Some take direct action against him, and others are content with subtle misdirection. The entanglements only increase as Weaver progresses further in. Having few facts to go on, he must instead rely on probabilities and instinct, guessing where the next few turns might take him What I like most about The Ethical Assassin, beyond its quirky humor, was the thoughtful discussion Liss' characters mull through. Assassin's themes were veganism and anarchism, though here Liss is a bit more subdued, his target that of paper money.
As the promises of payment -- banknotes -- supplant actual payment, and paper replaces precious metals, the imaginary seems to have triumphed over the real. Money becomes a matter of belief, not fact, and Weaver would find it difficult to take seriously were it not for the fact that seemingly harmless actions, mere crimes of paper, keep manifesting themselves in the real world, in murders, robberies, and burned homes.
And however much he might find the new finances absurd, there are those who believe that the fate of the nation hinges on Weaver leaving well enough alone. A Conspiracy of Paper is quite a feat; delightful and fascinating. Considering what I've read so far, Liss is rapidly becoming a favorite author. Dec 13, Sarah rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , fiction , This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. View 2 comments. Jun 05, Karen Jean Martinson rated it really liked it. I'm on a kick here with people who write really amazing books while doing other really amazing things. At least Liss was completing a PhD in English while writing a piece of literature - mind you, I couldn't write a piece of fiction while finishing my PhD I had enough with finishing the PhD, and don't even get me started on these final revisions Anyhoo, I read the Spectacle of Corruption first, so I'm totally out of order, but both I'm on a kick here with people who write really amazing books while doing other really amazing things.
Anyhoo, I read the Spectacle of Corruption first, so I'm totally out of order, but both books are really great and gripping reads. Benjamin Weaver is a great character, an outsider first because he is Jewish and second because he is a thief-taker, and all the more intelligent and aware of the hypocrisies of society because of it. Having read Spectacle frst, I know more about the Jacobites than I ever have before. Now I've learned a great deal about stock-jobbery and the South Sea Company. Oh, and that London had no police force in the early 18C.
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Mar 06, Bill rated it liked it Shelves: mystery-europe , mystery-historical , indiv-challenges. A Conspiracy of Paper is Liss's first novel and also, as it happens the first book in his Benjamin Weaver historical series. Weaver is an interesting character, a Jewish resident of London, during a time when Jews were tolerated, sometimes mistreated, not permitted to own property in I had previously read David Liss 's The Coffee Trader , set in 17th Century Holland.
Weaver is an interesting character, a Jewish resident of London, during a time when Jews were tolerated, sometimes mistreated, not permitted to own property in England, but still vital residents, as stock traders, merchants, etc. Weaver's family originated in Portugal, then moved to Holland and ultimately settled in London.
Anatomy of Injustice
Benjamin's father was what is called a stock jobber, buying and selling shares in various projects to willing participants. At an early age, Benjamin runs from home, becoming firstly The Lion of Judah, a successful boxer. When injury terminates this career, he becomes a highwayman, then later on, in his present occupation, a thief taker and sort of detective who helps people with debts, return of stolen items, etc. The story starts with two of Benjamin's investigations, one to obtain the return of stolen correspondence of an embarrassing nature to a wealthy Londoner and the other to investigate the death, presumed by suicide of another London resident who believes his father was murdered.
Balfour also believes the murder is related to the death of Benjamin's father, who was run down by a coach. Was it also murder?
Thus begins a winding tale as Benjamin begins both investigations. He tours London's underworld, has dealings, sometimes of a dangerous nature, with the biggest gang lord of London, one Jonathan Wild, who both threatens and encourages Benjamin. He finds himself becoming immersed in the world of finance, of stock traders, of the Bank of England of the mysterious South Sea Trading Company.
What was his father's involvement?
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What is the document that his father tried to publish, the Conspiracy of Paper, and is that what had him killed. With the help of good friend, somewhat drunken, philanderer, Scottish doctor and wannabe playwright, Elias Gordon, he finds many suspects, many people who want to do him injury or worse, as he tracks down clues to discover who killed his father. It's definitely a meandering story, but it's an interesting view of the life and times on London in the early s. We meet Benjamin's family, a family that he had estranged himself from.
We also meet Miriam, his cousin's widow, a beautiful woman who Benjamin develops feelings for. All in all it's an entertaining story, with probably a few too many suspects, but it all adds to the action and drama. Enjoyable story and I will try the next book of Weaver's adventures. One of the rich rewards of reading well written historical fiction is that, if it achieves the proper balance, it not only entertains but is painlessly edifying. This novel fits the bill. Set in early 18th century London we are introduced to Benjamin Lienzo, a Sephardic Jew who has changed his name to Benjamin Weaver and gained notoriety as a pugilist.
This begins to change however, after he discovers that his estranged father was murdered. He becomes determined to get to the bottom of this mysterious death in spite of a convoluted conspiracy that tests his competence as a detective. I enjoyed it, thanks for the recommendation Trudy. Oct 11, Jenny Vaughan rated it really liked it.
This is the book that introduced me to Benjamin Weaver, who stars in all my favorite books by David Liss.
Full of exciting intrigue and adventure, Liss also paints what I think it is a pretty historically accurate picture of London in…well, whenever this book is set Liss seems to be fairly respected as a historian, or at least as a writer of historical fiction. Liss builds a believable world, detailed and socially complex. The story is told in the first person by a really likeable protagonist This is the book that introduced me to Benjamin Weaver, who stars in all my favorite books by David Liss.
The story is told in the first person by a really likeable protagonist Benjamin Weaver , who is something of a sleuth, very clever, but not above using his fists when the situation calls for it, which is often.
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The narrator is remarkably un-angsty in the face of events that would produce deep cynicism in a character more inclined toward rumination. Aug 03, Cindy rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in , male-author-challenge. Let me start by saying that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would give anything "historical fiction" five stars. With that said, I absolutely loved this book after I set aside my prejudices against the genre and got past the first 75 pages or so.
It was a difficult read for me in many ways, no fault of the author. I'm just not used to reading historical books that contain a lot of events the reader needs to keep up with. I learned a lot of new words and got a lot of practice following a Let me start by saying that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would give anything "historical fiction" five stars. I learned a lot of new words and got a lot of practice following a bit of a complicated plot for me anyway.
This book took "fiction" to a whole new level for me. Although it was classified as fiction, many of the "events" were based upon true occurrences. I am a business major, so this book tied in really well with my investments class. I believe that I learned more about the stock market and the key players from this book than I did in class. I would recommend this book to about anyone. What a surprising book! A bit mystery financial thriller and a bit historical fiction that starts a little slow but once the plot is set up, really moves with twists and turns galore. It really kept me guessing and I love it when that happens.
The protagonist is one of my favorites of all time I think. One thing that was embarrassing for me: I have lived in Portugal and England and prided myself for knowing a little more than the average American about their histories so I was really embarrassed What a surprising book!
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One thing that was embarrassing for me: I have lived in Portugal and England and prided myself for knowing a little more than the average American about their histories so I was really embarrassed not to have known one thing about the migration of Iberian Jews and the Jewish population in Britain I was glad to learn of it here.
Great, fun book. Jul 05, Lauren rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , s-fiction. David Liss has created a new genre of fiction: Historical financial fiction Very engrossing and very smart. Liss delves into the history of Eighteenth-century London and talks of the economy and the trade, as well as the culture, religion, and politics of the people. It took me quite a long time to read this book, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I wasn't able to concentrate well when I first began it; so I just read a chapter or so at a time.
But as I got into the later chapters, I became more interested. First, one of the reasons I read and like historical fiction is to learn about life I other eras. Liss is eminently qualified to write about England in the s. One thing, I learned is that life in London was dangerous, filthy, and corrupt. Then, I learned It took me quite a long time to read this book, but I'm glad I stuck with it.
Then, I learned about how Jewish people lived and worked in the society. I wasn't surprised that they were separated geographically, but was surprised to learn that the Jews had been driven out of England entirely several decade before.
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This is still not an easy book to read, but I tried not to get too bogged down in the info about English currency. My thoughts at finishing the book were that there are similarities between the turmoil in the financial circumstances to those in the U. Liss mentions this in his closing thoughts, too. I'm undecided as to whether I'll read the second book featuring Benjamin Weaver, but may because I've got his interest in mind now.
Recommend for dedicated historical fiction readers. In England in the early 's Benjamin Weaver is a retired Boxer, whose new profession is to retrieve stolen goods for people. His father has recently died, and a man comes to him, whose own father has recently died, and says that he believes that both of their fathers were murdered because they were trying to uncover information about the South Seas company, who wants to replace The Bank of England.
Benjamin Weaver tries to investigate, but is instantly in over his head.
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Man oh man. If you like In England in the early 's Benjamin Weaver is a retired Boxer, whose new profession is to retrieve stolen goods for people. If you like twisty plots, this book is for you. There are about 15 surprising plot twists that keep you guessing and on your toes. It was a very well-crafted and engrossing mystery, but not a quick read, as there is a lot of historical information contained within.