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The Professor's Assassin (Short Story) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Matthew Pearl’s upcoming novel, The Technologists, is a stunning historical thriller based on the early days of America’s great institution of learning, MIT—and a depraved killer teaching Boston to fear its own shadow. In this original eBook short story, Pearl delves further into the turbulent world of nineteenth-century academia to re-create a shocking, real-life, and all-but-forgotten crime.
 
William Barton Rogers will one day become ...
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The Professor's Assassin (Short Story)

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Overview

Matthew Pearl’s upcoming novel, The Technologists, is a stunning historical thriller based on the early days of America’s great institution of learning, MIT—and a depraved killer teaching Boston to fear its own shadow. In this original eBook short story, Pearl delves further into the turbulent world of nineteenth-century academia to re-create a shocking, real-life, and all-but-forgotten crime.
 
William Barton Rogers will one day become MIT’s founder and president. But in 1840 he is still a science professor at the University of Virginia. A tall and commanding intellectual, he epitomizes the strong and liberal ways of “Mr. Jefferson’s University,” a controversial experiment in progressive thought and laissez-faire governance. Then a startling event rocks the school to its foundation. Riots led by masked “volunteers” have begun roiling the campus, exploiting its attitude toward discipline. When one of his colleagues is brutally slain during the unrest, Rogers must become a man of both words and deeds to capture the killer—and keep an essential institution from collapsing around him.
 
Includes a preview of Matthew Pearl’s forthcoming novel, The Technologists, which Joseph Finder calls “the best yet from a true master of the historical thriller.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345530141
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/5/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 60
  • Sales rank: 272,168
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Matthew Pearl
Matthew Pearl is the New York Times bestselling author of The Technologists, The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, and The Last Dickens, and the editor of the Modern Library editions of Dante’s Inferno (translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales. Pearl is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School and has taught literature at Harvard and at Emerson College. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Biography

Matthew Pearl's novels achieve the seemingly unachievable. They manage to be both informative and entertaining, utilizing historically accurate details about some very famous literary figures to fashion fictional thrillers that rival the works of Pearl's idols. While Pearl's work is indeed ambitious, he has the credentials to tackle such challenging projects that place immortals like Dante Alighieri, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Alan Poe in the middle of mysteries of his own creation. In 1997, Pearl graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude in English and American literature. He went on to teach literature and creative writing at both Harvard and Emerson College. Pearl's impressive background in literature and research provided him with the necessary tools for making history come alive in a most unique way. He is also bolstered by a genuine fascination with the theme of literary stardom. "I am very interested by literary celebrity, and both Dante and Poe experienced it in some degree," Pearl explained to litkicks.com. "Or, in Poe's case, he aimed for literary celebrity and never quite achieved it…Longfellow was more genuinely a celebrity. People would stop him in the streets, particularly in his later years. Imagine that today, a poet stopped in the streets! It was also common for writers like Longfellow to have their autographs cut out of letters and sold, or even their signatures forged and sold."

Pearl published his debut novel in 2003. The Dante Club is a small group of Harvard professors and poets (including Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes) who must track down a killer before he derails their efforts to complete the first American translation of The Divine Comedy. The novel became an international sensation. Pearl's attention to historical facts, his imagination, his vivid descriptions and fine characterizations awed critics and delighted readers. Esquire magazine chose The Dante Club as its "Big Important Book of the Month." Since its 2003 publication, it has become an international bestseller, translated into 30 languages.

Pearl followed The Dante Club with another cagey combination of historical fact and mysterious fiction. The Poe Shadow takes place during the aftermath of the death of Edgar Alan Poe. In a labyrinthine plot that would surely have made the master of the macabre proud, an attorney named Quentin Hobson Clark seeks to uncover the exact details that lead up to the peculiar death of his favorite writer. The Poe Shadow was another major feat from Matthew Pearl. If anything, it is even richer and more intriguing than its predecessor. Poe's status as a great purveyor of mystery and the mystery which Pearl conjures within his plot makes for a most provocative mixture. Critics from all corners of the globe agreed. From Entertainment Weekly to The Spectator to The Independent, The Globe and Mail, Booklist, Bookpage, and countless others, The Poe Shadow was hailed as another major achievement for Matthew Pearl. The novel has also become yet another international bestseller.

So, is Matthew Pearl heading for the kind of literary celebrity that so fascinates him? Well, Details magazine named the writer as one of its "Next Big Things," and Dan "The Da Vinci Code" Brown called him "the new shining star of literary fiction." Who knows? Maybe one day an aspiring young writer may see fit to place Matthew Pearl in the center of some fictional puzzler.

Good To Know

Pearl was placed on the 2003 edition of Boston Magazine's annual "Hot List."

His fascination with Edgar Alan Poe does not end with Poe's presence in The Poe Shadow. Pearl also edited a 2006 collection of Poe's C. Auguste Dupin mysteries titled Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    This is another good read from the master storyteller and historian, Matthew Pearl. Once again (as he did in The Dante Club, The Last Dickens, and The Poe Shadow) Pearl weaves a good mystery into the historical facts of the time period. My only regret with the Professor's Assassin is that it is too short--but, hey, it's a short story. You will never go wrong with a book by Matthew Pearl. I am eagerly awaiting his next novel.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Recommended

    This was an interesting story to me, especially since I live in Virginia. The historical background was intriguing. My appetite was whetted for Mr. Pearl's new book, The Technologists.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    recommended

    This story gives you a feeling for the time right before the civil war. Heroes, fools and one thoroughly nasty privileged person. Only fault was kind of short but sets up next novel. Based on a true incident. I would read other books by this author as I like history based mysteries. you do see the same personality types today so more things change the more they are the same.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    Very enjoyable - wanted to read more by this author

    This is the first I've read from this author - I tried The Dante Club but couldn't get into it. This story caught my attention from the start and was hard to put down. I enjoyed it so much I purchased The Technologists by Matthew Pearl and was not disappointed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2012

    Wonderful Read!

    This short story gripped me from the first line. I truly enjoyed it. A fascinating and wonderful read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Bland

    The sleuth seemed very rigid and staid for a man of his age. I didn't enjoy this very much but someone who likes a historical mystery may enjoy this more.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    Great prequel. Explains early days of Professor Rogers.

    A great short read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Interesting ...

    I've enjoyed Pearl's books for a while so I thought I would give this one a try. Overall the. Inception was interesting, however the story moved rather slowly and ended very abruptly. It was as if Pearl wanted to write a novel but ran out of material.

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    Short and pretty good!

    I love historically based novels and am always looking forward to the next Matthew Pearl book. I read this in a day while waiting for The Technologists to be released. This was a short tie in to that book which came out about a week later.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    A great read!

    What a great re-introduction to Matthew Pearl's writing! It's long enough to occupy a couple of before-bed reading sessions and detailed enough to transport the reader to the UVa of the mid-nineteenth century. While the crime to be solved does involve a gun and a murder, the clues are largely literary or artistic, and that makes the story both less gorey and more challenging. And the additional treat of the opening chapter of Pearls' soon-to-be released novel makes this purchase all the more worthwhile.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    Recommended

    A modern tale set in an earlier time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Highly recommended

    It was a fast read, with some an historic situation of which I had no idea. I thouroughly enjoyed it.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    Not predictable

    Starts with a bang and really keeps you interested throughout. The main character was not what I thought he'd be from the introduction and I liked the complexity.
    I'm not sure I'm satisfied with the ending and I really mean I'm not sure. Maybe it was OK.
    I'll read more of Matthew Pearl's work. I think it's worthwhile and he's set up some interesting characters.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The fascinating... and dark side of early university life

    Far from sterile academics, early university life was loaded with intrigue, violence and even death. A fast moving and surprisingly unbiased look at the problems and solutions in crime solving in one of our oldest, finest academic institutions. A must read for those who want an understanding of our educational history and murder.

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    Posted February 15, 2013

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    Posted March 29, 2012

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    Posted April 1, 2012

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    Posted April 6, 2012

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    Posted June 12, 2013

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