Trade Ed. Random House Audio 2006
DD ISBN 9780739339664 $22.50
Library Ed. Books on Tape 2006
CD ISBN 9781415932797 $90.00 Ten CDs
DD ISBN 9780739346860 $85.50
Two story lines converge in Larson’s latest nonfiction. One follows Guglielmo Marconi and the development of wireless telegraphy. The other traces the life of Hawley Crippen, a patent medicine salesman who gruesomely killed and dismembered his wife. When Crippen fled to North America, Marconi’s transoceanic wireless led to his arrest. The celebrated murder case did much to promote wireless telegraphy. Bob Balaban is solid as narrator. He has a clear, easygoing style. However, Larson writes for the eye rather than the ear. This means some of his intricately constructed sentences are difficult to read aloud. Balaban is left wondering where to pause. Also, Balaban himself sometimes pauses at awkward moments. But these are minor flaws that don’t interfere significantly with listening pleasure. R.C.G. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 07]
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