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The Invention of Everything Elseby Samantha Hunt
Synopses & Reviews
"Challenging, beautifully written "--Library Journal
Hailed by The New Yorker as one of the best young novelists and recipient of Germanys most prestigious literary awards, Marcel Beyer returns with a brilliantly wrought novel that brings to life both an individual and a whole world: the zoologist Ludwig Kaltenburg, loosely based on Nobel Prize-winner Konrad Lorenz, and his institute for research into animal behavior.
Hermann Funk first meets Kaltenburg when still a child in Posen in the 1930s. Hermanns father, a botanist, and Kaltenburg are close friends, but a rift occurs. In 1945, fleeing the war, the Funks perish in the Dresden bombing, and Hermann finds his way to Kaltenburgs newly established institute. He becomes Kaltenburgs protégé, embracing the Institutes unconventional methods. Yet parts of Kaltenburgs past life remain unclear. Was he a member of the Nazi Party? Does he believe his discoveries about aggression in animals also apply to humans? Why has he erased the years in Posen from his official biography?
Through layers of memory and experience Hermann struggles to reconcile affection and doubt, to make sense of his childhood, even as he meets a woman with family secrets of her own.
From the moment Louisa first catches sight of the strange man who occupies a forbidden room on the thirty-third floor, she is determined to befriend him.Unbeknownst to Louisa, he is Nikola Tesla—inventor of AC electricity and wireless communication—and he is living out his last days at the Hotel New Yorker.Winning his attention through a shared love of pigeons, she eventually uncovers the story of Teslas life as a Serbian immigrant and a visionary genius: as a boy he built engines powered by June bugs, as a man he dreamed of pulling electricity from the sky.The mystery deepens when Louisa reunites with an enigmatic former classmate and faces the loss of her father as he attempts to travel to the past to meet up with his beloved late wife. Before the week is out, Louisa must come to terms with her own understanding of love, death, and the power of invention.
The Invention of Everything Else immerses the reader in a magical mid-twentieth-century New York City thrumming with energy, wonder, and possibility.
A book about a great man, a giant in the world of science with all-too-human flaws, Kaltenburg is a beautifully detailed novel from a major German writer that brings to life both an individual and a whole world: Ludwig Kaltenburg and his Dresden Institute for research into animal behavior.
New York City thrums with energy, wonder, and possibility in this magical novel about the life of Nikola Tesla.
It is 1943, and the renowned inventor Nikola Tesla occupies a forbidden room on the 33rd floor of the Hotel New Yorker, stealing electricity. Louisa, a young maid at the hotel determined to befriend him, wins his attention through a shared love of pigeons; with her we hear his tragic and tremendous life story unfold. Meanwhile, Louisa discovers that her father—and her handsome, enigmatic love interest, Arthur Vaughan—are on an unlikely mission to travel back in time and find his beloved late wife. A masterful hybrid of history, biography, and science fiction, The Invention of Everything Else is an absorbing story about love and death and a wonderfully imagined homage to one of history's most visionary scientists.
From the acclaimed author of the debut novel The Seas — which won a National Book Award for writers under 35 — comes this utterly transporting new novel, a wondrous imagining of an unlikely friendship between the eccentric inventor Nikola Tesla and a young chambermaid in the Hotel New Yorker, where Tesla lives out his last days.
From the moment she first catches sight of Tesla on New Year's Day 1943, Louisa, obsessed with radio dramas and the secret lives of the hotel guests, is determined to befriend this strange man. Winning his attention through their shared love of pigeons, Louisa eventually uncovers the extraordinary story of Tesla's life as a Serbian immigrant and a visionary genius. Meanwhile, Louisa finds herself facing her father's increasingly imminent departure in a time machine, and swept off her feet by a mysterious mechanic (perhaps from the future) named Arthur, who has unexpectedly appeared in her life.
While luminously resurrecting one of the greatest scientists of all time, Nikola Tesla — inventor of AC electricity and wireless communication — The Invention of Everything Else immerses us in a magical early-twentieth-century New York City thrumming with energy, wonder, and possibility.
About the Author
SAMANTHA HUNT is the author of the acclaimed first novel The Seas, which in 2006 won a National Book Foundation award for writers under thirty-five. Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker and McSweeney's. She lives in New York City.
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