Dramatic. Suspenseful Mystery. Scientific History Lesson.

Thunderstruck is another fascinating true tale by Erik Larson. Although this is not my favorite Larson book, it was great for listening during our drive up to the mountains for the weekend. My husband and I share an interest in mysteries and some non-fiction subjects, but we typically agree on Erik Larson, one of our favorite authors.

Thunderstruck tells the story of two very unlikely lives intersecting during a transatlantic criminal chase; Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of wireless telegraphy, with Hawley Crippen, a mild-mannered homeopathic doctor in turn-of-the-century London. The two men’s stories are told simultaneously and initially reveal zero connection. The reader is given a slow buildup with detailed descriptions and events of each man’s life, both professional and personal. Eventually we learn Dr. Crippen is suspected of murdering his wife, which is when the real excitement occurs and the connection of the two men is revealed.

Notable Nuggets:

  • Give It A Chance – Initially I was not interested in listening to this book, but my fandom prevailed. We had a tough time getting into the story, but it was well-worth the wait. I found it amazing how Larson connected these two completely unrelated men in history. Moral of the story, the reward can be worth the wait. I’m also working on broadening my genre and subject-area horizons. Although this title was not my first choice I ended up enjoying the story and learning a thing or two about the invention of wireless telegraphy.
  • Listen – Audiobooks are one of my favorite ways to ‘read’ a book. It requires a different type of focus and offers a varied way of ‘experiencing’ a book. It’s also a good way of having multiple books going at once; one in the car and one on the nightstand. Think about all of the times you could be listening while doing something else… exercising, commuting, cleaning, cooking, shopping… multitasking at its finest.  I recommend giving it a try either on CD in the car or downloading to your mobile device. Check your local library to see what digital downloads they have to offer.