"Fascinating. . . . [Ballpoint] cleverly traces the squiggly road of two men . . . who struggled, at first as partners and later as rivals, to invent, manufacture and profit from this most quotidian of writing instruments. . . . There's a deliciously voyeuristic feel to this fast-paced . . . work, as if you're eavesdropping on a family conversation."
Winnipeg Free Press
"In terms of history-making inventions, the ballpoint pen is no electric light bulb, but its story is far wilder."
"Ballpoint reads like a fast-paced mystery. Although we know from the start that its technological protagonistthe ballpoint penwill triumph, we find ourselves repeatedly surprised by the story's unfolding episodes of international intrigue, financial deception, and legal shenanigans."
Henry Petroski, author of The Pencil and The Essential Engineer
"Part biography, part historical novel, this fascinating book tells the remarkable story of László Bíró and Andor Goy, the two Hungarians who made the first workable ballpoint pen and who, despite the resounding success of their product, earned almost nothing from it."
John Emsley, author of Molecules of Murder and The Elements of Murder
"The tale of László Bíró and Andor Goy . . . is a wonderful illustration of the role that human passions, foibles, and genius play in shaping the world around us."
Robert Friedel, author of Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty