Book Club Discussion: The Last Days of Night

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Talk about the role of the lightbulb, that small pear-shaped device, in changing the face of civilization. Can you imagine life without it?
  • What do you think about the two great giants of American science and manufacturing: Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse? Are you surprised at the manner in which Moore portrays Edison, an American icon? How do the two men differ?
  • Does Graham Moore do a credible job in breaking down the science of electricity, especially the differences between AC and DC current?
  • Do you think it possible/probable in real life that Edison might have made an attempt on Tesla’s life? Or did Graham add that plot point to build fictional suspense?
  • In the end, is it possible to actually say who invented the light bulb? What role did each of the three men—Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse—play in its development?

Questions from Litlovers

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Book Reveal: The Last Days of Night

The second book option for the March “City of Mystery” box is The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore!

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

New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history—and a vast fortune. A young 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.