Books: I listened to the audiobook “The Last Days of Night” by graham Moore. From Goodreads (here):
A thrilling novel based on actual events, about the nature of genius, the cost of ambition, and the battle to electrify America—from the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian
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.
From the NY Times review (here):
.... If I had one complaint about Moore’s book — which works wonderfully as an entertainment — it’s that it lacks this sense of the arbitrary and the sublime, the feeling that life is stranger and more unfathomable. “The Last Days of Night” is a novel primarily concerned with a linear series of relevant events, and it has shaped those events to have a singular meaning. As a result, the reader is unable to suspend a feeling of disbelief as Moore’s plucky underdogs scrap their way through various twists and setbacks while struggling toward their endgame. As it charges forward, the novel leaves no dot unconnected. And this makes its true story feel false.