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GRAHAM MOORE discusses his new novel THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT, with SAM WASSON

The Last Days of Night (Random House)

From Graham Moore, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian, comes a thrilling historical novel—based on actual events—about the nature of genius, the cost of ambition, and the battle to electrify America.

In 1888 New York, gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but electric light is in its infancy. The person who can harness this miracle and bring it to the masses, to forever change people’s relationship with night, will make history—and a vast fortune. An untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country?

The case affords Paul entry to the heady world of high society—the glittering parties in Gramercy Park mansions, and the more insidious dealings done behind closed doors. The task facing him is beyond daunting. Edison is a wily, dangerous opponent with vast resources at his disposal—private spies, newspapers in his pocket, and the backing of J. P. Morgan himself. Yet this unknown lawyer shares with his famous adversary a compulsion to win at all costs. How will he do it?

In obsessive pursuit of victory, Paul crosses paths with Nikola Tesla, an eccentric, brilliant inventor who may hold the key to defeating Edison, and with Agnes Huntington, a beautiful opera singer who proves to be a flawless performer on stage and off. As Paul takes greater and greater risks, he’ll find that everyone in his path is playing their own game, and no one is quite who they seem.

Praise for The Last Days of Night

“In The Last Days of Night, Graham Moore takes us back to the dawn of light—electric light—into a world of invention and skullduggery, populated by the likes of Edison, Westinghouse, Tesla, and the novel’s hero, a young lawyer named Paul Cravath (a name that will resonate with ambitious law students everywhere). It’s part legal thriller, part tour of a magical time—the age of wonder—and once you’ve finished it, you’ll find it hard to return to the world of now.”—Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City

“Mesmerizing, clever, and absolutely crackling, The Last Days of Night is a triumph of imagination. Graham Moore has chosen Gilded Age New York as his playground, with outsized characters—Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse—as his players. The result is a beautifully researched, endlessly entertaining novel that will leave you buzzing.” —Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

The Last Days of Night is a wonder, a riveting historical novel that is part legal thriller, part techno-suspense. This fast-paced story about the personal and legal clash over the invention of the light bulb is a tale of larger-than- life characters and devious doings, and a significant meditation on the price we as a society pay for new technology. Thoughtful and hugely entertaining.” —Scott Turow

“The author of The Sherlockian presents another twisty historical novel set at the end of the gaslight era. This time the story takes place in a New York City perched on the very precipice of electricity. The book’s central focus is on American ingenuity as the basis for commercial success and the so-called ‘war of currents’ waged between Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Nikola Tesla over the creation of the lightbulb. Paul Cravath, the brilliant but inexperienced lawyer hired by Westinghouse to countersue the pugnacious Edison for copyright infringement, unscrupulous behavior, and even violence, provides a first person perspective. Legal battles and the rancor between scientists drive the pace, while a curious romance unmasks yet another underhanded charade. Woven into this complex drama is a philosophical question about invention: Who is the inventor: the one with the idea, the one who makes a working model, or the one to obtain the patent? Who really did invent the lightbulb? A thought-provoking, suspenseful novel, surprising in its focus…illuminative of character…[with] keen biographical insights.” —Booklist

“Moore, again turning to historical events for the basis of a thrilling plot, tackles the ‘war of the currents,’…Amid the bickering of the iconic characters, Paul [Cravath] ends up emerging as the emotional center, trying to hold strands of the case together and stay true to his own moral standards…Moore’s extensive research is apparent, and readers are likely to walk away from the book feeling as informed as they are entertained.” —Publishers Weekly

Graham Moore is the New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian and the Academy Award–winning screenwriter for The Imitation Game, which also won a Writers Guild of America Award for best adapted screenplay. Moore was born in Chicago, received a B.A. in religious history from Columbia University in 2003, and now lives in Los Angeles.

Sam Wasson is the author of the New York Times bestseller Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M .: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman and two works of film criticism. His latest book is Fosse, a full-scale biography of the legendary director-choreographer. You can visit Sam at www.samwasson.com

Graham Moore photo by Matt Sayles

Event date: 
Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Last Days of Night Cover Image
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