Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)'s Reviews > The Last Days of Night

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
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it was amazing
bookshelves: arc, bea-2016, fiction, great-for-book-club, historical-fiction

To read more of my reviews, please go to Lit. Wit. Wine & Dine.

I do not care so much for a great fortune as I do for getting ahead of the other fellows. - Thomas Edison

Until I read this book, I had an impression of what it would have been like to see the night lit for the first time. It was terribly romantic. It was surreal, ethereal, and peaceful. (Sort of like this book's beautiful cover.) There were scientists and engineers of all sorts slapping each other on the back, congratulating themselves on their enormous contribution to mankind. Thomas Edison was one of these scientists, of course, and he was a jolly good fellow. He lead this collaboration of gifted men with the grace, elegance, and credibility only natural born leaders of that period possessed.

It seems I was mistaken.

Graham Moore's latest novel, The Last Day's of Night, is the story of the War of Currents. Though it is a work of fiction, the majority of it is historically accurate and all of the characters did exist including Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, George Westinghouse, and Westinghouse's attorney, Paul Cravath. Paul, a fresh-out-school attorney in is mid-twenties is hired by Westinghouse to defend him in a law suit Thomas Edison has brought forth demanding the outrageous sum of one billion dollars.

Paul is a thoroughly likable young man who quickly finds himself in over his head. He is, however, determined to win at all costs. He is ambitious, driven, and singularly focused. As time goes on he morphs from naive rookie to shrewd, calculating, savvy attorney. But that's not to say there aren't a few SNAFUs along the way... (Though I'd never heard of him, he is apparently quite well-known in the legal world. In fact, the firm he eventually started is still in existence and continues to use the Cravath Sytem which has been credited with changing the way lawyers practice and law firm are structured.)

This book is more intriguing that I could have imagined. All of the same components of modern corporate conflicts and greed existed then. And these scientists we've come to hold in such high esteem where not exempt from engaging in all manner of unscrupulous behavior in their quest to be the first and best. From patent infringement to character assassination, from corporate espionage to arson, nothing was off limits.

The author tells this story in such an amazingly engaging, page-turning way that I was fully entertained while being educated. That, I think, is the pinnacle of happiness for those of us semi-obsessed with historical fiction.

There is already a movie in the works. Moore has done the adaptation. My expectations are admittedly very high after having seen The Imitation Game which he adapted from the book Alan Turing: The Engima by Andrew Hodges.

5/5 stars

Many thanks to Random House for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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Reading Progress

August 1, 2016 – Started Reading
August 1, 2016 – Shelved
August 1, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
August 1, 2016 –
page 25
6.74%
August 5, 2016 – Finished Reading
August 10, 2016 – Shelved as: arc
August 10, 2016 – Shelved as: bea-2016
August 10, 2016 – Shelved as: fiction
August 10, 2016 – Shelved as: great-for-book-club
August 10, 2016 – Shelved as: historical-fiction

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Barbara (new)

Barbara great review!


Candi Excellent review, Ann Marie! I haven't come across this book yet, so I am pleased to see your review! It sounds like a very interesting book - adding :)


Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine) Barbara wrote: "great review!"
Thanks, Barbara!


message 4: by Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine) (last edited Aug 10, 2016 02:56PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine) Candi wrote: "Excellent review, Ann Marie! I haven't come across this book yet, so I am pleased to see your review! It sounds like a very interesting book - adding :)"
I really enjoyed it. His writing reminded me of Erik Larson. I learned so much! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.


message 5: by Bianca (new)

Bianca Great review. I'll wait for the movie though, I've too many books I need to read.


message 6: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Yay!! 5 stars....awesome review!!!


Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine) Bianca wrote: "Great review. I'll wait for the movie though, I've too many books I need to read."
Thanks, Bianca! I understand. My TBR pile is out of control!


Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine) Deanna wrote: "Yay!! 5 stars....awesome review!!!"
Thank you!


message 9: by Cheri (new)

Cheri Great review, Ann Marie! Five stars = impressive!


Candi Ann Marie, I just won a copy of this book in a GR giveaway! I am so excited to get this and start reading!!


Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine) Cheri wrote: "Great review, Ann Marie! Five stars = impressive!"
Thank you!!


Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine) Candi wrote: "Ann Marie, I just won a copy of this book in a GR giveaway! I am so excited to get this and start reading!!"
That's awesome. I hope you'll love it!


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