Thunderstruck

Thunderstruck

Book - 2006 | 1st ed.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
11
2
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, an era of séances, science, and fog, 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.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400080663
9781400080670
Characteristics: ix, 463 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: The mysterious passengers
Ghosts and gunfire
Betrayal
Secrets
An inspector calls
The finest time
Pursuit by thunder
Epilogue: into the ether.
Summary: 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, an era of séances, science, and fog, 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.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
j
jquick99
Jul 27, 2019

Wayyy too much on the history of electricity/wireless technology and not enough on the murder plot. Super boring.

e
emmckee
Nov 01, 2018

I preferred "The Devil in the White City" but this book was also interesting in its own way. Larson's device of intersecting two contemporaneous stories can be disjointed, but I do enjoy how they end up being connected, especially in these two cases.

I was more interested in the Crippen case than Marconi's, but I did enjoy hearing how important Marconi's invention was to Crippen's capture. All in all an enjoyable read.

o
orange_lobster_23
Mar 15, 2018

Erik Larson's uncanny way of intersecting historical personalities and events always captivates me. Unlike "Devil in the White City" and "Dead Wake", which I previously read, Larson choses
to focus mainly two events: Marconi and establishment of wireless telegraphy and the pursuit
and solving of the Crippen murder--too seeming incongruous simultaneous events. The back
and forth narrative adds to the tension and frenetic pace to the culmination of each story. It reads like a good thriller.

b
brobertb
Mar 03, 2018

After reading and really enjoying one of his other books "Dead Wake", I was looking forward to reading this one. After inching along and having to renew it once, though, I still hadn't read much of it. Too much jumping back and forth trying to follow what was happening in the story. I just took it back and decided to give it a try at a later date.

c
chamc01
Jun 23, 2015

Lots of great period detail. The way he meshes the two story lines is so interesting.

Jane60201 Oct 21, 2013

An excellent book. The switches in themes were a little distracting but both themes were well researched and written.

gwsuperfan May 02, 2012

Thunderstruck was great, although I'm sure some folks will be irritated by the focus on the development of wireless telegraphy distracting from the core story of the allegedly murderous doctor. This seems to be a pattern in Larson's books: the bulk of the book seems to focus more on tangentially related things. Still, I found all aspects of the book fascinating.

d
Dub
Mar 14, 2012

Excellent read. Historical drama and tying the two separate stories together in the end was extremely effective. Well written and a good page turner.

o
ownedbydoxies
Jan 30, 2012

Interesting book, but flipping from one person to the other throughout, made it a little difficult to really find interest in either individual. His other books are better, in my opinion. That being said, this still was well-written and researched.

markengpns Jan 12, 2012

This book was not nearly as interesting as Devil in the White City. I am an electrical engineer and even I found this one easy to put down. The story just isn't that interesting, and the writing doesn't keep the reader's attention.

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at CML

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top