If you’ve ever read a book by Erik Larson, you know that he writes like a Ken Burns movie – incredibly detailed and character oriented. I fell in love with his writing after listening to Devil in the White City narrated by Scott Brick. So when Thunderstruck came out, I knew I had to listen to it.
Like Devil in the White City, this book tells the parallel stories of 2 historical events. This time, it’s the invention of the wireless radio by Italian inventor Marconi. This is told alongside the story of the famous Crippenden murder at the turn of the century. The stories are fascinating and rich with detailed histories of the two stories. It isn’t until the very end that the 2 plotlines are tied together resulting in a “oh now I see!” from the reader.
The book is narrated by Bob Balaban who does an admirable job. This kind of book does not lend itself to crazy characters a la Jim Dale. Instead the narrators job is to simply tell a story as if we’re all sitting by a campfire. While Balaban does a fine job, I did notice a few performance flaws such as him running out of breathe at the ends of a few sentences.
All in all, a great book and excellent narration that kept my interest for all 11 hours. Recommended.