A dazzling, inventive literary adventure tale in which Captain Ahab confronts Captain Nemo and the dark cultural stories represented by both characters are revealed in cliffhanger fashion.
A sprawling adventure pitting two of literature’s most iconic anti-heroes against each other: Captain Nemo and Captain Ahab. Caught between them: real-life British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, builder of the century’s greatest ship, The Great Eastern. But when he’s kidnapped by Nemo to help design a submarine with which to fight the laying of the Translatlantic cable – linking the two colonialist forces Nemo hates, England and the US – Brunel finds himself going up against his own ship, and the strange man hired to protect it, Captain Ahab, in a battle for the soul of the 19th century.
“Three cheers for Howard Rodman’s ripping steampunk adventure, The Great Eastern! Outrageous linguistic brio gives pleasure line by line, while the story, an epic battle between two 19th century archvillians—Captain Nemo and Captain Ahab—keeps the pages flying. A tour de force fantasy where science meets human obsession.” –Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander
”It’s like twelve of your favorite movies all at once—in full Sensurround.” —Jonathan Lethem
”An absolutely ingenious premise propels this audacious adventure into surprising and thrilling territory, where history twists and braids itself like the transatlantic cable at the heart of this epic narrative. A ready-made binge-read!” —Steven Soderbergh
”Howard Rodman’s The Great Eastern is a book of confabulations, real and imagined. Surprises on every page. A splendid and notable achievement.” —Ricky Jay
”This is the sort of thing that readers of China Mieville or Alan Moore or Eleanor Catton should gobble up. A historical phantasmagoria and ripping adventure done as a game of hide-and-seek.” —Jonathan Lethem
”A helluva great story.” —Jake Gyllenhaal
”A weird and wondrous adventure, chock-full of rick, commanding prose detailing the clash between arrogant geniuses of considerable ego, and the historical ripples such a clash imparts.” —Chuck Wendig
”Not another scrivener alive or dead but Rodman—lyrical and witty, erudite and passionate, dare we say rapturous, dare we say obsessed—could have charted let alone helmed this singular, exhilarating Flying Dutchman of an epic.” —Steve Erickson