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Description

It's 1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the listener on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles longstanding traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.

©2015 Natasha Pulley (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

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Notations

Global

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Histoire

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars

un coup de cœur

Décrire ce livre c'est immédiatement le spoiler. Difficile donc d'en raconter l'histoire. Il est poétique.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer Wadsworth
  • 05/09/2015

Beautiful Story

There is so much going on in this book that it’s hard to isolate just a few things I liked. I’ll talk about a couple here, but there are so many great parts in this book.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street sets a touching love story against a historic time of social and political unrest — Irish terrorists are bombing London in protest of British rule; women in England and other parts of the world are dissatisfied with their inability to vote and restricted independence; and Japan’s feudal and agrarian society is fighting a losing battle against the influence of Western culture and technology. After doing a little web surfing, I discovered that a lot of the history relayed in the book is accurate, including the bombings that are central to the story. I find historical fiction much more impressive when it can deliver a mostly-accurate history lesson at the same time it’s entertaining.

Another part of this story I appreciated was the subtle descriptions of what true love really looks like. In one part of the story, Mori encourages Thaniel, who has synesthesia, to draw and paint when he sees when he listens to music. Mori insists on hanging the drawings on the wall, even though Thaniel believes they are worthless. Mori describes Thaniel’s drawings as much more interesting than the paintings he just bought by that depressed Dutchmen (referring to, I’m assuming, Van Gogh).

In another part of the book, when Mori visits Grace and Thaniel’s new home, he is obviously unhappy that the music room is unfinished and there is no piano, though Grace’s laboratory in the basement is completely finished. Later, the reader learns that Mori sees Thaniel as a pianist while Grace sees him as an ordinary man who occasionally plays the piano. This makes a difference to Thaniel and affects his future choices. These are subtle parts of the story, but they say quite a lot about the relationships between the characters.

The narrator, Thomas Judd, did a great job with the voices. As I was listening, I didn’t think there was a lot of obvious variations in voice; but in hindsight, I never had any trouble distinguishing between characters. In particular, Thaniel’s, Mori’s, and Grace’s voices were perfect for their characters.

There is also the sock-stealing clockwork octopus, the cheeky workhouse orphan, the way clairvoyance is imagined, the wide range of diversity in the story, and the scientific cleverness displayed at the end. I can’t say more without giving too much away, but you’ll know what I mean when you read it. :)

This is just a fraction of what is so fascinating about The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. There are layers and layers of personal and social commentary in this book that, though presented in a historical setting, are so appropriate for today’s culture.

Really there isn’t much about this story I didn’t like. I only want to note that it is a slow, quiet story. For some people, slow and quiet stories can be hard to read and even harder to hear. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed this story, I found my attention wandering at times. But if you like the slow and quiet story, then give this book a try. It’s pretty impressive.

Copy provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Review courtesy of One Book Two book review blog.

31 sur 32 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gloria
  • 26/08/2015

Steam punk multi-verse with Japanese flair

The book starts off slowly and I found myself put it aside from time to time. But it gradually built to a great pace and narrative, with a surprising ending that was delightful and touching. Worth sticking through to the end.

16 sur 17 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lorfet
  • 29/04/2016

A Thinking Story

I went back and re-read others' reviews to see what was liked and disliked about this book so that I could see how my review might stack up. I must say that I enjoyed the book and did not agree with most of the negatives listed by audible reviewers. I thought the story was fascinating and the ideas and suppositions that were generated within the story about pre-determination and whether one is able to change their destiny were fascinating.

I liked Mori and Thaniel a great deal; however, I did not find Grace to be a very charming or personable character. She was very distant and academic. She was obviously intelligent but her inability to connect with most people was disconcerting. She was openly hateful and dismissive to her own parents and acted very narcissistically. I am glad she had some measure of happiness at the end of the story, but I felt she still had a looooong way to go before redemption.

To the reviewer who was angry with the homosexual story line. I am sorry if you were put off by this, but it was handled exceedingly well and there were no over-the-top displays of affection to deal with or even a large part of the story that spoke of this. But it was very integral to the story and if you had not determined that this is where the story was heading, then I fear you were not paying a lot of attention in the first place.

One must listen closely to this story or you might miss small clues that will become important later in the book. I liked the way the story went back and forth in the timeline as a device to explain Mori.

Thomas Judd was AWESOME with the narration of this story. Bravo!

I would recommend this book as an awesome book when you are wanting to hear something intriguing and thought-provoking but not action-packed or vulgar. It was quite humorous at times and the descriptions of the clockwork items Mori designed were imaginative and made me wish for a clockwork Octopus. I will be watching for more from this author.

19 sur 21 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Joe Kraus
  • 02/03/2016

Murakami without the Lightness, and with Confusion

Any additional comments?

I probably needed to spend more time on this intriguing book. On the plus side, it reminds me a bit of Haruki Murakami’s work. It reminds me as well that, while Murakami makes that blend of magic, science, and self-discovery look easy, it’s actually very difficult to pull off.

In this one, we have a trio of central characters. Thaniel and Grace are Londoners with assorted family issues, and Mori is a master clockmaker (and more) with strange powers for influencing others.

At its best, the book raises striking questions about the nature of time and the capacity for an individual to make choices in a world that may be predetermined. The late touch that calls for a series of coin tosses as a means of escaping apparent predestination is really striking, both as a plot device and as a philosophical idea.

The uncertainty at the heart of those questions is hard-wired into the story, though, and a chief result is that the often out-of-sequence narrative calls for real care in reading it. I don’t mind having to work my way through a book, but this one has an odd habit of seeming to say, “You should have been paying closer attention a chapter ago when things seemed light-hearted or concerned with detail.” As someone reading it quickly, I kept missing those details, and I often found myself bewildered. If I’d realized the book was expecting me to read in such a different fashion, I might have been more taken with its striking irregular rhythms.

On the plus side, this held my interest even as I discovered there were huge parts I’d simply missed. Pulley has a capacity for strong detail to go along with the philosophical questions she raises, so I held on through my frequent confusion to see how it all wraps up.

I have to agree with others who have complained that the start is simply too slow. I’d add as well that I found the conclusion confusing, but that may well be my fault since I allowed my confusion to grow as fully as I did.

Bottom line: there seem to be real virtues here, but don’t underestimate it as you go in. It has the tone of a light read, but it demands your attention throughout. It’s a compliment to compare this to Murakami, but if it has some of the impressive weight of Murakami’s questions, it lacks the powerful lightness that Murakami manages to maintain through so much of what he does.


10 sur 11 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • kayla.the.librarian
  • 22/09/2015

Victorian Steampunk Mystery that Wasn't for Me

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I never really connected with the characters, but I detested the ones that I liked by the end. I liked Grace enough, but I was put off by some of her behavior toward the end of the book. I did NOT like Mori, though I can't really say way. Thaniel was too wishy-washy for my taste.

Would you ever listen to anything by Natasha Pulley again?

Just because The Watchmaker of Filigree Street did not work for me does not mean that I would avoid her writing in the future. This was her first novel, and I'm sure that her future work will only improve.

What about Thomas Judd’s performance did you like?

Thomas Judd did a great job of keeping all of the characters from different cultures distinct. He was able to mimic other accents without making them cartoonish.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The book started off swimmingly, but it started to drag with the flashbacks (which didn't translate to audio very well). I loved the descriptions of all the locations, and Katsu, the clockwork octopus, was adorable.

Any additional comments?

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street reminded me of The Night Circus, and I think TNC's fans would really enjoy this book.

11 sur 13 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marjohn Love
  • 17/08/2016

Full of intelligent surprises.

I am often dismayed when I know a plot before it unfolds but this one had a number of twists and turns. The ending was delightful.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • kimberly
  • 11/02/2016

A bit odd...

And not easily followed. Not sure what the point of all of it was. Interesting enough, but odd.

3 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • virginia
  • 02/11/2015

Wildly Creative and well written

What made the experience of listening to The Watchmaker of Filigree Street the most enjoyable?

It's creative story telling and imaginative and inventive sense of time and space and mix
of cultures. The addition of Gilbert and Sullivan into the plot, as I am a big fan of G&S.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

My criticism is not of the ending but of the authors view of women. I don't think
he trusts women to be straight forward and compassionate. I was a bit disappointed
in his treatment of the female character.

Which scene was your favorite?

Many scenes were colorful and magical. It is hard to pick one scene, but the development
of plot was engaging

If you could rename The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, what would you call it?

I like the name

Any additional comments?

Alternate realities and relative time create intriguing themes.

4 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01/12/2016

ok

somewhat hard to follow sometimes in the story . Things would change and you would think what happened. Did I miss something

3 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • lrc
  • 08/05/2018

Charming if Meandering

Charming details that seem to go nowhere for quite awhile all to end up somewhere seemingly random by the end. Delightfully skilled narrator.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kerstin B.
  • 04/10/2017

Wunderschöne Geschichte

Klass geschrieben - die Erzählung bleibt wirklich bis zum Ende spannend. Interessante und glaubwürdige Charaktere, unerwartete Entwicklungen; dabei wirkt die Geschichte nicht abgeschmackt oder überzogen. Absolut empfehlenswert!

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stefanie
  • 26/09/2017

Schön erzählt und spannend skurril.

Ein wunderbares Hörbuch, einfühlsam gesprochen, eine skurrile sehr verflochtene Geschichte, die spannend bleibt bis zum Schluss.

0 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.