Audiobook CD - 2006 | Unabridged
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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 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 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.
Publisher: New York : Random House Audio, 2006
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780739339657
Branch Call Number: 364.15230942 LAR
Characteristics: 10 compact discs


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Jan 31, 2017

This is my least favorite book by Larson. It failed to hold my interest despite his brilliant writing.

JCLHopeH Jul 26, 2016

This interweaving of scientific invention and true crime felt a bit forced and slow, but it picked up momentum near the end as the stories connected. It's an interesting slice of history!

Oct 30, 2015

A story that combines murder and the invention of wireless radio. Should be compelling, but, like Erik Larson's other story on the Lusitania, way, way too long and full of minutia. A list of socks, including colour, that one woman gave another, really?

Jan 24, 2012

Good stories, but I got a bit bored with them. I actually knew what happened before I erad them so that might have had something to do with it. Not his best work!

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