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Thunderstruck Audiobook

Thunderstruck

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Publisher's Summary

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. Their 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 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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1128 )
5 star
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4.0 (724 )
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4.1 (721 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Rioux Clan 02-15-16
    Rioux Clan 02-15-16 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very good read!"

    Very interesting and, at times, really gripping. Eric Lawson is an excellent writer. Very good read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda K. Neville 02-03-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator or Story: Sonething's Not Working"
    What disappointed you about Thunderstruck?

    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.


    Would you recommend Thunderstruck to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. It's slow and goes on and on.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bob Balaban?

    Scott Brick, Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner, Simon Vance, to name a few.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Thunderstruck?

    A little more detail to help lock characters in my brain. People detail, not scientific detail.


    Any additional comments?

    Still love Erik Larson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry United States 01-24-16
    Sherry United States 01-24-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    5
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    "Boring"
    What disappointed you about Thunderstruck?

    It was incredibly boring. I kept reading, thinking it would improve, but had to stop.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Erik Larson again?

    Yes. Devil in The White City is excellent. I'm reading it now.


    What does Bob Balaban bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Nothing. The reader's voice couldn't help this one.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It would be very interesting for a ham radio or other such technical person.


    Any additional comments?

    I want my credit back!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KismetKat11 04-10-15
    KismetKat11 04-10-15 Member Since 2007

    My favorite genre is Mysteries. Thank you Audible for keeping me company on my commute, doing chores, etc. What a treat!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting but Larson has done better"
    Would you try another book from Erik Larson and/or Bob Balaban?

    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".


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I was really more drawn to the Crippen storyline. I was less interested in how many towers Marconi built and where he built them.


    Did Bob Balaban do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    N/A, this was a narration.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I don't think so. I know the story and don't feel that visuals would add anything.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Palo Alto, CA, United States 09-30-10
    Richard Palo Alto, CA, United States 09-30-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    "Wonderful story"

    Erik Larson tells a great story that makes it hard to stop listening. Highly recommended.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Hot Springs, AR, United States 12-10-08
    James Hot Springs, AR, United States 12-10-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Terrible"

    One of the worst I have attempted to listen to. In fact, had to give it up after 5 hours of extreme boredom.
    Would have been better if the author had written two boring books instead of consolidating them into one.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    irvin marietta, GA, United States 10-20-07
    irvin marietta, GA, United States 10-20-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Needed more excitement"

    the author spent a lot of unneccesary time talking about the technical struggles of getting wireless telegraphy to work. that, coupled with the monotone of the reader, made this book a real job to read.

    there should have been a lot more focus on the murder and its investigation.

    the reader starts my saying that there will be a lot of detail about the science around the murder but very little is really brought forward.

    this book should have been 2 hours at the most.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fran Bronte, TX, USA 11-20-06
    Fran Bronte, TX, USA 11-20-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    2
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    "Tedious"

    This book seems to go on forever and forever. Every tiny detail of Marconi and Crippen and every tiny detail of anyone who ever knew them is in the book.

    7 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet 11-30-15
    Janet 11-30-15 Member Since 2013
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    67
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    Overall
    "Less would have been more."

    Two story lines. One intriguing and one plodding . They finally come together but it felt like a lot of work to get there.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F. Wreford 11-09-15
    F. Wreford 11-09-15 Member Since 2012

    FSW

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    12
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    "Wonderful Story"

    This is a great book for fans of history and mystery. Mr. Larson does an excellent job weaving two stories together.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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