Around 1400, in the city of Mainz, a man was born whose heretical invention was to change history. Sixty odd years later he died - robbed of his business, his printing presses, and, so he thought, his immortality. Johann Gutenberg, master printer, charmer, conman and visionary was the man who invented 'artificial writing' and printed the Gutenberg Bible.In his dazzling first novel Morrison gives us Gutenberg's 'testament' - his justification, dictated to one of the young scribes his invention has put out of work. Through the words of his endearing, exasperating creation Morrison conjures up the colourful, plague-ridden world of fifteenth-century Europe, the rich burghers, concupiscent daughters, wily apprentices, careless scribes - and the craftsmen who pioneered the art of print. But, above all, there is the exasperating, endearing and finally haunting figure of Gutenberg himself- a man who gambled everything - money, honour, friendship and a woman's love - on the greatest invention of the last millennium.