Lord Byron's Novel
While researching Lord Byron’s daughter for an academic website, Alexandra Novak stumbles across some crumbling pages of mathematical code. Might this be an encrypted version of Byron’s lost novel? And can the code be cracked? In this Possession-like literary mystery, the contemporary sleuthing — described in choppy e-mails between Alexandra, her estranged Byron-scholar father, and her mathematician lover — is interwoven with chapters from John Crowley’s take on an extravagant Byronic novel. He’s done a terrific job channeling the poet. Perhaps too terrific. In florid, antiquated prose, Crowley delivers a far-fetched novel-within-a-novel of murder, swordplay, stilted dialogue, and sexual intrigue that goes on about 50 pages too long in Lord Byron’s Novel.