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About the Book

About the Book

The Geographer's Library

Stretching through time and around the world, The Geographer's Library is an accomplished debut from Jon Fasman. With his remarkable command of language and suspense, Fasman has crafted a novel that explores how interconnected lives and deaths across countless years can collide in a single moment.

Few humans are able to escape being swallowed up by history. What is comforting, however, is that history usually waits until after we are gone to completely consume us. Paul Tomm is not so fortunate. What seems to be a routine death in a quiet New England town soon unfolds across continents and centuries as it threatens to completely overwhelm him.

As a reporter for a small local newspaper, it is Paul's job to compile an obituary for a reclusive old professor from Wickenden, Paul's alma mater, who was found dead at home. And so Paul begins the usually monotonous and uneventful task of gathering the necessary information. There is no family. The medical examiner has a few questions about the immaculate condition of the victim's internal organs, but that line of questioning ends abruptly with the doctor's unexpected death by a hit-and-run driver. Another of Paul's sources, a thirty-one-year-old (and rather attractive) young lady, proves to offer more in the way of companionship than a scoop.

But there is clearly more to this story than a few lines in the obit column. Who made the anonymous call reporting the death? A macabre threat left on Paul's front door makes it clear that there is a larger story, a story that doesn't want to be written. With a little help from his gruff but caring editor, a former professor, and a small-town cop who cannot seem to stay out of trouble, Paul begins to unravel a story that becomes more mysterious with every new detail. As he investigates, the reader becomes acquainted with a series of objects that tell the history of alchemy and is offered chilling glimpses of life in the former Soviet Union, where even a person's very breath is not his own.

As the body count increases, Paul begins to feel more and more pressure --- from gentle to violent --- to call off his fact-finding mission and let the dead bury the dead. His stubbornness, fueled by a drive to further his career, threatens not only to end his newfound relationship but nearly costs him his life.

The Geographer's Library
by Jon Fasman

  • Publication Date: February 28, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
  • ISBN-10: 0143036629
  • ISBN-13: 9780143036623