Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Random House via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).
Review: The Last Days of Night is everything I love about historical fiction. It is engaging and dramatic, whilst sharing mostly accurate details about historical events, so the reader is both entertained, and to some degree, educated. Of course, it is fiction, so the responsibility is on the reader to root out the truth…unless, of course, the writer is Graham Moore, who spells out the facts he altered and why at the end of the book. Brilliant!
The book revolves around the “current” wars – the battle over the best ways to harness electricity. While there were many, many players in the electricity game, the biggest and most famous were Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Nikola Tesla. And it was a nasty battle indeed. Which current was safest (A/C or D/C)? What light bulb design is the best and who truly designed it? What else does the world not yet know it’s always needed? Who can beat who to the patent office? It is a time period wrought with drama, and Graham Moore has brought it to life!
There are several reasons I was attracted to this book. The cover is just beautiful and I’m a sucker for a great cover. Also, my husband is an IT guy and the son of an electrical engineer. While he isn’t a history buff, we talk a lot about technology development (Elon Musk is a frequent topic in our household), and none of today’s discoveries would be possible without the early inventors. But, despite my interest in technology development, I find non-fiction to be rather dry.
Again I say, this is why love well-written historical fiction! Perhaps you don’t get all the minute details, but you get a general understanding, and then if your appetite is sufficiently whetted, you can dive into the non-fiction resources with a greater sense of passion. In other words, historical fiction is a kind of gateway drug, in the best way possible.
Even if historical fiction isn’t your thing, I’d recommend this book because it’s simply wonderful. The writing is superb and the story is compelling. There isn’t a single bad thing I can say about it.
It’s a must read.