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The Chess Machine

The Chess Machine Based on a true story The Chess Machine is the breathtaking historical adventure of a legendary invention that astounded all who crossed its path Vienna Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen unveils a str

  • Title: The Chess Machine
  • Author: Robert Löhr Anthea Bell
  • ISBN: 9781616824471
  • Page: 391
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Based on a true story, The Chess Machine is the breathtaking historical adventure of a legendary invention that astounded all who crossed its path Vienna 1770 Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen unveils a strange and amazing invention, the Mechanical Turk, a sensational and unbeatable chess playing automaton But what the Habsburg court hails as the greatest innovation of the cenBased on a true story, The Chess Machine is the breathtaking historical adventure of a legendary invention that astounded all who crossed its path Vienna 1770 Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen unveils a strange and amazing invention, the Mechanical Turk, a sensational and unbeatable chess playing automaton But what the Habsburg court hails as the greatest innovation of the century is really nothing than a brilliant illusion The chess machine is secretly operated from inside by the Italian dwarf Tibor, a God fearing social outcast whose chess playing abilities and diminutive size make him the perfect accomplice in this grand hoax Von Kempelen and his helpers tour his remarkable invention all around Europe to amaze and entertain the public, but despite many valiant attempts and close calls, no one is able to beat the extraordinary chess machine The crowds all across Europe adore the Turk, and the success of Baron von Kempelen seems assured But when a beautiful and seductive countess dies under mysterious circumstances in the presence of the automaton, the Mechanical Turk falls under a cloud of suspicion, and the machine and his inventor become the targets of espionage, persecution, and aristocratic intrigue What is the dark secret behind this automaton and what strange powers does it hold The Chess Machine is a daring and remarkable tale, based on a true story, full of envy, lust, scandal and deception.

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      Published :2018-010-27T03:07:15+00:00

    1 thought on “The Chess Machine

    1. I picked this book up on whim from the public library's New Books section because the backstory is about an elaborate hoax during the 17th century Hapsburg Empire to build an automaton that could play chess as intelligently as a human being. I thought it was going to be like the type of creepy but enthralling stories that I had to read for a class on German Romantism, like Hofmannsthal's The Sandman (basis for the ballet Coppelia) or Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein. Except that instead of d [...]

    2. Perhaps a novel about a chess-playing automaton is not your ideal storyline. What if I told you that there was a secret behind the machine depending on a dwarf which traversed murder, revenge, and espionage? If those images spark your attention, then The Chess Machine by Robert Lohr is perfect for you.Don’t expect a traditional novel arc with The Chess Machine, as the book simply does not begin with the “usual” character introductions. This will reject some readers due to the novel’s som [...]

    3. (The much longer full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter].)As regular readers know, one of the topics that often comes up here at the CCLaP website is of the slippery line between what we commonly refer to as "mainstream" literature versus "genre;" of not only where that line should be drawn, but of how we look at books differently based on what side it falls, not to mention the different smaller lines that can be drawn once you're on one side o [...]

    4. Based on mostly-true events of the late 18th-century in Europe, Robert Lohr's first novel recreates the life and times of the Mechanical Turk, an automaton created by Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen which could "think" and play chess in an attempt to win the attention of the Empress. What von Kempelen managed to do was to create a sensational stir across Europe with what actually was all a fancy hoax. Lohr takes some creative liberty and draws a murder mystery into the mix, of which causes enough su [...]

    5. I tried very hard to get into this, because, frankly, I had judged this book by its cover. It's an excellent cover, to be fair - all revolving cogs and wheels and jubilant aristocrats striking curious poses. Too bad the book itself is such a disappointment. It takes a wonderful story from history - the making of a chess-playing automaton, which was in reality an elaborate hoax - and turns it into a textbook thriller, with characters who aren't particularly interesting or memorable, and without a [...]

    6. I cannot remember who passed this book along to me but I've had it on my book shelf for nearly 3 years and finally selected it to read. I admit to a preference for "Penguin Books" because their authors are interesting and NOT run of the mill. So, the Chess Machine I gave it 4 stars because it kept my interest even though I do not play chess or know much about the game. It is based on a true story but the author surmised much of what was not known. It is a period piece (1760's to 1780's) which a [...]

    7. A bit more dwarf sex than I am used to in a book about chess and 18th century European nobility butI think that this novel falls into the trap that many books in the "historical fiction" fall into regardless of the subject. The fictional characters, or the events/dialogue created around the historical characters, are just not nearly as interesting as the actual events.

    8. Seit sich der schöpferische Geist des Menschen an der Erschaffung von Maschinen versucht, lag eines seiner großen mythischen Ziele darin, es seinem Schöpfergott gleich zu tun und sich ein intelligentes Ebenbild zu schaffen. Gleich nicht nur an körperlichen sondern vor allen Dingen auch an geistigen Fähigkeiten. Die intelligente Maschine oder am Ende gar die denkende und fühlende Maschine? Da die künstlichen Intelligenz zu meinen Interessen- und Forschungsgebieten zählt, war die literaris [...]

    9. I really wanted to like this book. Robert Löhr chooses unexpected, off-the-beaten-track subjects for his historical fiction. Unconventional and obscure historical events are right up my alley, so this novel promised to be a blast. Sadly, the book did not deliver.This was Löhr's debut novel and it shows. He didn't get the pacing right, nor was he able to give his characters any depth. The story revolves around a mechanical chess machine. The first machine able to think and play chess - or that' [...]

    10. Al contrario de lo hace este libro, comenzaré por el inicio. Esta novela está inspirada en hechos veridicos nos habla de una autómata que juega ajedrezque básicamente es un enano encerrado en una incomodisima caja. Conforme este invento va ganando popularidad, gracias a sus interminables triunfos frente a la nobleza.La novela engancha, empieza por el final (el meollo del asunto te lo dicen no en la primera página sino en el primer párrafo) pero ello no impide que disfrutes el trayecto.El m [...]

    11. Kind of a combination steam punk/historical fiction, The Chess Machine is a surprisingly good read, quick and entertaining. The story is based on a real "Mechanical Turk" that toured around Europe in the 1800's, but whose origins are lost to recorded history. The author takes the beginnings of the machine and makes up his own characters, filling in the origin of how the Turk was first created. What you come up with is a surprisingly fun suspense/thriller style novel, which is quite easy to read [...]

    12. What's most fascinating about this book is that the chess machine of the title not only existed, but also really did dupe citizens and royal courts across Europe for decades.I very much enjoyed the historical setting of the book, which travelled from Venice to Slovakia via Prussia and Austria. The plot is quite pacey and while it does culminate in a bit of a far-fetched blood-spilling climax, I could imagine this book making a good historical action movie, with all its soldiers and generals, roy [...]

    13. Overall an enjoyable work of historical fiction, based on the true story of a late 18th century chess-playing machine that was, in reality, just an elaborate hoax. The story is told with lots of eccentric characters, and the narrative is well-paced and helped along by occasional flash-forwards that slowly reveal how things worked out for these characters over time. By the end I think the author may have tried a little *too* hard to be unpredictable and defy the readers' expectations by making ch [...]

    14. FranklyI couldn't get through this book. I petered out around page two hundred, when the characters just all seemed to be doing what I expected of them, in the ways I predicted. It's a beautiful cover, and a beautiful idea, but too often the story aspects are jammed into the historical aspects, and the characters seem to be pastiches rather than individual. I wouldn't rule out other books by this author, but this book didn't succeed for me.

    15. The Chess Machine is a novelized retelling of one of the greatest hoaxes of all time. It is the story of Baron Wolfgang Von Kempelen's invention, The Turk, a chess playing automaton. It is an enjoyable read.

    16. Translated from the German by Anthea Bell and narrated by Stephen Hoy. I would love to see a film of this book.

    17. Besides being a very thrilling historical novel, "The Chess Machine" is a fantastic character study, with a memorable protagonist and compelling suporting characters.

    18. Itävalta-Unkarin keisarinna Maria Teresia pyytää hovineuvos von Kempeleniä valmistamaan ihmeellisen koneen, joka pystyy ajattelemaan ihmisen lailla. Von Kempelen rakentaa šakkia pelaavan automaatin, mutta todellisuudessa kyse on huijauksesta: koneen sisällä istuu Tibor-niminen italialainen kääpiö, joka on mestari šakinpeluussa. Von Kempelen on kunnianhimoinen ja jatkaa šakkinäytösten järjestämistä, vaikka monet ovat valmiita selvittämään šakkiautomaatin salaisuudenRobert Lö [...]

    19. 1770 Vienna and German-Hungarian court secretary Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen, unsatisfied with his current position, is determined increase his standing in the court. In his mind there is just one way to show his true worth, with the creation of a machine so stunning it will wow the whole of Europe, an ingenious speaking machine, the first of it’s kind. In order to sufficiently impress the empress, and help ensure himself the funding and time to eventually create his masterpiece, Kempelen emba [...]

    20. (Dug review out of the depths of LiveJournal.)Extremely upfucked: hooray! About The Mechanical Turk: hooray! I liked it. It is not the most fantastic thing ever.

    21. Exceptional historical fiction. I knew nothing of the reality of the machine and I am surprised. More later.

    22. Excellent story and I really liked Tibor's character. I didn't realise the book was based on real events until I'd finished it, but the story was conveyed in a believable manner. Recommended.

    23. A little slow going but the story picks up if you stick with it. A rich imagining of life in Enlightenment Hapsburg Empire. Lots of interesting historical allusions to those familiar with this period in European history. A novelization of the etymology of the German "türken," to trick or fake.

    24. In this debut novel by former journalist and screenwriter Robert Lohr, an ambitious court official decides to impress the queen with a marvellous machine that can win a chess game against any opponent.A flaw in the plan: he knows building such a machine is impossible, at least for now. So instead, he hires a dwarf, who also happens to be a chess expert, to sit in the machine and act as the automaton's mind.Even more unbelievable that the plot is the fact that all this actually happened. Berlin-b [...]

    25. Κάθε καινοτομία, στην εποχή της, τυγχάνει αντικείμενο χλευασμού, φθόνου, υπονόμευσης, φτάνοντας ακόμα και στα όρια του μίσους. Ιησούς, Γαλιλαίος, Ντίζελ και τόσα άλλα φωτισμένα πρόσωπα και μυαλά πέρασαν των παθών τους τον τάραχο μέχρι η ιστορία να τους δικαιώσει, τους περισ [...]

    26. I flew through the first 200 or so pages, after which the book began to drag a bit - a lot of the later part of the novel just seems like filler text. I liked the use of the non-linear style for keeping the book moving, but this did mean that you had a rough idea of what happens, so a lot of the drama and 'suspense' of the latter pages wasn't really very dramatic or suspenseful, and you were just waiting for the conclusion. As an historical novel, it was a pretty interesting glimpse of the attit [...]

    27. There are so many good ideas in this book you can forgive the flaws. Loosely based on actual events, The Secrets of the Chess Machine tells the story of the Baron Von Kempelen, who is challenged by the Hapsburg Empress, Maria Theresia to invent something marvellous. The result is the Mechanical Turk, an unbeatable chess-playing automaton. Kempelen is part scientist, part conman and, of course, the Mechanical Turk is nothing but an outrageous hoax. Hidden behind the gears and clockwork is Tibor, [...]

    28. In my opinion, novels must have the following purposes: to engage the minds of the readers; to entertain the readers; and to educate the readers. Obviously there are many different , let´s say, "degrees" in which different novels opperate (one novel may be more pedagogic, more entertaining, more riveting than other - hence the different number of stars reviews) . In this specific case, I really enjoyed this novel by german author Robert Löhr: it revolves about a true historical event - a autom [...]

    29. I read this way way waaaaay back in the day and remember LOVING it, but don't have that clear of a memory of the actual book to award it all 5 stars. Definitely want to reread tho

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