Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thunderstruck is the story of wireless telegraphy placed on the backdrop of a famous English murder. It is a well written book and does a good job of explaining how Marconi developed the wireless.
I was struck buy the fact that Marconi was more of a tinkerer than a cold hard scientist. It is fascinating how many stories of scientific discovery involve novices. In this case, Marconi struggled against the establishment but used his sense of business and marketing to come out on top.
The book culminates with killer attempting to escape to the US and a ship captain using the wireless to help Scotland Yard arrest him. Evidently, this dramatic story helped propel wireless telegraphy forward.
I have read almost all of Larson’s books and I’d put this one smack in the middle. My favorite remains Devil in the White City, followed by Lusitania and then Thunderstuck and finally In the Garden of Beasts. It is not that I disliked Thunderstuck, it’s simply that the other two are better in my opinion.