Jack Faust

Jack Faust

The acclaimed novels of award-winning author Michael Swanwick have been praised for their "heady mix of wild ideas and images" (San Francisco Chronicle) and "extraordinary richness and scope" (Kirkus Reviews). But nothing that has come before can quite compare to this, Swanwick's finest creation to date.It is Wittenberg, Germany, and Dr. Faust is burning his books. The alchemist is in deepest despair, for even his vast learning is powerless against the ignorance and superstition of his fellow man. Then, in his darkest moment, a voice whispers: Faust. And so begins Swanwick's masterful reinvention of Goethe's story of a scholar who sells his soul to the Devil for the gift of unlimited Knowledge.

But the wisdom this Mephistopheles offers goes far beyond anything even imagined in Goethe's day. The principles of flight, technology and economics, the mysteries of the cosmos, medicine and the atom -- all are made known to Faust as he remakes the world in his own image, ushering in the New Age of Mechanization centuries before its rightful day. Ultimately it is love -- for his creations and for a woman named Margarete -- that damns Jack Faust, as this brilliant story spins forward through time, pulling the reader to the very brink of the new millennium to confront the "progress" Faust has wrought.

Lyrical, arresting and provocative, "Jack Faust" is a cause for celebration -- it is an extraordinary work that entertains gloriously as it takes a deep and disturbing look into the collective soul of humankind.

Title:Jack Faust
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780380974443
Format Type:

    Jack Faust Reviews

  • Karl

    Set in Wittenberg, Germany, on the eve of the 19th century, Swanwick's vivid, retelling of an immortal tale opens with Faust burning his books in frustration at his own ignorance, trapped in a time an...

  • Werner

    "If there is no God, everything is permitted." --Fyodor Dostoevsky"'Do what thou wilt' shall be the whole of the law!" --Aleister CrowleyBoth of the quoted lines could well serve as epigraphs for this...

  • Richard Derus

    Real Rating: 2.5* of five~meh~...

  • Alan

    Faust said with sudden apprehension, "Yes. Yes, what do you want of me in return?""Only that you listen."—p.28A demonic bargain, to be sure—in a sense, the same one I ask of you here. But Faust an...

  • prcardi

    Storyline: 1/5Characters: 2/5Writing Style: 3/5World: 1/5I hadn't realized when I picked this up that this was another adaptation of the classic Faust story. That wasn't a tale I felt I really needed ...

  • Dergrossest

    It's tough to like a book that is all about the meaninglessness of life and inherent evil of humanity, but the author comes close to making the sale. This supposedly modern retelling of Faust is reall...

  • Sarah

    The middle of this book was so strong, but the ending really fell apart for me. I think it either needed to take the apocalyptic trajectory of J. Faust further to explicitly allude to the prophecy/pac...

  • John Robinson

    Swanwick's just a frakking genius and this just goes to further his place in the list of criminally underrated authors. Much as I liked this, it's no Dragons of Babel (which, just go read that, I regr...

  • Amanda

    great so far!-- Wow, i've never read any of Swanwick's books before although i've had The Iron Dragon's Daughter by him for over a year. I have definitely been missing out, this guy is GOOD!Jack Faust...

  • Algernon

    Here we have a re-telling of the Faust legend as a science-fiction tale in which a scholar who has grown restless with the scholarship of his time begins to burn all of his books, only to be visited b...