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The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code by [Margalit Fox]

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The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 447 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Discovered on ancient clay tablets in Crete in 1900 and deciphered half a century later, Linear B is the oldest known dialect of the Greek language, dating from about 1450 BCE. The story of its discovery by British archaeologist Arthur Evans and decipherment by British architect Michael Ventris is often told, but what is less frequently documented is the story of the American woman, Alice Kober, who laid much of the groundwork for the decipherment and who might have cracked the code herself, if she had not died in her early forties. Focusing on Kober’s efforts to tease meaning out of the strange, hitherto unknown symbols, Fox tells the story behind the story. Yes, Ventris made some brilliant deductive leaps, but without Kober’s years of painstaking work, those leaps could not have happened. You might think a book about trying to decipher a 3,000-year-old language wouldn’t be particularly exciting, but in this case you’d be wrong. Fox is a talented storyteller, and she creates an atmosphere of almost nail-biting suspense. We know the code was eventually cracked, but while we’re reading the book, we’re on the edge of our seats. This one deserves shelf space alongside such classics in the literature of decryption as Simon Singh’s The Code Book (1999). --David Pitt --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From the Back Cover

The Riddle of the Labyrinth is the true story of the quest to solve one of the most mesmerizing linguistic riddles in history and of the three brilliant, obsessed, and ultimately doomed investigators whose combined work would eventually crack the code. An award–winning journalist trained as a linguist, Margalit Fox not only takes readers step-by-step through the forensic process involved in cracking an ancient secret code, she restores one of the primary investigators, Alice Kober, to her rightful place in what is one of the most remarkable intellectual detective stories of all time.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B009NQZPCU
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Ecco; Reprint edition (May 14, 2013)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 14, 2013
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 5068 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 385 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 447 ratings

About the author

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Former senior writer for The New York Times and the author of multiple narrative nonfiction books. I'm featured in Steven Pinker's best-selling book "The Sense of Style" and Vanessa Gould's 2017 documentary "Obit."

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
447 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 24, 2021
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 7, 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

Vittorio
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite interesting...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 30, 2013
17 people found this helpful
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Fulvus Aper
3.0 out of 5 stars A must-read but not a good read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 14, 2014
5 people found this helpful
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Prof
5.0 out of 5 stars The deciphering of Linear B is one of the great stories of scientific archaeology of the 20th century
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 18, 2014
One person found this helpful
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Oranmhor
4.0 out of 5 stars The quest is more intriguing than the solution
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 5, 2013
4 people found this helpful
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Rick
4.0 out of 5 stars Non-fiction but as readable as the title suggests.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 17, 2014
One person found this helpful
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