Wow! That is the best way to describe The Technologists, a 500 page novel by Matthew Pearl.
Whether it be the setting, the characters, or the plot, the book was one of the best I have read in a long time. The setting was Boston. MIT had its start in the years following the American Civil War - and to a city that was growing with the industrial revolution, its creation was a scary proposition. Laborers feared for their jobs, industrialists fear the free technology that the school provided, and the people feared the unknown. Boston was a thriving city and still growing. It provided a wonderful place for the beginnings of homegrown terrorism.
MIT’s students had excelled during their four years at the institution. Now, weeks before the first class was to graduate, it looked like someone was out to take out their institution. The students included sons of Boston’s elite, charity students (did anybody really want them on campus?), and even MIT’s first female graduate and faculty member. During the course of the book you grow to love and hate the roles played by the various characters.
The plot’s various plots and twists kept the reader guessing till the very end. With flashbacks to the civil war, a look into modern (for the era) industry, romps through the campuses of Harvard and MIT, and vacationing along the coasts of Massachusetts, all contributed to an engrossing story that kept this reader on the edge of his seat.
This review is based on a free electronic copy of the book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.