Inventing Madness – book review courtesy of Robert Jones

Inventing Madness by J.G. Schwartz

I contacted Robert Jones after his comment on HISTORICAL FICTION VARIES BY COUNTRY saying that one of his favourite books is Inventing Madness by J.G. Schwartz, a fictional account of Thomas Edison’s life. What’s a gal to do but invite Robert to have his say? Many thanks, Robert, for agreeing to be on A Writer of History.


Is it possible that Thomas Edison failed to reveal his most important invention before he died?

Inventing Madness is a fictional account of Thomas Edison’s rise to fame and fortune through the use of murder and magic. It intertwines actual dates and events that occurred during Edison’s life.

The book begins when Edison is 84 years old, in 1931, and is told in a series of seven interviews by a science reporter from The New York Times.

Edison is bullied as a child, kicked out of public school in first grade and homeschooled by his very religious mother. He murders a classmate who is exceptionally cruel to him. Edison is convinced the murdered child makes contact with the living during a séance and he makes it his lifelong ambition to create a device that will communicate with the dead.

Although the public was made to believe Edison and Nikola Tesla were bitter enemies, Inventing Madness reveals their friendship and the amazing invention that was created based on their collaboration.

Inventing Madness is the story of one of the most famous men in history. It is full of cruel deaths, séances, poisonings, blackmail and trickery. The book is a thought-provoking, fictional account of Thomas Edison’s life – The Thomas Edison we never knew.

Book Review

I burned two dinners because I was too engrossed in this book! Inventing Madness is truly one of the best books I’ve read.

The story takes place in 1931 and is narrated by a reporter, William Laurence, from The New York Times. Thomas Edison’s health is failing and he decides he wants the truth to be written about his life before he dies. He asks Mr. Laurence to write his biography and grants him a series of seven interviews.

The author intertwines the names of Edison’s known competitors as well as the true dates of their deaths, making the book eerily believable.

Edison is bullied as a child and, with the help of his adoring mother, exacts clever and sophisticated revenge on both his enemies and competitors.

The book describes an invention yet to be revealed to the world. (I will not spoil this for you.) This invention is the result of the collaborative work of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, two of the world’s greatest geniuses. And it will shock you!

This is great storytelling written in the first person that is believable and draws the reader into a gruesome and horrifying tale of a dysfunctional family.

I will remember the specific details of this book for many years and will never think of Thomas Edison in the same way again!

Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it! 

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