The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann audiobook

The Stockholm Octavo

By Karen Engelmann
Read by Simon Vance

Blackstone Publishing 9780061995347
12.59 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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For fans of Patrick Suskind’s classic Perfume comesa dazzling debut set during Stockholm’s opulent golden age and brilliantlyinterweaving history, romance, and intrigue—a story in which one man’s fortuneholds the key to a nation’s precarious fate. Life is close to perfect for Emil Larsson, a self-satisfiedbureaucrat in the Office of Customs and Excise in 1791 Stockholm. He is a trueman of the town—a drinker, card player, and contented bachelor—until oneevening when Mrs. Sofia Sparrow, a fortune-teller and proprietress of anexclusive gaming parlor, shares with him a vision she has had: a golden paththat will lead him to love and connection. She lays an octavo for him, a spreadof eight cards that augur the eight individuals who can help him realize thisvision—if he can find them. Emil begins his search, intrigued by the puzzle of hisoctavo and the good fortune Mrs. Sparrow’s vision portends. But when Mrs.Sparrow wins a mysterious folding fan in a card game, the octavo’s deeperpowers are revealed. For Emil it is no longer just a game of the heart;collecting his eight is now crucial to pulling his country back from thecrumbling precipice of rebellion and chaos. Set against the luminous backdrop of lateeighteenth-century Stockholm, as the winds of revolution rage through the greatcapitals of Europe, The Stockholm Octavo brings together acollection of characters, both fictional and historical, whose lives tangle inpolitical conspiracy, love, and magic in a breathtaking tale that will leaveyou spellbound.

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Summary

Summary

Selected for the November 2012 Indie Next List

One of the Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2012

A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, October 2012

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award, June 2013

For fans of Patrick Suskind’s classic Perfume comesa dazzling debut set during Stockholm’s opulent golden age and brilliantlyinterweaving history, romance, and intrigue—a story in which one man’s fortuneholds the key to a nation’s precarious fate.

Life is close to perfect for Emil Larsson, a self-satisfiedbureaucrat in the Office of Customs and Excise in 1791 Stockholm. He is a trueman of the town—a drinker, card player, and contented bachelor—until oneevening when Mrs. Sofia Sparrow, a fortune-teller and proprietress of anexclusive gaming parlor, shares with him a vision she has had: a golden paththat will lead him to love and connection. She lays an octavo for him, a spreadof eight cards that augur the eight individuals who can help him realize thisvision—if he can find them.

Emil begins his search, intrigued by the puzzle of hisoctavo and the good fortune Mrs. Sparrow’s vision portends. But when Mrs.Sparrow wins a mysterious folding fan in a card game, the octavo’s deeperpowers are revealed. For Emil it is no longer just a game of the heart;collecting his eight is now crucial to pulling his country back from thecrumbling precipice of rebellion and chaos.

Set against the luminous backdrop of lateeighteenth-century Stockholm, as the winds of revolution rage through the greatcapitals of Europe, The Stockholm Octavo brings together acollection of characters, both fictional and historical, whose lives tangle inpolitical conspiracy, love, and magic in a breathtaking tale that will leaveyou spellbound.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Delicious…The essence of witty intelligence. Readers will delight [in] every element in this Swedish weave, from the brutal winter weather to the unfurling of a lady’s fan. The plot is an urgent one, and the characters mysterious, appealing, and memorable…I felt a real kinship with author Karen Engelmann.” Sena Jeter Naslund, New York Times bestselling author of Ahab’s Wife
“If you like novels that work on many levels at once, read this stunning tessellation of a book, where fortune is the flip side of intrigue and where history is the flip side of chance.” Charlotte Rogan, New York Times bestselling author of The Lifeboat
“A delicious page-turner that brings eighteenth-century Stockholm to vivid life, complete with scandal, conspiracy, mystery, and a hint of magic. Karen Engelmann’s spectacular debut drew me in…A captivating tale, beautifully told.” Eleanor Brown, New York Times bestselling author
“A juicy page-turner…Engelmann’s intellectually playful take on the mathematics of love and power proves irresistible.” O, The Oprah Magazine
“Deliciously sly…As we fan through the pages, we recognize the usual narrative codes, but we can’t crack them any faster than Larsson can solve the puzzle of his destiny. The result is an irresistible cipher between two covers—an atmospheric tale of many rogues and a few innocents gambling on politics and romance in the cold, cruel north.”        New York Times Book Review
“A dizzying story of political intrigue and forbidden romance, all played out in an array of lost arts, from the reading of cards to the language of ladies’ fans to the healing power of plants. Each has its own delicious vocabulary and in Engelmann’s debut, each word is savored.” Boston Globe
“This is a swirling, swooping fanfare of a tale, with an immense cast and an exhilaratingly sustained finale.” Guardian (London)
“Karen Engelmann’s The Stockholm Octavo is a bonbon box filled with treats designed to appeal to lovers of literary historical thrillers.” Salon
“The fascination of the cards' unfolding gives way to even greater narrative magic, when Emil must wield all his intelligence and resources to identify the actual persons who embody the eight figures of his Octavo. With flawless instinct, Engelmann conflates mystery and romance.” BookPage
“Neatly mixing revolutionary politics with the erotic tension and cutthroat rivalry of the female conspirators…Engelmann has crafted a magnificent, suspenseful story set against the vibrant society of Sweden’s zenith, with a cast of colorful characters balanced at a crux of history.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Cartomancy is divination using regular playing cards in a game called the Octavo. This and the language and geometry of fans, as well as several other arcane practices, form the intriguing premise of Karen Englemann’s engrossing debut novel. Mrs. Sparrow, mistress of a gaming establishment in late-eighteenth-century Sweden, predicts a golden future for minor customs official Emil Larsson. Simon Vance does everything right as Emil meets the human embodiments of the eight cards that are destined to assist him. With characters as diverse as King Gustav, a French fan maker, and the scheming Uzanne, Vance never misses a step. His descriptions of several luscious young women, and of one particular fan thought to contain magical powers, are a marvel of nuance and subtlety. A delicious pairing of narrator and material.” AudioFile
“Fantastic…This rollicking adventure story reads at times like a fairy tale, with good guys and bad guys and obstacles to be recognized and overcome. It’s all quite fun. As either historical novel or adventure story, this clever first novel should appeal to a broad range of readers.” Library Journal (starred review)
“Mysterious, suspenseful, and, at times, action packed.” Booklist (starred review)
“Elegant and multifaceted, Engelmann’s debut explores love and connection in late–eighteenth-century Sweden and delivers an unusual, richly imagined read…The setup is wonderfully engrossingthis is stylish work by an author of real promise.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The Stockholm Octavo, Karen Engelmann’s impressive debut, is as marvelously and intricately constructed as the mysterious form of divination it’s named for. A true pleasure from beginning to satisfying end.” Shelf Awareness

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Karen Engelmann

Author Bio: Karen Engelmann

Karen Engelmann lived and worked in Sweden for nine years. She has an MFA from Goddard College in Vermont and is the 2011 winner of the American Scandinavian Society Cultural Grant Award for writing. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 12.59
Audience: Adult
Language: English