The Invention of Everything Else

Samantha Hunt

The Invention of Everything Else
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The Invention of Everything Else

Samantha Hunt

The Invention of Everything Else is a tremendously powerful and moving exploration of human loneliness and isolation, and the opposing powers of emotional and scientific imagination.

Louisa is an imaginative and curious chambermaid who, while cleaning rooms at the New Yorker Hotel, stumbles across a man living permanently in room 3327, which he has transformed into a scientific laboratory. Brought together by a shared interest in the pigeons that nest in the hotel, Louisa discovers that the mysterious guest is Nikola Tesla, one of the most brilliant - and most neglected - inventors of the twentieth century.

The Invention of Everything Else charts the relationship of the girl and the genius during the last week of Tesla’s life, when sinister forces are closing in on him. However, as well as being an engaging literary mystery, this exceptional novel movingly tells the life story of this extraordinary man and also recounts the heartbreak and redemption of one ordinary family..

Review

Novels that reimagine history walk a difficult line – too much factual detail and they become an untrustworthy biography, too little and they disrespect the framework of their story. Samantha Hunt avoids these pitfalls to make The Invention of Everything Else a soaring, lyrical tribute to its subject, inventor Nikola Tesla. The novel imagines Tesla’s later years, living alone in the Hotel New Yorker in the 1940s, and a friendship with a young inquisitive chambermaid, Louisa Dewell. Louisa lives with her father and has her own reasons for sharing Nikola’s obsessions: time travel, electricity and pigeons. As she learns more about the hotel’s most famous resident and uncovers the true story of his amazing life, her own life takes begins to take some incredible turns. With vivid historical detail that makes New York both solidly real and ethereally magical, this elegant novel is a mix of love story, science fiction and magic realism. It’s easy for the reader to disappear inside the concurrent stories of Nikola’s life in the 1800s and Louisa’s in the 1940s and not notice time passing, itself a rare kind of time-travel trick. Samantha Hunt is a controlled and intelligent writer clearly in love with Nikola Tesla. And who could blame her.

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