The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre: A Novel

By Dominic Smith
Directed by Stefan Rudnicki
Read by Stephen Hoye

10.30 Hours 02/07/2006 unabridged
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In this luminous novel, Dominic Smith reinvents the life of one of photography’s founding fathers. In 1839, Louis Daguerre’s invention took the world by storm. A decade later, he is sinking deep into delusions brought on by exposure to mercury, the very agent that allowed his daguerreotype process. Believing the world will end within one year, he creates his “Doomsday List,” ten items he must photograph before the final day. It includes a woman he has always loved but has not seen in half a century. Paris in 1847 was a city of Bohemian excess and social unrest. Into this strange and beguiling world, Louis Daguerre sets off to capture his doomsday images, with the help of the womanizing poet Baudelaire and a beautiful prostitute named Pigeon, in this moving story of ruined love, fame unraveling, and a prodigious mind coming undone.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

In this luminous novel, Dominic Smith reinvents the life of one of photography’s founding fathers. In 1839, Louis Daguerre’s invention took the world by storm. A decade later, he is sinking deep into delusions brought on by exposure to mercury, the very agent that allowed his daguerreotype process. Believing the world will end within one year, he creates his “Doomsday List,” ten items he must photograph before the final day. It includes a woman he has always loved but has not seen in half a century.

Paris in 1847 was a city of Bohemian excess and social unrest. Into this strange and beguiling world, Louis Daguerre sets off to capture his doomsday images, with the help of the womanizing poet Baudelaire and a beautiful prostitute named Pigeon, in this moving story of ruined love, fame unraveling, and a prodigious mind coming undone.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Highly entertaining.”  New York Times
“Smith renders a clear-eyed portrait of Daguerre and his thinking, against a backdrop of tumultuous times.” Publishers Weekly
“Stephen Hoye narrates with joy and expertise. Here is listening intensity that makes the brain create an imaginary world that diminishes reality.”  AudioFile
“Smith’s beautifully written debut uses the life of photography’s inventor as the framework for a touching tale of youthful love regained in maturity…A compelling psychological study, a thoughtful tracing of the birth of a new art form, and an atmospheric portrait of nineteenth-century France: impressive on all three counts.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith is the author of The Beautiful Miscellaneous. He is a former recipient of the Dobie Paisano Fellowship from the Texas Institute of Letters. His fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. He grew up in Australia and now lives in Austin, Texas, where he received an MFA from the James A. Michener Center for Writers.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Historical
Runtime: 10.30
Audience: Adult
Language: English