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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. With his unparalleled narrative skills, Erik Larson guides 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...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Erik Larson has become one of my favorite authors

Erik Larson readers should not miss this book

Excellent - Entertaining

This is a great book. I read it on the 8.5 hour flight between Minneapolis and Hawaii - boy was I glad I did. This book is great for history junkies and people who love murder mysteries. If you love both - bonus for you. I loved Devil in the White City, and I loved this book just as much. Larson rips you into this book and just when you think you are going to get some answers - he turns to another plot in the story - it just keeps you reading, and fast. The historical data about wireless communications is worth reading all by itself - not to mention how that piece plays into the final conclusion of this book. For what that is - you will have to read the book. JVD


Erik Larson has not just struck thunder here, he has struck gold. This is a beautifully written piece of historical literature. Essentially it's two stories in one, but far from being a distraction it merely left me feeling as if I had purchased two books for the price of one. And two very good books at that! One story is following the life of Guglielmo Marconi (that fellow who invented the wireless no less) while the other is on a totally different plane following the story of the infamous Dr Crippen as he tries to flee old England for a new life in Canada after the murder of his wife. I've never before come across a book that intertwines two so different stories into one novel. Mixing fact with fiction as well adds even further flavour to what is already an extremely satisfying dessert. There were so many occasions when reading this book that I found myself open mouthed, or shaking my head at just how clever it all is. This is not the sort of book that normally appeals to me, and in fact I'm not sure there are too many of its kind around, but if you're looking to try something new and original then Erik Larson's Thunderstruck could just leave you.... dumbstruck. I can't praise this highly enough, except to say that if I could give a book six stars it would be this one.

A Devilishly Good Read!

I am a big fan of the historical thriller, and have tendency to take my time enjoyably absorbing true information and fact presented in good fiction writing. I am of the opinion that the task of a fiction writer to educate and entertain is more difficult than a non-fiction writer. This said, `Thunderstruck' by Erik Larson was a complete read that left me fully satiated on all levels: Larson's writing style was easy and absorbing; the character development, particularly of Guglielmo Marconi (inventor or wireless telecommunication technology) and Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen (The "North London Cellar Murderer") entertaining, consistent, and engaging; the use of historical data and fact to drive the story and remarkably make a story that occurred nearly a century ago relevant and current to today's world, superbly and interestingly executed; and finally, a plot of two that meet head on and merge into one fascinating spin: Marconi's `throw it at the wall' attempt and success to create a wireless communication system, and a murderer attempting to flee England to Canada after killing his treacherous wife who unknowingly has the entire world following his escapades of escape due to Marconi's newly created technology! Very rare is it that two working plots in past historical fiction can run concurrently with a sense of edge of interests that they do not take away from each other or the story as a whole. Historical dual-plot prose' have been the death of many books. Erik Larson's 'Thunderstruck' is one of those rare exemplary stories executed with a forceful yet delicate balance of writing style that demonstrates why, if done right, dual-thematic historical fiction writing can produce stellar fiction. Larson's `Thunderstruck' is a must read for readers interested in technology discoveries, thrillers, and simply put, good storytelling. Sit back and enjoy this devilishly clever read, and journey back a century ago to a time where cutting edge technology would result in the scientific and thus, customs and norms of society today!

history even better than mystery

This is two stories in one. The story of how Marconi struggled to popularize and refine radio technology by trial and error is fascinating, and the story of how mild mannered Harley Crippen became a famous criminal is nearly as interesting, and then the stories merge in a weird but memorable way. And every bit of it is true. I have to say that Larson puts it all together beautifully. He feeds you the perfect detail at the right time. It's not so much a true crime tale as it is a tale of human nature. It has a certain inevitability without ever boring you. I bet this one will spend a long time on the bestseller list, just like Devil in the White City (his previous book) did.
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