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 séances, 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 20th century.
Gripping from the start, 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.
©2006 Erik Larson; (P)2006 Random House, Inc.
"Larson has a knack for creating genuine suspense in his writing, and his latest is thoroughly enthralling." (Booklist)
"Splendid, beautifully written....Thunderstruck triumphantly resurrects the spirit of another age." (Publishers Weekly)
This would have been better if it had been written as a science history book which is how it read. The murder mystery part of it was lost in the science history of telegraph communications.
This is not a novel so much as it is a history lesson. I got all the way through it and I do not regret the purchase, but be warned, its less story and more fact in chronological order.
very good story, but i think the book is misconstructed in a couple of important ways and might have moved quicker. non-fiction buffs will still enjoy it i should think
I enjoyed the story, but I was having a hard time listening to more than a half hour at a time. It took me half the book to realize the reading was very disjointed. The narrator seemed to add a comma to almost every sentence, breaking them up into short, choppy sections, and this made it very hard to listen to.
The story by Larsen was what I have come to expect from him after reading one and listening to another of his books.
While perhaps not up to the level of Devil in the White City, I found Thunderstruck completely captivating. Just as in his previous book, both plots are very engaging. As the author admits in the prologue, sometimes the detail is just a bit over the top, but the vast majority of the time the extra bits of trivia are quite interesting.
While the narrator starts out speaking quickly at the very beginning (and only the beginning), I had no other issues with the narration. It was clear and never detracted from the story.
I love how Erik Larson weaves good and bad parts of particular times together, and the details of all information related to the topic is explored. a most interesting and informative read. second time I have read this story.
I've loved Erik's other books. All of them. This one drags and drags. Not sure if it's the story or the narration. I'll probably check out a hard copy since Erik is one of my favorite authors.
No. It's slow and goes on and on.
Scott Brick, Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner, Simon Vance, to name a few.
A little more detail to help lock characters in my brain. People detail, not scientific detail.
Still love Erik Larson.
It was incredibly boring. I kept reading, thinking it would improve, but had to stop.
Yes. Devil in The White City is excellent. I'm reading it now.
Nothing. The reader's voice couldn't help this one.
It would be very interesting for a ham radio or other such technical person.
I want my credit back!
My favorite genre is Mysteries. Thank you Audible for keeping me company on my commute, doing chores, etc. What a treat!
Yes, I love the way Erik Larson often contrasts to simultaneous stories showing an intersection one might not have otherwise recognized. However, I found Bob Balaban's narration to be a bit annoying. He sometimes would talk "up", ending a sentence as if it were a question. Also, it's a pet peeve when people mispronounce the names of places. Slough, UK is pronounced like "Plow" (with the 'gh' at the end silent), not like "Fluff".
I was really more drawn to the Crippen storyline. I was less interested in how many towers Marconi built and where he built them.
N/A, this was a narration.
I don't think so. I know the story and don't feel that visuals would add anything.
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