Matthew Pearl’s book, The Technologists, has all the elements that have made his other books so immensely satisfying. It is well crafted, carefully researched and best of all, a “whale of a tale”.
It is 1868 and the first class is about to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There are many people that would like to see MIT fail and when a group of disasters hits Boston, ‘technology’, ‘science’ and MIT are blamed. A small group of students, determined to help save Boston from an even larger disaster and to help save the reputation of MIT, band together to use their scientific knowledge to find the person behind the disasters.
As in Pearl’s other books, the main central characters existed in real life and were, indeed, students at MIT. Likewise, the issues and attitudes the students faced were the issues the students faced in those early days of MIT. In actuality, the same issues are still faced today in different disguises and the story provides an entertaining way of viewing these issues over time.
I found the pace excellent; moments of quiet allowed the adrenaline to ease between moments of page-turning tension.
This gripping tale should be satisfying for those who like historical fiction, adventure, suspense, steampunk and/or ‘just good fiction’.