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First person for the purpose of credulity, that was my first thought. I question: Is this narrative written as a biography to mask any literary license taken and\or to make it sound more authoritative, or is it a tricky artful manipulation to allow for the flow and pace of time? I cannot say that I care all too much either way. In the end there just isn't much in the way of substance to take this book to task. The science is vague except in that it is pursued with much passion. The passion is vague except in that it is pursued. The claim that there existed a misogynist taint in WWII America cannot come in anyway a surprise to anyone capable of comprehending the contents of this vacuous meander, so I am just not certain of the intent of the author with the afterword outside an attempt to give meaning to the ending. Though I am certain there are others that will find pleasure and meaningfulness in its' content, for myself, I simply just did not enjoy this random access historical (?!?) romp.
This is a novelized biography of Hedy Lamarr. Her story is remarkable. As a yong woman in Austria, she married a powerful munitions industrialist. When his Nazi sympathies became clear -- and as his insistence upon controlling her became oppressive, she managed to escape him and immigrate to the US. There she resumed the acting career she had given up to marry money and power. She was soon a movie star in Hollywood -- quite a story. But then she collaborates with a screenwriter (!) to design a guidance system for US torpedoes early in WW II. Their design was not adopted -- but their work later proved important in the design of Bluetooth technology. Go figure. Sadly, the writing is not worthy of the subject. Clunky dialogue and too many labored efforts to paste in "period details." All too easy to parody: "And then, to escape her husband, she fled up the inlaid marble stairs in her evening gown designed in Paris by Elsa Schiaparelli" -- that sort of thing.
The writing is clumsy, and does no service to Hedy Lamarr, who was indeed an extraordinary person. While factually accurate regarding the timelines, it reads as overblown and poorly written. The editing appears to have been cursory, at best. I wasn't delighted.
I was disappointed in this truncated biographical novel. There were many loose ends left undone. I did not realize that only a brief period would be covered in the book so I was left hungry for more. The end in particular was very unsatisfying. Pretty thin. Was going to recommend this book for Book Club, but my club would tear this book to shreds.
It was hard to care about any of the characters in this epic tale. The author managed to make even the historical figures flat and uncompelling. Parts of the book read like a dime novel and other parts read like they were copied from an encyclopedia. I believe the incomparable Hedy deserved better.
My book club chose this for our August read. As a progressive group, we try to select books that focus on undervalued individuals or groups. Even though this book seemed like it had promise, we agreed that it was woefully disappointing. Why was the book so focussed on Hedy’s acting career? If it was to set the stage for her later inventions, why did the book such give such short shrift to it? As written, it appears as another story about how a women’s contributions were historically minimized rather than something that expanded one’s knowledge.
The story seems like Hedy Lamar is recanting her experiences with poor dialog. The writing is poor and almost campy. It is too bad that the author didn't take the time to really research and provide a non-fictionalized account of Hedy Lamar as it is a I really wish one of the great, current non-fiction writers had written her story as it deserves a better account.
I already was aware of Hedy Lamarr and her contributions to technology and looked forward to reading this book. I feel that the book was written for young people as it was very simplistic. Overall I found it very disappointing. I am sure there are better books out there about her and her contributions to science.
It’s written in the first person, which was very off putting. There was no in depth analysis of her or her family, and no hint at her motivations or her post Movie life. Generally, dull and rather poorly written, so disappointing when it’s about a character, who at first blush should be astonishingly rich in legacy.
Little more than a mindless read. I can't imagine where the author dug up the many details of her life especially on prewar Austria. The reviews spike of her as a spy and an inventor. Inventor yes, spy hardly.