pigeons and power

Sunday, November 4

i started it this morning. or last night, i'm not entirely sure. but i finished it today, and i know that either way, i read it really fast.

it's only 251 pages. it's thin for an advance reader. the cover is just white, with an illustrated pigeon in profile, squarely in the middle. the spine is blue. when i first pulled it out of the ARC box, i thought it was another of those histories of a specific thing, until i remembered that someone's already done pigeons.

then i looked at the title. The Invention of Everything Else. Samantha Hunt. i'll take it home, i thought. why not.

it's simply wonderful.

i'd never heard of her before, though The Seas does sound vaguely familiar. judging by The Invention, she's a terrific writer. it's a history, but it's not. it's a love story, or it's almost a love story, or it's two love stories, one finished and one just beginning. it's a biography, but only sort of. there are a lot of pigeons involved. electrical currents, invisible waves of energy. edison and tesla, new york before and after electricity, time travel (possibly? not at all? most definitely?), mark twain, and tunnels buried beneath now-old-but-then-new hotels.

you must read it. the only book i can think of that comes close is Dreamland, by Kevin Baker. come to think of it, they belong side by side on a shelf. on my shelf. right next to Suskind's The Pigeon. i'll go do that right now...