Sunday, November 04, 2007

Thunderstruck

Virtually all my leisure reading comes from the non-fiction shelves, and my newest recommendation is Thunderstruck, a best-seller by Erik Larson.

As he did with his best-seller Devil in the White City, Larson weaves two concurrent events into one book, recounting episodes in alternate chapters.

In Devil in the White City, it was the story of men's obsessions -- in one saga, Dan Burnham, to create the spectacular Chicago World's Fair of 1893, alternating with the gruesome tale of H.H. Holmes, a man obsessed with killing whose victims came to Chicago to see what Burnham had built.

In Thunderstruck, Larson tells the stories of Guglielmo Marconi's tireless efforts to transmit and receive wireless communication signals across the Atlantic Ocean and the concurrent saga of Harvey Hawley Crippen and the North London Cellar Murder. It's the story of marital frustration, infidelity and, finally, murder.

It's a gripping book. As I read into the last half of the Thunderstruck, and both plots were reaching critical points, I found myself still reading past 2 a.m. one night last week, just to get to the ending. (Good thing I didn't have to start work until later that morning!)

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Wow, I remember when I used to stay up until two am, and you would wonder how I could stay up that late. Now it's the opposite! Sounds like a good book though. I liked Devil in the White City, so I'll have to add this to my list.