Monday, 14 March 2016

From My Shelf - Book Review: The Invention of Everything Else - Samantha Hunt

Synopsis - Louisa is an imaginative and curious chambermaid who, while cleaning rooms at the New Yorker Hotel, stumbles across a man living permanently in room 3327, which he has transformed into a scientific laboratory.  Through their shared interest in the pigeons that nest in the hotel, Louisa discovers that the mysterious guest is Nikola Tesla, one of the most brilliant - and most neglected - inventors of the twentieth century. (Quoted from the cover)

Review -  I am starting another new feature here titled 'From My Shelf''.  I currently have little time to review and therefore am not accepting requests at present, so I thought that I would try and post a review of books from my TBR to keep my hand in practise.

Here is the story of Nikola Tesla merging fact with fiction.  I had to check up on some of the facts as I knew little about Tesla other than giving us alternating current making our electricity safer. Samantha Hunt weaves an imaginative tale in giving us a young lady Louisa who is a chambermaid at the hotel where Tesla has a room.  We get some insight into Tesla's history from when he arrives in the US from Serbia to working with Edison  and others and on to his final years in New York.  Tesla is portrayed as a character who has or likes little social interaction with people but 'talks' to the pigeons who rest on his balcony.  One pigeon in particular 'talks' back and we see parallels here to Tesla himself.  Louisa is on a journey seemingly an ordinary chambermaid, but once she meets Tesla her life is turned around when she stumbles upon one of his inventions.  I enjoyed the storytelling and there are some wonderful, quirky characters particularly Azor. I would have liked to have seen more of Arthur who mysteriously reappears in Louisa's life.  3*

ISBN 978-0-099-52400-7
Published by Vintage Books 2009

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