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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“In April 1931, the world’s most famous inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, asked me if I would be interested in writing his biography. I accepted the offer. I was allowed a total of only seven interviews over a seven-week period. Each interview session lasted no more than three hours. Mr. Edison also requested that the biography will not be read or submitted for publication until November 2, 2015. If you are reading this, you will be able to understand why Mr. Edison needed to wait so long after his death for this manuscript to be published and for the joint invention of Mr. Edison and Nikola Tesla to be revealed. I hope and pray the world will forgive Mr. Edison for his past and will embrace his last invention.”
In Inventing Madness by J. G. Schwartz, a science reporter from The New York Times, William L. Laurence, receives the opportunity to secure handsome earnings throughout his life by writing the biography of the famous inventor and businessman, Thomas Alva Edison. It’s a fictionalized account from a dark perspective－all the ‘in-between’ of the stages of Edison’s life, including his parents’, particularly his mother, Nancy Matthews Elliott. The heavy issues such as abuse, torture, and murder make this an adult read. Chapter ‘Session 7’ is the highlight for me as it’s about the ‘true story’ of the spirit phone and Nikola Tesla’s involvement in this exceptional invention. Overall, Schwartz’s Inventing Madness is not an easy read. It’s about the Thomas Edison that we never knew, and perhaps someone most of us wouldn’t want to know. That said, it’s an intriguing read and the book’s dedication page contains part of Schwartz’s reason for this dark fictionalization.