Raaave review coming! If you’re into historical fiction like me (I would say I’m more obsessed), then I would absolutely recommend a new release called The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. Set in the late 19th century, The Last Days of Night really intrigued me because it promised a fictional account of a subject I didn’t know so much about: the legal and dramatic battle between George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison to answer one very important question: Who invented the light bulb?
In school, we learn that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, but the truth is actually muddled, confusing, and varied. The narrative of this book is from the perspective of a man named Paul Cravath, a Tennessee-born New York lawyer who, at 27, is a precocious partner in a law firm with a lot to prove. He’s approached by George Westinghouse—and threatened by Thomas Edison—to lead a countersuit against Edison for the right to manufacture the incandescent light bulb.
Sounds dry, but within the historical narrative is intertwined drama, attempted murder, glitzy New York parties, THE Nikola Tesla, and a snapshot of New York during the Gilded Age. I ADORE New York fiction because I grew up here in the ‘burbs (and attended college in Manhattan and the Bronx) and so New York was always my playground, and I absolutely love reading about the history of what I consider “my city.”
Oh, and did I mention TESLA is a character in it?! It’s truly a well-paced, well-written, well-plotted, and “un-put-downable” historical fiction drama about a lesser-known part of American history. The author is well known for his earlier novel The Sherlockian and for writing the screenplay for the film The Imitation Game. And this book does have a visual, movie-like quality to it that makes it flow very nicely. And if characterization is sometimes sacrificed for spectacle, then that spectacle makes up for the lack: it really is a dazzling book! Lightning storms! Arson! Champagne and opera girls! If that’s your thing. 🙂
“Poor people all think they deserve to be rich,” he continued. “Rich people live every day with the uneasy knowledge that we do not.”
Those who love historical fiction, science, or New York fiction; those who loved The Sherlockian or The Imitation Game.
The Last Days of Night will be released by Random House on September 27, 2016. I received this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Add it to your Goodreads shelf or follow me there!