From the National Book Award-winning author of Slaves in the Family, a riveting true life/true crime narrative of the partnership between the murderer who invented the movies and the robber baron who built the railroads.
One hundred and thirty years ago Eadweard Muybridge invented stop-motion photography, anticipating and making possible motion pictures. He was the first to capture time and play it back for an audience, giving birth to visual media and screen entertainments of all kinds. Yet the artist and inventor Muybridge was also a murderer who killed coolly and meticulously, and his trial is one of the early instances of a media sensation. His patron was railroad tycoon (and former California governor) Leland Stanford, whose particular obsession was whether four hooves of a running horse ever left the ground at once. Stanford hired Muybridge and his camera to answer that question. And between them, the murderer and the railroad mogul launched the age of visual media.
Set in California during its frontier decades, The Inventor and the Tycoon interweaves Muybridge's quest to unlock the secrets of motion through photography, an obsessive murder plot, and the peculiar partnership of an eccentric inventor and a driven entrepreneur. A tale from the great American West, this popular history unspools a story of passion, wealth, and sinister ingenuity.
"National Book Award winner Ball (Writing/Yale Univ.; The Genetic Strand: Exploring a Family History Through DNA, 2007, etc.) returns with a complex story about railroad tycoon Leland Stanford and the murdering man who for a time was his protégé, pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge.... A skillfully written tale of technology and wealth, celebrity and murder and the nativity of today's dominant art and entertainment medium." (Kirkus)
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No, absolutely not. Book drug on! It was very confusing as it is told out of sequence and you end up hearing the same event multiple times and included way too much irrelevant information. ***spoiler alert*** the author continually mentions this cool and meticulous murder and it is anything but. I kept thinking maybe he killed more than his wife's lover but apparently not. Also, the author continually mentions how the subject changes his name to "unpronounceable" Aedweard Muybridge but the narrator seems to manage just fine. It is also the name of a couple of kings so it is pronounceable and not just a made up name. We can't finish it, Two of us made it through 8 hours (long drive) and can't see how he can possibly drag the story out for another 8!
a challenge to listen to