ThunderstruckBook - 2006
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 murder.
With his unparalleled narrative skills, Erik Larson guides us through a relentlessly suspenseful chase over 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.
Baker & Taylor
A portrait of the Edwardian era recounts two parallel stories--the case of Dr. Hawley Crippen, who murdered his wife and fled to America, and Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of wireless communication--as the new technology is used to capture a killer.
Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen murdered his wife and tried to escape London on a ship to America in the early twentieth century. He was caught in part due to the new invention of the wireless by Guglielmo Marconi, which was used on the ship. Larson draws from letters, memoirs, Scotland Yard reports, and other documents in telling the story and filling in its historical context of the Edwardian era. Larson is the author of Isaac's Storm and The Devil in the White City. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A vivid portrait of the Edwardian era recounts two parallel stories--the case of Dr. Hawley Crippen, who murdered his wife and fled the country with his mistress to build a new life in America, and Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of wireless communication--as the new technology is used to capture a killer. 300,000 first printing.