The Last Days of Night: A Novel (Paperback)

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.  In the late 1800’s Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse were involved in a patent lawsuit of epic proportions (Edison had a fondness for lawsuits).  Caught in their machinations was a brilliant inventor, Nikola Tesla.  Paul Cravath was barely out of law school when he was picked by Westinghouse to represent him in a case that seemed doomed to fail. Nonetheless, it was a big case (huge!!!) and quite an undertaking for such a young lawyer.  All of this is factual. 

However, there were murky bits to the fight between Edison and Westinghouse.  Edison was known to get up to dirty tricks to win his cases.  Nikola Tesla’s laboratory was destroyed by a fast-spreading intense fire.  What caused the fire?  Was someone trying to kill Tesla? Here we have the spark of an interesting take on historic events.  What happened in this clash of giants?  If you are interested in history and science, this book is a treat!

In addition to great historic detail, there is the courtship between Paul Cravath and Agnes Harrington.  As information on Agnes Harrington is lacking in the historic record, Graham Moore took freedom in coloring in quite an intriguing background for the beautiful chanteuse.

While much is known about the court case and the lives of the main characters, the mystery lies in the cracks of history, the things never written down, the conclusions never reached, the blame never apportioned.  So, what really happened?  This is one possible explanation.  There is also a creepy villain (in my opinion) a real and powerful man and one of the history’s figures that I abhor.  Read the book and I bet it will be easy to determine which character.  When the evidence is in, you may even agree. 

— Deon Stonehouse

Description


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A world of invention and skulduggery, populated by the likes of Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla.”—Erik Larson
 
“A model of superior historical fiction . . . an exciting, sometimes astonishing story.”—The Washington Post
  
From Graham Moore, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian, comes a thrilling novel—based on actual events—about the nature of genius, the cost of ambition, and the battle to electrify America.

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.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

“A satisfying romp . . . Takes place against a backdrop rich with period detail . . . Works wonderfully as an entertainment . . . As it charges forward, the novel leaves no dot unconnected.”—Noah Hawley, The New York Times Book Review

About the Author


Graham Moore is the New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian and the Academy Award–winning screenwriter for The Imitation Game, which also won a Writers Guild of America Award for best adapted screenplay. Moore was born in Chicago, received a B.A. in religious history from Columbia University in 2003, and now lives in Los Angeles.

Praise For…


“A satisfying romp . . . Takes place against a backdrop rich with period detail . . . Works wonderfully as an entertainment . . . As it charges forward, the novel leaves no dot unconnected.”—Noah Hawley, The New York Times Book Review

“This captivating historical novel illuminates a fascinating American moment.”People

“A fascinating portrait of American inventors . . . Moore crafts a compelling narrative out of [Paul] Cravath’s cunning legal maneuvers and [Nikola] Tesla’s world-changing tinkering, while a story line on opera singer Agnes Huntington has the mysterious glamour of The Great Gatsby. . . . Moore weaves a complex web. . . .  He conjures Gilded Age New York City so vividly, it feels like only yesterday.”Entertainment Weekly

“A model of superior historical fiction . . . Graham Moore digs deep into long-forgotten facts to give us an exciting, sometimes astonishing story of two geniuses locked in a brutal battle to change the world. . . . [A] brilliant journey into the past.”The Washington Post

Devil in the White City fans, you'll adore this one. . . . Secret societies, private spites, vast fortunes—this book has it all. But the way all its stories fit together at the end will make you realize that everyone was playing their own game all along. But of course, only one will win.”Refinery 29

“A marvelous legal thriller set in a magical time when inventions were truly wonders, [Moore] knows how to grab your attention and not let go. . . . This is historical fiction at its very best. . . . The Last Days of Night is just as crackling as the electricity at its very core.”Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

“Moore’s writing is sharp and as energized as his topic. . . . This is a riveting book that will hold your attention and will illuminate many on the birth of light in America. Part legal thriller, part romance, injected with a history lesson. Worth the read.”Historical Novel Society

“Mesmerizing, clever, and absolutely crackling, The Last Days of Night is a triumph of imagination. Graham Moore has chosen Gilded Age New York as his playground, with outsized characters—Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse—as his players. The result is a beautifully researched, endlessly entertaining novel that will leave you buzzing.”—Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

“In The Last Days of Night, Graham Moore takes us back to the dawn of light—electric light—into a world of invention and skulduggery, populated by the likes of Edison, Westinghouse, Tesla, and the novel’s hero, a young lawyer named Paul Cravath (a name that will resonate with ambitious law students everywhere). It’s part legal thriller, part tour of a magical time—the age of wonder—and once you’ve finished it, you’ll find it hard to return to the world of now.”—Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City

The Last Days of Night is a wonder, a riveting historical novel that is part legal thriller, part techno-suspense. This fast-paced story about the personal and legal clash over the invention of the light bulb is a tale of larger-than-life characters and devious doings, and a significant meditation on the price we as a society pay for new technology. . . . Thoughtful and hugely entertaining.”—Scott Turow
Product Details
ISBN: 9780812988925
ISBN-10: 0812988922
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017
Pages: 384
Language: English