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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,102 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Samantha Hunt Narrator: Marguerite Gavin Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2010 ISBN: 9781455189182
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The Invention of Everything Else is a luminous imagining of an unlikely friendship between the eccentric inventor, Nikola Tesla, and a young hotel chambermaid, Louisa, who is obsessed with radio dramas and the secret lives of the hotel guests. Louisa first catches sight of the hotel’s most famous resident on New Year’s Day, 1943, and is determined to befriend the strange man. As they share their mutual affinity for pigeons, Louisa begins to piece together Tesla’s extraordinary story of life as an immigrant and visionary genius. Meanwhile, faced with her father’s imminent departure in a time machine, as well as the unsettling arrival of Arthur, a mysterious mechanic (perhaps from the future), Louisa begins to suspect that she has understood something about the relationship of love and invention that Tesla, for all his brilliance, never did.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hunt had her heart in the right place with this book…her highest concerns are with wonder and love, with questions of survival.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Lucky for us that Samantha Hunt, in her highly imaginative second novel…is as obsessed as a writer can be about Tesla. We’re made aware of this in the book’s stunning opening pages, which take off in a voice finely crafted to carry Hunt’s history-steeped tale.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Whimsical…offers surprising depth…Gavin delivers both characters with seamless transitions, not to mention charm.”

    AudioFile

  • “Peppered with literary quotations, historical figures, and subtle eroticism, this book will please readers who enjoy experimentation and uncertainty in both their fiction choices and their worldview. Recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “Oddly charming and pleasantly peculiar, Hunt’s novel offers a unique perspective on hope and imagining life’s possibilities.”

    Booklist

  • “There’s much food for thought here and some very beautiful prose.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A February2008Book Sense Pick by the American Booksellers Association
  • Shortlisted for the 2009 Orange Prize

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marla | 2/18/2014

    " Only finished it because it was a book club book. Enough said "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 icedtea | 2/2/2014

    " I knew nothing of Nikola Tesla prior to reading this, but the author does a great job weaving in fact to fiction. I enjoyed all the details about New York city and the huge Hotel New Yorker complex. An interesting mix of science, fantasy, and history with a bit of romance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 1/30/2014

    " A imaginitive story about Nicola Tesla. A bit fantastic but really quite fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan Kellis | 1/29/2014

    " Intriguing look at Nikola Tesla and his contribution to our technological advances and way of life. This is a novelized account of Tesla's last days, but his character is based on his real life. I wish he'd been revered as the genius he really was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pia | 12/16/2013

    " I loved this book. It's got many moving parts and celebrates the joy of making not money, but things that work. The architecture of the book is inventive, driven by curiosity and compassion, the urge to fly and the desire to love and be loved. I followed along happily. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chelsea | 12/15/2013

    " man, did I love this book. you take everything about 'martin dressler' and do everything where you say, "it'd be better if..." and then what do you know, someone's written it. I've loved a lot of the books I've read recently, but it's been a while since I was sad to be done with one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anne | 12/9/2013

    " I read the Nancy Pearl 50 page suggested trial and just couldn't get interested in this book. I was thinking Louisa would be like the curious maid in a recent PBS production of a Miss Marple mystery but I just couldn't get interested. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 11/16/2013

    " The Invention of Everything Else was not at all what I expected. I expected a short, no nonsense read. What I got was a rather gut wretching dissertation on the trials of growing old and dying alone. And how Love is born, lives and dies. And pigeons. Sounds complicated but, really a wonderful read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam | 11/15/2013

    " Occasionally great. Much of the writing falls just off target, just shy of home. Tesla himself is pretty expertly drawn, but everyone else fades in and out. Fun, pretty good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audrey | 11/12/2013

    " I just loved this. It reminded me so much of some of my favorite novels -- really seemed to capture the same themes, characters, and moods. Excellent. Since I borrowed this from the library, I'll be ordering a permanent copy for myself, that's for sure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn | 11/3/2013

    " I am fascinated by Nikola Tesla...This was a dreamscape into his head, into New York , into loneliness. The author threads history and imagination creating a seductively, electrifyingly original world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elanor | 12/1/2012

    " This book was most notable for the interesting facts it proffered on the history of electricity - not cause the characters were particularly compelling. I finished it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 LoudVal | 7/5/2012

    " A pseudo Tesla love story! Seriously, well written, enjoyed the characters. Almost lit fic, but better received. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gail | 2/4/2012

    " I found this story of the last days of Nicola Tesla, the father of alternating current, to be a bit rambling. It is also about his hotel housemaid and her mysterious boyfriend, who might be from the future. Ambitious, but it didn't quite work for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 8/30/2011

    " This book was unusual, but not in a negative way. The style of writing was good, the characterization was good and the topic interesting. The reason I gave it 3 stars and not 5 stars is because this book was "put-downable". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 6/22/2011

    " This book was strange but terribly fascinating. The prose was somewhat captivating and I read slowly to savor each line. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 4/20/2011

    " Intriguing look at Nikola Tesla and his contribution to our technological advances and way of life. This is a novelized account of Tesla's last days, but his character is based on his real life. I wish he'd been revered as the genius he really was. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gail | 3/24/2011

    " I found this story of the last days of Nicola Tesla, the father of alternating current, to be a bit rambling. It is also about his hotel housemaid and her mysterious boyfriend, who might be from the future. Ambitious, but it didn't quite work for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 LoudVal | 3/9/2011

    " A pseudo Tesla love story! Seriously, well written, enjoyed the characters. Almost lit fic, but better received. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 2/2/2011

    " A very easy read. I read it all in one sitting and I enjoyed it a lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 1/27/2011

    " This book was unusual, but not in a negative way. The style of writing was good, the characterization was good and the topic interesting. The reason I gave it 3 stars and not 5 stars is because this book was "put-downable". "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maura | 1/23/2011

    " Sad and a little creepy. Made me wonder how much of the depiction of Nicola Tesla as a sad, borderline Asperger's old man was true. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carly | 1/16/2011

    " The best I've read in a long time. Engaging, entertaining, intriguing . . . all those big words. They haven't 'invented' any words to describe how much I enjoyed it.

    I'm changing my 'stars' from a 4 to a 5.

    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 1/8/2011

    " This was an amazing story - fantastical, yet believable to me. I enjoyed learning about Nikola Tesla and his inventions. A little too disjointed for me to give it a rating of "4". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 12/16/2010

    " Gripping and slightly odd never quite sure whether this is fictionalised biography or if it's about to take flight into fantasy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha | 11/18/2010

    " I enjoyed this story very much and it prompted me toward a fascination with the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. "

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About the Author
Author Samantha Hunt

Samantha Hunt is the author of the acclaimed first novel The Seas, for which she became one of the National Book Foundation’s first “5 under 35” honorees. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker.

About the Narrator

Marguerite Gavin is a seasoned theater veteran, a five-time nominee for the prestigious Audie Award, and the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones and Publishers Weekly awards. Marguerite has been an actor, director, and audiobook narrator for her entire professional career. With over four hundred titles to her credit, her narration spans nearly every genre, from nonfiction to mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and children’s fiction. AudioFile magazine says, “Marguerite Gavin…has a sonorous voice, rich and full of emotion.”