Linda Robinson's Reviews > The Invention of Everything Else

The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt
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's review
Jul 10, 2011

it was amazing
Read from July 10 to 14, 2011

I had invented reasons not to like this book. Any woman who is on any list of fabulous under 35 raises my eyebrows. And my super-sensory fault-finding devices. It's historical fiction, which I claim not to like out loud regularly. I loved this book. The electricity that plays both a protagonist and antagonist role zizzes on every page. Tesla is wholly imagined, as though he is sitting in a chair next to you reading the book, correcting impressions, making suggestions. Louisa is human and otherwordly both. I tried to write this morning what is fantastic about the books that combine real:imagined; authors who come so close to defining what it is to be human and part of the Great All at the same time. John Crowley in Aegypt. Mieville in everything he writes. And Samantha Hunt with this book. The title is brilliant, the prose creates the world of this book like The Matrix. Characters can choose to believe in what's real, or can choose to believe real is defined by different rules entirely. Real is in the eye of the reader. Hunt clearly admires Tesla, and likes the people she writes about. And I do too. Throughout there is a brilliant metaphor regarding homing pigeons. Brilliant. Hunt is a storyweaver, wrapping the reader in the finished product like a magical:scientific cloak.
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07/10/2011 page 47

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