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The Air Loom Gang

Posted on

The Air Loom Gang

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Mike Jay
genre:
Nonfiction

We gave it a B

He was a Welsh tea merchant. One of the first documented paranoid schizophrenics. A prisoner in turn-of-the-19th-century London’s infamous Bedlam asylum who believed his thoughts and actions were being controlled by an underground pneumatic device called the ”Air Loom.” And, for a brief moment, a key player in the bloody aftermath of the French Revolution. These are the extraordinary facts of James Tilly Matthews’ life, and in the hands of a writer like Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City), they would have made for a stupendous book. All the more a shame, then, that Jay — shackled to rote detail, plodding in language — can’t quite whip his tasty raw materials into a more appetizing dish.

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