The Arcanum Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Arcanum

Bantam, May 2004, 22.00, 324 pp.
ISBN 0553380314X

In 1919 London, a car full of young people runs over an old man and with his dying breath he says “He's in my mind” and then says Arcanum. The Ministry of Munitions Winston Churchill notifies Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that Konstantin Duvall is dead. Duvall was a mage and a mystic, an explorer and collector of all things occult. He kept many secrets one of which, The Book of Enoch, the third part of the Bible that was thought to be erased from existence in the first century, was stolen from its hiding place by a practitioner of the dark arts.
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Doyle goes to America where he brings together the rest of the members of THE ARCANUM, Harry Houdini, H.P. Lovecraft and the powerful voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. They must find the missing book and the killer. The perpetrator is a powerful mage who practices the black arts and is able to elude THE ARCANUM. He is able to spring a trap that has Houdini in jail and the rest of the group running from the law while guarding an Angel who doesn't know how to get home.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Arcanum

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Tech./$$$/Info hunt    -   Yes Stealing/recovering/destroying    -   magical artifact Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Religious overtones?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   60's-90's


Earth setting:    -   20th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Thomas Wheeler Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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