"So, while unusually well-written, this historical novel loses its thrust about halfway through, becoming centerless, retrospective, and sometimes flatly crammed with facts."
Banville, the English novelist who fictionalized the life of one classical astronomer in the modestly impressive Doctor Copernicus (1976), now turns to another: Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)—seen here as a long-sufferer, a victim of religious persecution, a husband with complaining wives (especially first wife Barbara, fat and harping), the son of an accused witch. . . and a court mathematician who's most often called on to make up detestable horoscopes.
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