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The Great Train Robbery
     

The Great Train Robbery

4.4 62
by Michael Crichton
 

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"A nineteenth-century version of THE STING...Crichton fascinates us."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
In teeming Victorian London, where lavish wealth and appalling poverty live side by side, Edward Pierce charms the most prominent of the well-to-do as he cunningly orchestrates the crime of the century. Who would suspect that a gentleman of breeding could

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Great Train Robbery 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read and I would recommend it to everybody. Michael Crichton writes very good pieces of literature and this is a great one. This novel is not only extremely engaging by describing the daring ploy of a criminal's attempt to steal $12,000 in gold, but it also provides deeper insight into life and society in Victorian times. Crichton's use of the Victorian dialect in the dialogue adds to the  novel and makes the story more engaging. He uses current events of that time period to add to the book, as well. The gold shipments to Crimea and the effect of the French Revolution give more detail on this time period and give better understanding to the reader. This book, although written in a Victorian dialect, I would recommend to everyone. The dialogue may be difficult to understand at times, but can be deciphered by the context of what is being said. This is a very good book, because it teaches about the Victorian era by using a significant and page turning story about a crime. This allows for a great read and a very informative and enlightening in knowledge about the history of Europe by adding in details about current events during the Victorian era mentioned in the last paragraph.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On the edge if my set the whole time! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Edward Pierce is a man perfectly right for Victorian England. He's really clever but he puts his wits to work at committing crimes. In this time period, railways are relatively new so he targets a London bank's regular shipments of gold bullion to Paris. He plans and arranges a heist that will give him lots wealth for the rest of his days. Pierce is the surprisingly engaging villain and in this book, the cast of characters surrounding him really come alive. The dialogue in the novel is written in the Victorian dialect. The content of historical and cultural detail add emphasis to the novel, but it's the characters that really make this story such a joy to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Great Train Robbery By: Michael Chrichton Michael Chrichton's book The Great Train Robbery left an astounding effect on me in London, England in 1855. Chrichton goes in depth on what it was like and describes the different locations mentioned in the book. He does a great job in explaining and mentioning historical contexts of factual events and adding in his own characters thoughts and feelings to the mix. His style of writing is very unique and not many authors would be able to accomplish a great story like he has. He also adds in the backdrop or setting which is the Crimean war. The Crimean plays a strong and very interesting role as to of why the London train is shipping its bullion out to Britain. I would recommend the Great Train Robbery to all who like to read heist books with historical backgrounds in the mix. Chrichton does a great job and would have you until the very end. He does just a fantastic job and must be a must read to all that have not read the book. Chrichton writes his story around his main character, Edward Pierce, who is a wealthy bureaucrat with wealthy taste that decides he wants to rob a bullion of gold locked away on a moving train. He cannot do the job alone without a couple accomplices to aid him in his scheme and finds himself in the right position to carry out the plan. Though, Pierce runs into some complications when he has to find four keys the safe (the bullion is in) needs to be opened with. He eventually finds them and imprints the keys with wax. Now all he would have to do is carry out his plan, but there are more complications to arise. An example would be missing an extra pair of clothing that could expose oneself to suspicious glances from people who know them. Another, how to get back and forth from a train station without getting caught breaking and entering. Even though Edward and his crew face some very tough complications and flaws in their plan, they carry on. Will they succeed in their "Great Train Robbery"? Or will they fail? The answers are in Michael Chrichton's, Great Train Robbery, that will blow your eardrums off at the end of its whistle.
Joel_M More than 1 year ago
Michael Crichton's version of the sensational Great Train Robbery of 1855 was not straight-up historical fiction like I expected, but I still enjoyed it. The style swings back and forth between something like a documentary (featuring a lot of background on Victorian England and content from some of the original court documents) and fictionalized accounts of the conversations and actions surrounding the robbery (including a completely fabricated ending). I have seen this attempted in another book with a very uneven effect, but Crichton somehow pulled it off admirably...probably because conversations and action were consistently fictionalized and background info was consistently documentary in style. The protagonist is a charming, well-educated gentleman who deftly navigates both high society and the criminal underworld. His daring and ingenuity are impressive as he overcomes every obstacle between himself and the shipment of gold on its way from France to England. His reason for the heist: "I wanted the money." Overall: this was a great caper story, and as always Michael Crichton throws in lots of historical goodies...I just wish he hadn't felt the need to completely change how the story ended (and a number of other facts).
WorldReader1111 27 days ago
I liked this book. It is, first, well-written in a literary sense, with a simple, functional narrative that is easy to read (while avoiding being dry). Likewise, 'Train Robbery' is substantial in content, and in a rather intelligent, uncommon fashion: by mixing a good, fictional story with a number of equally interesting historical asides regarding Victorian London (along with some impressively perceptive sociological commentaries, I might add). Such "dualistic" books are, in my experience, hit or miss; here, however, the author manages to make it work, and to pleasing effect. In this capacity alone, 'Train Robbery' presents a sound, intelligent, and well-rounded read, with believable characters and a satisfying story. Additionally, there is a third dimension to the book: a highly relevant human study. Namely, 'Train Robbery' contrasts present-day Western civilization with that of the past, by way of highlighting their many stark differences (and marked similarities). In this manner, the reader is shown a historical mirror, in which much can be learned, from psychology and the roots of human behavior, to the cyclical nature of mankind's evolution in general. Personally, I most enjoyed this aspect of 'Train Robbery,' and it proved a fine compliment to the rest of the book's substance. In the end, I came away from the read feeling both enriched and entertained. One complaint I had: in my opinion, the author did not make clear enough that the book is only partially nonfiction. In my case, it took me about half the book to realize that there was a fictional element at play, only after reading one after another "deus ex machina" event. Though, this was ultimately a minor issue. My sincere thanks goes out to this book's author, subjects, and publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work and service.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel was stunningly intriguing from start to finish. The story itself was captivating, and the narration was magnificent, not only keeping the reader's interest teeming, but also informing the reader to any necessary tidbits of information. Throughout the book, the characters are woven together in an intricate web that creates a riveting story line. I would recommend this book because it has all the factors needed in order to create a fantastic story. Specific examples of these pieces are the cat and mouse game that the culprits and police play the whole book. The story centers on a felon, but the way it’s told you keeps you consistently rooting for him to succeed. As the story progresses, it provides an inside look into the lives of 19th century Londoners, and the faults in the social system of back then. The type of information gained from this book could not very easily be found elsewhere, as it isn’t a commonly used subject for historical literature. I think that it’s uniqueness in subject and narration give it that extra push to make it outstanding. Another characteristic of the book that I enjoyed was the author’s purpose. In historical novels, the author’s main, and often exclusive, purpose is to inform. The events in the book are historically accurate, but they are not just facts. Crichton’s purpose when writing The Great Train Robbery was, in my opinion, not only to inform his readers of the past historical events, but also to entertain them. This is the key to writing a book that is worth taking the time to read to me. The book was entertaining. The author knew how to captivate his audience. The only historical part of the book was the plotline, not the way it was written. After reading numerous historical texts, this particular novel blew me away with its superiority in composition. I would absolutely recommend this book, especially to anyone interested in reading about the crimes committed in 19th century cities. This adventurous tale has a taste of the past that’s hard to beat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michael Crichton weaves an impressive story with Victorian England as the backdrop. Crichton's story utilizes historical accuracy with a fiction twist. The Great Train Robbery leaves readers cheering on the main character- Edward Pierce- even though he is undoubtedly a villain. He is, after all, plotting to steal twelve thousand pounds worth of gold bullion. You watch with admiration as Pierce concocts his masterplan. You find yourself crossing your fingers, hoping his plan works. You find yourself cheering on the bad guys when it seems like they will fail. You find yourself open-mouthed as they work to overcome the unexpected obstacles that pop up. You find yourself gasping when Pierce's accomplices sell him out. And lastly you find yourself smiling when Pierce succeeds. Crichton's book is a historical gem, and I would eagerly recommend it to anyone who wants to read a historically accurate book that has a fictional twist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crichton is my favorite author and you wouldn't expect that from a sixteen year old girl like me! I've read a few other Crichton books but this one is probably the most unique! I've read: Micro Jurassic Park Sphere Pirate Latitudes The Great Train Robbery
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