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Informative,
Insightful,
Slow

4 reviews

Thunderstruck
by Erik Larson

Published: 2007-09-25
Paperback : 480 pages
10 members reading this now
11 clubs reading this now
5 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 4 members

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 ...

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Introduction

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.

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Book Club Recommendations

Devil in the White city is better.
by loghouseJD (see profile) 05/11/13
It was as if he couldn\'t bear to edit his research. Who cares how many of the wife\'s handkerchiefs were given to the landlady?

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Thunderstruck"by guesswho (see profile) 07/15/14

The story about the murder was so familiar, I may have read it before. This time around I was interested in the Marconi saga.

Having read up on the gentleman from New York who supposedly

... (read more)

 
  "Not quite up to Devil in the White City"by loghouseJD (see profile) 05/11/13

Too much detail. Ponderous. None of the characters are people I really want to know more about.

 
  "wouldn't recommend"by Fastorange01 (see profile) 09/19/11

Devil in the White City is much more interesting

 
  "A Page Turner It's Not"by ebach (see profile) 09/01/11

THUNDERSTRUCK by Eric Larson tells two stories, and you won’t know what one has to do with the other until almost the end.

On one hand, there’s Marconi. He’s from Italy but lives i

... (read more)

 
  "Not nearly as good as Devil in the White City"by ebburtis (see profile) 03/08/08

The murder storyline is much more interesting than the Marconi storyline. In general the stories are not as interestingly interwoven as in his first book, Devil in the White City.

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