if you have already read erik larson’s more famous book “the devil in the white city” then you know what his shtick is. he combines to seemingly unrelated stories and shows how they are related. “the devil in the white city” covers the tale of the architects of the 1893 chicago world’s fair and americas first serial killer in chicago around the same time. in “thunderstruck” he weaves together the stories of the development of wireless communication and a murderer on the run in turn of the century london.
i really enjoyed “thunderstruck”, it was a really interesting read. the story of marconi and the development of his transmitter is right up my alley. and it is not often that a book has me on the edge of my seat, the chase of the murderer, once it really started, was impressively written. i want to say riveting. sadly during the chase of dr. crippen, the murderer, we lose the story of marconi. i would of liked to know how his system developed beyond simple morse code.
i can’t help comparing “thunderstruck” to “the devil in the white city”. the biggest difference is that “thunderstruck” is a simpler story, with a lot less names and dates involved. something i appreciated, i didn’t like having to keep a list of names. also it seems that erik larson might be treading water in the writer’s pool. he brought nothing different to this book, which is his third book of historical non-fiction.
i would recommend this book. i found it to be a hard book to put down, and was a bit sad when it was over.