The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt

The Invention of Everything Else

Samantha Hunt

This novel is a strange paean to New York and an eccentric tribute to a forgotten inventor and scientist. A study in loneliness and frustration, it's populated by characters belonging to the theatre of the absurd. Tesla burns and freezes at the centre as he feverishly invents while neglecting to secure precious patents. The reader goes on a bizarre trip through the vagaries of the human heart colliding with pigeons, electricity and time travel.

Extract

There are all kinds of stories. He is crazy. He is a genius. He is from outer space. He is from Serbia. He manages to survive on vegetables only. He drinks blood. He makes everyone stand at least three feet away from him at all times. He does not speak English. He is kind. He is horrid. He is just lonely and confused. He lets wild pigeons live in his rooms. He once invented something very important but no one at the hotel can remember what it is anymore.

Parallels
  • Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
  • Hughie (the play) by Eugene O'Neill
  • Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney