Matthew Pearl clearly loves reading and literary history. Some of his prior historical thrillers involved Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dante. The Last Bookaneer takes place in England and Samoa, where a dying Robert Louis Stevenson labors over his last novel while two infamous “Bookaneers” plot to steal it before the new international copyright laws close the last loophole that encouraged their literary larceny. Matthew packs his tale with bookish love and intrigue and gives a richly textured view of an isolated island culture trying to maintain its cultural identity under competing claims from England and Germany.
–Jack Wolcott, Grass Roots Books & Music, Corvallis, OR