If you think that a historical fiction novel could never have you pacing the floors or hurriedly turning to the next page to find out what happened, this book is proof that you are mistaken.
The Last Days of Night takes place in New York City at a time when light bulbs were new. Electricity was rare. Competition between Edison and Westinghouse is fierce. Tesla—this genius appears to exist on crackers—is convinced that his form of electricity is best and isn’t worried about money or fame, only that his alternating current electricity be used because it is much safer than Edison’s direct current.
This is a time of discovery and invention, a time of wonder, a time of names being established. Even back then, the media was being used to lead people whichever way those with money desired.
Cocaine was legal and used by the hospitals to relieve pain – Paul had almost been weaned off his morning cocaine, but looking at the water still made him slightly dizzy.
Thomas Edison sues George Westinghouse, and there is an epic battle between them as they have court case after court case to decide who made the better light bulb and who had the rights to sell it.
Westinghouse hires a young, inexperienced lawyer, Paul Cravath, to go up against Edison and his team of experienced lawyers. Westinghouse has chosen Cravath because of his inexperience and stubbornness. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that Edison will beat him.This one job will either make or break this young man’s law career. And when Cravath becomes acquainted with Agnes Huntington, romance enters the story too.
Spies, secrets, deception: this story has it all. This story of man’s genius and greed is exciting and captivating. If you homeschool your children, this is the way you want them to learn about Westinghouse, Edison, and Tesla. This book makes everything that happened with electricity and the light bulb memorable.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you would like your own copy, I have provided an Amazon link below.
Amazon Link: The Last Days of Night
Each was so confident of his own genius as to be disdainful of the other’s.
Edison’s “soft glow” violated all the accepted laws of physics.
It was as if Tesla tossed up into the air all the words he knew on a given subject, and then walked away before he could see where they landed.
How much meat and wine could a man pour down his gullet while still managing to conduct himself in even a slightly professional manner?
Here, between the bent and soiled gear bits, lay the framework for the electrification of the United States.
New Words Learned:
acumen – keen insight; shrewdness:
bellicose – demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight
bravura – a display of daring; brilliant performance
burnish – to make smooth and bright
callow– immature or inexperienced
chanteuse – a female singer, especially one who sings in nightclubs and cabarets
commutator – a device for reversing the direction of a current
detritus – debris
dishabille – a disorderly or disorganized state of mind or way of thinking
dissembling – concealing the truth
egregious – outstandingly bad; shocking
éminence grise – a person who exercises power or influence in a certain sphere without holding an official position.
garrulous – excessively talkative in a rambling, roundabout manner, especially about trivial matters
hauteur – haughty manner or spirit; arrogance
immolation – burning to death
inviolable– prohibiting violation; secure from destruction, violence, infringement, or desecration
naïf – a naive or inexperienced person
obsequiously – in a deferential or compliant manner
penury – extreme poverty; destitution
precocious– unusually advanced or mature in development, especially mental development
promulgation – to make known by open declaration; publish; proclaim formally or put into operation
quadrilled – danced
rapier – a straight two-edged sword, especially of the 16th and 17th centuries, with a narrow pointed blade used chiefly for thrusting and heavier than the 18th-century smallsword
saxifrage – any saxifragaceous plant of the genus Saxifraga, characterized by smallish white, yellow, purple, or pink flowers
smack– a fishing vessel, especially one having a well for keeping the catch alive
soirees – evening parties or social gatherings
stentorian – (of a person’s voice) loud and powerful
three-card monte – a confidence game in which the victim, or mark, is tricked into betting a sum of money, on the assumption that they can find the “money card” among three face-down playing cards.
About the Author:
Graham Moore is a New York Times bestselling novelist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. His screenplay for The Imitation Game won the Academy Award and WGA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2015 and was nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. The film, directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, received 8 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.
Graham’s first novel, The Sherlockian (2010), was published in 16 countries and translated into 13 languages. It was called “sublime” and “clever” and “delightful” by the New York Times, “savvy” and “entertaining” by the Los Angeles Times, and lots of other nice things as well. Graham’s second novel, The Last Days of Night will be published in fall 2016 by Random House.
Graham lives in Los Angeles.