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Thunderstruck af Erik Larson
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Thunderstruck (udgave 2006)

af Erik Larson (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
4,0171292,261 (3.61)250
Tells the interwoven stories of two men--Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication--whose lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal chases of all time. Set in Edwardian London, an era of séances, science, and fog, and on the stormy coasts of Cornwall, Cape Cod, and Nova Scotia, Thunderstruck evokes the dynamism of those years when great shipping companies competed to build the biggest, fastest ocean liners, scientific advances dazzled the public with visions of a world transformed, and the rich outdid one another with ostentatious displays of wealth. Against this background, Marconi races against incredible odds and relentless skepticism to perfect his invention: the wireless, a prime catalyst for the emergence of the world we know today. Meanwhile, Crippen, "the kindest of men," nearly commits the perfect crime.--From publisher description.… (mere)
Medlem:Darrynflame
Titel:Thunderstruck
Forfattere:Erik Larson (Forfatter)
Info:Crown (2006), Edition: 1, 480 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Thunderstruck af Erik Larson

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Engelsk (126)  Tysk (1)  Fransk (1)  Alle sprog (128)
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Larson’s book recounts the race by Marconi and others to develop the first practical wireless telegraph system. Although land-based systems were up and running, including allowing sending messages across the ocean, there was no way to allow ships at sea to use telegraphy. Larson’s book plods in places to explain the tedious process of developing the wireless system, but, for the most part, Larson does a good job of making the reader understand the enormity of the task. Like many of Larson’s books, there is a parallel story running along the one about Marconi. The murder mystery seems unrelated to the story of the development of wireless message transmission; however, Larson does a masterful job of tying the two stories together at the end. I wouldn’t call “Thunderstruck” a “page turner,” but it is an interesting story. Larson has a real talent for taking nonfiction and making it sound like a novel. It’s an easy read but an entertaining read. ( )
  DanDiercks | Jul 21, 2021 |
audio nonfiction; history/true crime/science. The audio version takes some getting used to, as there are no auditory asterisks or page breaks to let you know when the author is switching from one story (the murderer's) to the other (the scientist's), but it's never hard to figure out whom he's talking about in any case. I've not read Larson before, but this abridged version lived up to his reputation of stellar narrative nonfiction. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Summary: The intersection of the lives of Guglielmo Marconi and Hawley Harvey Crippen occurs on a trans-Atlantic voyage with a Scotland Yard detective in pursuit.

Many of us still know who Guglielmo Marconi is. He was the most well-known pioneer of wireless telegraphy. But Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen? In the early twentieth century, he was known as the mild-mannered doctor whose missing wife was found buried in a most grisly state. Erik Larson tells the story of the unlikely intersection of their two lives, culminating in a trans-Atlantic flight of Hawley and his mistress, with a Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard on a pursuing ship.

Larson does this through parallel accounts of the two men’s lives. With Marconi, it begins with the childhood tinkerer who kept experimenting with electronic transmission and who not only envisioned wireless transmissions from ship to shore but even across the Atlantic. Larson portrays a driven man who sacrifices marriage and collaborative relationships in his obsessions, unwilling to listen to others even when his designs for transmission arrays were evidently structurally unsound. With no theoretical training, he kept making mistakes until he found ways to make it work, eventually getting his equipment on many ocean-going vessels, even as competitors both in England and Germany encroached on this lucrative market.

Crippen began life in Coldwater Michigan. He trained in homeopathic medicine. After his first wife died of stroke, he married an aspiring but untalented stage actress Cora Turner, also know on the stage as Belle Elmore. He developed a career of selling patent medicines. In 1897 they moved to England where Belle briefly pursued a career on the stage. What she lacked in talent, she made up in friends. She was domineering and he was unfailingly accommodating. Then he met a woman, Ethel, at Drouet’s Institution for the Deaf. After a party during the winter of 1910 where Belle insulted him, she disappeared, and shortly after, Ethel moved in. He gave out the story that she had left him for America, then that she was ill, and finally that she’d died in California. And he might have gotten away with it were it not for her stage friends.

One went to Scotland Yard. Chief Inspector Dew was assigned. He liked Crippen but was troubled by the discrepancies in his story. As Crippen realizes he is under suspicion, he and Ethel flee to the continent, and then board a ship to Quebec. Meanwhile, Dew, investigating the house comes across a grisly burial in the basement. Marconi’s invention gets the word out to all points, including all the ships on the ocean. The captain of the Magenta suspects that the father and son traveling as the Robinsons are in reality the fugitives, finding confirming evidence. Dew gets the word via the wireless and pursues on a faster ship. But has he gone after the right suspects and will he catch them before they reach Quebec and disappear?

The first half of the account fills in the backgrounds. It’s not even clear, apart from the prologue, how the lives of Marconi and Crippen will intersect. The pace picks up in the second half as we discover the possible crime that connects Marconi’s invention to Crippen’s flight. Meanwhile, Larson fleshes out two very interesting characters. We, along with Dew, find ourselves wondering whether Crippen really was capable of what Dew found in his basement. And what part did the apparently innocent Ethel play?

This was my first encounter with Larson’s work. I have two of his other books, The Devil in the White City and The Splendid and the Vile on my TBR pile. What I discovered is a combination of historian, biographer, and true crime writer who could spin a great and true tale. I anticipate more happy hours with this author! ( )
  BobonBooks | Jun 23, 2021 |
Readable enough Dad History, which interleaves the story of Guglielmo Marconi's invention of ocean-spanning wireless telegraphy with the true crime story of Hawley Crippen's murder of his wife in London in 1910. It's mostly passable, although the Marconi half of the book is to a great extent there to provide some drama and heft to what is otherwise a rather thin story. Crippen killed and butchered his wife in a gruesome way, yes, and then tried to flee across the Atlantic with his much younger lover, Ethel Le Neve, in disguise as a boy. This makes for some dramatic moments. But there just aren't a lot of sources that give us much direct insight into Crippen, his motivations, thoughts, or feelings, nor does the state of the forensics at the time really let us reconstruct exactly what happened in the Crippen home that fateful night. All that we can know is sordid and also rather banal: man murders wife.

Which brings me to the biggest failing of the book for me, and that's Erik Larson's clear sympathy for Crippen—much is made of his meek and mild demeanour and how nice everyone thought of him—and the undercurrent that Cora Crippen somehow deserved her awful end. (An attitude which I see reflected in more than one GoodReads review, which is gross.) Cora Crippen had tacky taste in clothes, didn't care much about keeping the house tidy, and flirted with men who weren't her husband, yes—but being an arsehole isn't a capital crime. And being a Nice Guy doesn't mean that you're incapable of being a bad husband or being a murderer. Larson also seemed to take at face value the idea that Crippen's affair with Le Neve was the tale of two timid souls who found one another, whereas I'm much more sceptical about the power dynamics involved. Who's to say that if they'd made it across the Atlantic, Crippen wouldn't have tired of Le Neve in a few years and found himself wanting to dispose of her in order to move on yet again? ( )
  siriaeve | Jun 6, 2021 |
not so interesting about Marconi. very interesting about Crippen. ( )
  mahallett | Jun 5, 2021 |
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Erik Larsonprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Amfreville, MarcTraductionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Babalan, BobFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Cookman, WhitneyOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Goldwyn, TonyReadermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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A safe but sometimes chilly way of recalling the past is to force open a crammed drawer. If you are searching for anything in particular you don't find it, but something falls out at the back that is often more interesting.

J.M. Barrie "Dedication" Peter Pan 1904
A safe but sometimes chilly way of recalling the past is to force open a crammed drawer. If you are searching for anything in particular you don't find it, but something falls out at the back that is often more interesting.  J. M. Barrie "Dedication" Peter Pan 1904
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For my wife and daughters, and in memory of my mother, who first told me about Crippen.
For my wife and daughters, and in memory of my mother, who first told me about Crippen
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On Wednesday, July 20, 1910, as a light fog drifted along the River Scheldt, Capt. Henry George Kendall prepares his ship, the SS Montrose, for what should have been the most routine of voyages, from Antwerp direct to Quebec City, Canada.
On Wednesday, July 20, 1910, as a light fog drifted along the River Scheldt, Capt. Henry George Kendall prepared his ship, the SS Montrose, for what should have been the most routine of voyages, from Antwerp direct to Quebec City, Canada.
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Tells the interwoven stories of two men--Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication--whose lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal chases of all time. Set in Edwardian London, an era of séances, science, and fog, and on the stormy coasts of Cornwall, Cape Cod, and Nova Scotia, Thunderstruck evokes the dynamism of those years when great shipping companies competed to build the biggest, fastest ocean liners, scientific advances dazzled the public with visions of a world transformed, and the rich outdid one another with ostentatious displays of wealth. Against this background, Marconi races against incredible odds and relentless skepticism to perfect his invention: the wireless, a prime catalyst for the emergence of the world we know today. Meanwhile, Crippen, "the kindest of men," nearly commits the perfect crime.--From publisher description.

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