Reviews for Inventor and the Tycoon : A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures

AudioFile Reviews 2013 May
Early on, Ball piques listeners' interest by letting us in on wealthy Leland Stanford's friendship with a murderer. Stanford's fascination with horses and how they move led Edward Muybridge, who killed his wife's lover, to invent the first motion pictures. John Mayer's narration isn't showy or sensational--and despite the opening volley, neither is Bell's writing. But Mayer's delivery will keep listeners mesmerized as they learn about the life of an unusual inventor. The historical account also offers a poetic meditation on "the visual age," as well as depictions of life in a wild San Francisco of the late 1800s. Few biographies capture lives as colorful as Muybridge's, and Mayer tells the story well. J.A.S. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine