Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thunderstruck, by Erik Larson

Book 33
Thunderstruck has been on my shelf for awhile, I have read two previous books by Erik Larsen and loved them. Then I saw the library had a "Plaway" audio copy. It is an MP3 player that has one audio book loaded on it. The borrower has to come up with a AAA battery and the headphones. So that was worth a try.

I liked that I could tak the audio book anywhere, as opposed to the CDs that I play on my computer or CD player. However. The MP3 player does not tell you how far along you are in the book, which made me crazy. And the device lost my bookmarking really easily. I wasted a lot of time fooling around trying to find my place again. I also may have fallen asleep a non zero number of times while playing it. Not the fault of the book. I always fall asleep on planes and trains.  

Like Devil in the White City, Larson bounces between two stories. In this case, it followed Marconi, the guy that produced, if not actually invented, wireless technology in the form of ship-to-shore cables. Also Harvey Crippen a nice guy that may or may not have murdered his wife who was a horrible, horrible person.

I spent the entire book wondered what the heck these two stories have in common. And perhaps being embarrassed that I was way more interested in the salacious story of the bad marriage than in the dude winning the Nobel Prize for Physics. The stories weren't even running on the same timeline.

You find out very near the end that (SPOILERS)

the wireless technology that Crippen didn't know existed allowed Scotland Yard to apprehend him fleeing to America.

This is not my favorite Larson book. But I don't know if it was the stories or the delivery that made it less satisfying for me.

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