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The Influencing Machine

The Influencing Machine [Kindle Edition]

Mike Jay , Oliver Sacks
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Kindle Price: £5.82 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

”One of the greatest books you’ve never read – William Gibson

"I have never seen the logic of madness, of a particular delusion, presented so clearly and convincingly. The Influencing Machine is a wonderful book to read... beautifully written, with all the drama, the rich characterization, the subtlety, of a fine novel." – from the foreword by Oliver Sacks

Confined in Bedlam in 1797 as an incurable lunatic, James Tilly Matthews’ case is one of the most bizarre in the annals of psychiatry. He was the first person to insist that his mind was being controlled by a machine: the Air Loom, a terrifying secret weapon whose mesmeric rays and mysterious gases were brainwashing politicians and plunging Europe into revolution, terror and war.

But Matthews’ case was even stranger than his doctors realised: many of the incredible conspiracies in which he claimed to be involved were entirely real. Caught up in high-level diplomatic intrigues in the chaos of the French revolution, he found himself betrayed by both sides, and in possession of a secret that no-one would believe...

Originally published as 'The Air Loom Gang' (2003), 'The Influencing Machine' has been fully revised and updated, with newly discovered source material and previously unpublished illustrations.

"Marvellous…free of academic jargon, delicately nuanced but taut with drama, The Air Loom Gang is one of the most rewarding books on madness and its history that I have ever read." – Literary Review

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2658 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Strange Attractor Press (22 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085MBOJQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #298,184 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 7 Jun. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I believe this is a reprint of "The Air Loom Gang" by Mike Jay - one of my favourite non-fiction books that has been bizarrely out of print for years. It's a beautifully structured tale of James Tilly Matthews - an inmate of Bedlam - who believed that he and key political figures were being mentally controlled by a machine, to force them into war with France. Slowly, Jay unravels the personal, political and social history of the time, to show how close to the truth this was... Fascinating, and occasionally quite heart-breaking.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real life out sci-fis the Steampunks 6 July 2012
By Curtis Daw - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A non-fiction work of a story so improbable and fantastic that it reads like great sci-fi for the first half of the book. My favorite read of the summer.
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