Thunderstruck

Erik Larson, Author, Tony Goldwyn, Read by Random House Audio Publishing Group $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7393-3963-3
Larson's new suspense-spiked history links Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of wireless telegraphy, with Hawley Crippen, a mild-mannered homeopathic doctor in turn-of-the-century London. While Larson tells their stories side by side, most listeners will struggle to find a reason for connecting the two men other than that both lived around the same time and that Goldwyn's plummy voice narrates their lives. Only on the final disc does the logic behind the intertwining of the stories become apparent and the tale gain speed. At this point, the chief inspector of Scotland Yard sets out after Crippen on a transatlantic chase, spurred by the suspicion that he committed a gruesome murder. Larson's account of the iconoclastic Marconi's quest to prove his new technology is less than engaging and Crippen's life before the manhunt was tame. Without a very compelling cast to entertain during Larson's slow, careful buildup, many listeners may not make it to the breathless final third of the book when it finally come alive.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-91423-1
Paperback - 463 pages
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7393-4686-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-0-7393-7561-7
Hardcover - 641 pages - 978-0-7393-2676-3
Hardcover - 463 pages - 978-1-4000-8066-3
Open Ebook - 353 pages - 978-0-307-35192-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-3965-7
Open Ebook - 544 pages - 978-1-4090-4476-5
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-385-60846-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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