The Last Days of Night
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A world of invention and skulduggery, populated by the likes of Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla.”—Erik Larson
“A model of superior historical fiction . . . an exciting, sometimes astonishing story.”—The Washington Post
From Graham Moore, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian, comes a thrilling novel—based on actual events—about the nature of genius, the cost of ambition, and the battle to electrify America.
New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history—and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country?
The case affords Paul entry to the heady world of high society—the glittering parties in Gramercy Park mansions, and the more insidious dealings done behind closed doors. The task facing him is beyond daunting. Edison is a wily, dangerous opponent with vast resources at his disposal—private spies, newspapers in his pocket, and the backing of J. P. Morgan himself. Yet this unknown lawyer shares with his famous adversary a compulsion to win at all costs. How will he do it?
In obsessive pursuit of victory, Paul crosses paths with Nikola Tesla, an eccentric, brilliant inventor who may hold the key to defeating Edison, and with Agnes Huntington, a beautiful opera singer who proves to be a flawless performer on stage and off. As Paul takes greater and greater risks, he’ll find that everyone in his path is playing their own game, and no one is quite who they seem.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
“A satisfying romp . . . Takes place against a backdrop rich with period detail . . . Works wonderfully as an entertainment . . . As it charges forward, the novel leaves no dot unconnected.”—Noah Hawley, The New York Times Book Review
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
I couldn't stop reading! It never seemed to slow down much at all and was very rich in character development as well as development of the environments they were in.
Almost every chapter ends with a gasp!
Endlessly entertaining and witty. Loved every minute of it. A fascinating tale about the "lighting of America" that reads like a fast paced roller coaster of emotions. Highly recommended.
Work of Fiction
This book is loosely based on a true story and reads like a formulaic Hollywood screenplay. The characters are all real, but the timeline is compressed, the dialogues made up (and terrible), and sometimes entire events are imagined. Normally, after seeing a movie based on a book, you would say, "the book is better," but this book is so painfully contrived and obviously designed for the movies that you can see entire chapters play out on the screen. And I mean that in as an insult. The author goes well beyond dramatizing historical events to overtly making up scenes and meetings that never occurred. I'd rather read what actually happened and then let screen writers dramatize the events. This is a terrible book and I would in no way recommend it.