanization of the brits, the existance of a amphibious life form, double or triple identitees. very well written you never get lost wandering "who is this?" or "why this is happening now?" that at times happens in too articulated stories.

Down sides:
as you read the story many questions pop up, some are the same as the main character's has, others are due to the fantasy of the story. unfortunately only some are exaustively explained, others are only briethly, as maybe thought not to be central to the story. in that case why put them in in the first place??
also the "brown leader man" hystory is only just introduced at the end of the book, just before he disappears.. his motives are quite clear by then, though I would have spend few more pages in further exploring the idea, which is very interesting.
I found other concepts, or events, of characters that where used but briethly explained or developped.
Furthermore by the end most open points are closed or dismissed with one or two line of text. they sudennly self-resolved without the interaction of the any of the characters..
the last part of the story (last 3rd of the book) things progress very quikly and with less attention to dettails as if in a rush to conclude.

Overall:
is a good book to read, I enjoyed it very much and in fact read it in 3 days!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book took me a little by surprise. When I hear the term 'steampunk' I image trains, elaborate dinner parties with mad inventors, a duel with pistols, things along those kind of lines. What I found in this book was fun. There were mad scientist type characters, a sex crazed thief, a strange race of fish people, a mechanical violinist with human aspirations and a lame little Jack Russell. Needless to say I will be searching out more of Jeter's books.

This book centres on the son of a genius mechanic that builds crazy contraptions while maintaining a business as a watch maker. The son has none of his fathers flair for mechanics and gets himself embroiled in a plot to save the world from one of his fathers inventions. The book reads like a comedy version of Sherlock Holmes. Whether that is down to the time period that it is set, the fact that he has a man servant or the fact that he tries to do some investigating of his own I don't know.

I couldn't put this down once I started it, the characters were amazing. I loved the fact that Dower just stumbles from one crisis to the next with no clue of the reason for any of his problems. Each crisis a little more amusing and exciting than the last. This book won't win any awards for literacy brilliance but it made me laugh out loud and hope that someone see's their way to making this a film/tv series or even comic.
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Format: Paperback
Like many firsts, "Infernal Devices" is not at all typical of the steampunk genre. But it's a fun read, written with sly humor.

K. W. Jeter coined the term "steampunk" to describe his and his friends' postmodern neo-Victoriana writings. "Infernal Devices" is a convoluted mystery with wickedly subtle humor narrated by George Dower, a hapless and rather unlikeable heir to the workshop and clientele of his genius watchmaker father, who taught him nothing and abandoned him at an early age.

Dower is dragged from his quiet, impoverished life into schemes involving absurd secret societies, his father's leftover devices, a plot to destroy the world, a clockwork double, and a hidden race of London-dwelling fish-men. There are outrageous coincidences and a recurrent theme of deceptive appearances.

There are a couple of con artists whose language is so distinctly modern I expected them to be time travelers. But no, in actuality it's weirder and more interesting than that.

Frankly, the motto of this book should be "in actuality it's weirder and more interesting than that," as absurdity piles on top of absurdity and people, events, and devices are shown to be not what they seemed.

A few aspects nagged at me. None of the characters rise above stereotypes, most glaringly the women. The whole book has a winking feel of farce, although the narrator's earnest Victorian voice keeps it amusingly deadpan. It's amusing, but a little distanced.

Also, Angry Robot did a terrible job copy-editing this edition. There are little typographical errors all through the book. If that does not bother you, then this is an amusing read from the dawn of steampunk.
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