Thunderstruck

Thunderstruck

3.67 (28,527 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A true story of love, murder, and the end of the world's "great hush" In "Thunderstruck," Erik Larson tells the interwoven stories of two men--Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication--whose lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal chases of all time. Set in Edwardian London and on the stormy coasts of Cornwall, Cape Cod, and Nova Scotia, "Thunderstruck" evokes the dynamism of those years when great shipping companies competed to build the biggest, fastest ocean liners, scientific advances dazzled the public with visions of a world transformed, and the rich outdid one another with ostentatious displays of wealth. Against this background, Marconi races against incredible odds and relentless skepticism to perfect his invention: the wireless, a prime catalyst for the emergence of the world we know today. Meanwhile, Crippen, "the kindest of men," nearly commits the perfect crime. With his superb narrative skills, Erik Larson guides these parallel narratives toward a relentlessly suspenseful meeting on the waters of the North Atlantic. Along the way, he tells of a sad and tragic love affair that was described on the front pages of newspapers around the world, a chief inspector who found himself strangely sympathetic to the killer and his lover, and a driven and compelling inventor who transformed the way we communicate. "Thunderstruck" presents a vibrant portrait of an era of seances, science, and fog, inhabited by inventors, magicians, and Scotland Yard detectives, all presided over by the amiable and fun-loving Edward VII as the world slid inevitably toward the first great war of the twentieth century. Gripping from the first page, and rich with fascinating detail about the time, the people, and the new inventions that connect and divide us, "Thunderstruck" is splendid narrative history from a master of the form. "From the Hardcover edition."show more

Product details

  • CD-Audio
  • 132.1 x 149.9 x 30.5mm | 226.8g
  • Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • United States
  • English
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged
  • 0739339656
  • 9780739339657

Review quote

"Larson's gift for rendering an historical era with vibrant tactility and filling it with surprising personalities makes "Thunderstruck" an irresistible tale...He beautifully captures the awe that greeted early wireless transmissions on shipboard...he restores life to this fascinating, long-lost world."-" Washington Post ""Of all the non-fiction writers working today, Erik Larson seems to have the most delicious fun...for his newest, destined-to-delight book, "Thunderstruck," Larson has turned his sights on Edwardian London, a place alive with new science and seances, anonymous crowds and some stunningly peculiar personalities"-- "Chicago Tribune""[Larson] interweaves gripping storylines about a cryptic murderer and the race for technology in the early 20th century. An edge-of-the-seat read."-- "People""Captivating...with "Thunderstruck," Larson has selected another enthralling tale--two of them, actually--...[he] peppers the narrative with an engaging array of secondary figures and fishow more

About Erik Larson

Erik Larson is the bestselling author of the National Book Award finalist and Edgar Award–winning The Devil in the White City. He lives in Seattle with his wife, three daughters, and a dog named Molly.show more

Rating details

28,527 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 18% (5,024)
4 41% (11,752)
3 33% (9,421)
2 7% (1,977)
1 1% (353)
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