The Last Days of Night – Graham Moore
The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore is in the words of Gillian Flynn….
“Mesmerizing, clever, and absolutely crackling, The Last Days of Night is a triumph of imagination. Graham Moore has chosen the Gilded Age of New York as his playground, with outstanding characters – Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse – as hi players. The result is a beautifully researched , endlessly entertaining novel that will leave you buzzing.”
I confess that I have never read much about Thomas Edison. That’s probably not a good thing for a fellow New Jerseyian to say is it? Of course I know all about all the cool things that Edison invented like the light bulb and phonograph, What I didn’t know about are the things that form the basis of this fantastic book. Those things being Edison’s law suits 312 of them against George Westinghouse and the battle wage by those two inventors over Alternating and Direct current.
While Edison and Westinghouse are prominent characters in this book, the main character is Paul Cravath… a young lawyer who has been hired by Westinghouse tto defend him in the lawsuits. Young Cravath while a member of a prestigous law firm has little experience and virtually no clients. The precise reason Westinghouse chose him to be his lawyer! As Young tries to find a way to win an unwinnable case against one of the most prominent men in America, he mets some interesting people. He hires the brilliant but eccentric Nikola Tesla away from Edison. Tesla brings his invention of Alternating Current to the Westinghouse Corporation. Paul also gets a second client the beautiful Opera singer Agnes Huntington.Together they try to save the Westinghouse corporation from bankruptcy! And to take down Thomas Edison!
The Last Days of Night was a well researched and well-written book. Moore made all the characters in this wild time in American history come alive.In his notes at the end of the book Moore: references Empires of light : Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the race to electrify the world by Jill Jonnes as one of his main sources of information about Edison and Westinghouse and the fight that was the foundation of this book. (Note: After I wrote the above, I checked the availability of the book at my libary. It was available at the branch library I was going to this afternoon. Needless to say the book is now on my TBR pile.)
So Check it Out! I’ll leave you with more words of praise. This time it’s from author Scott Turow…
“The Last Days of Night” is a wonder, a riveting historical novel that is part legal thriller, part techno-suspense. This fast-paced story about the personal and legal clash over the invention of the light bulb is a tale of larger-than-life characters and devious doings, and a significant meditation on the price we as a society pay for new technology…… Thoughful and hugely entertaining”
Book 14 of 2017 Rating **** (4.25 stars)
Links for the Further Exploration of the Books of Graham Moore