Friday, March 15, 2013

In the Matter of Nikola Tesla - A Review

A Review

Anthony Flacco’s newest title is an excellent example of historical fiction.  The blend of history and fiction draws the reader into a relationship with the central character that leaves that reader wanting more.  I was left hurting for Tesla - not only for the fictional environment built by the author, but for the historical setting in which Tesla found himself.  

Tesla’s ongoing romance with Karina serves to drive his creative and inventive juices.  Her relationship also helps define the Tesla’s mental condition throughout his most productive years.  

The historical figures that surround Tesla add realism to the plot; while, at the same time, realizing that the interactions that Tesla is said to have with Thomas A. Edison, J. P.  Morgan, George Westinghouse, and Samuel Clemens may be less than factual.  While Morgan and Westinghouse live up to their robber baron status; Clemens, Karina, and George Scherff Sr., remained friends and associates for years after Tesla was forced into poverty by those who feared that Tesla’s discoveries would upset their respective financial apple carts.

The book brought tears at times and forced me to search for the real history surround Tesla’s life and inventions.  Thankfully, Flacco includes a postlude that references some of the most important words discussing the historical and factual events that define Tesla’s life.  

Tesla’s inventions provide much of the technology that we take for granted today - the availability of relatively cheap power for our homes and for industry.  Sadly, there were hints that Tesla had developed even cheaper ways to deliver electrical power to our homes - inventions which were hidden from the public unless they undermine the power industry that had developed around Tesla’s earlier inventions.  If Flacco’s imagination is right, those inventions still exist - in the vaults of George Westinghouse and his corporate headquarters and in the hands of George Scherff’s son.  Perhaps ....
This review is based on a free electronic copy of this book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.  

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