“Brilliance” by Anthony McCarten is brilliant indeed. A short novel at 217 pages, it never-the-less tells a remarkable story based on the real life personalities of Thomas Alva Edison & J
Pierpoint Morgan – the inventor & business man extraordinary.
Edison had produced the electric light bulb using direct current. Nikolas Teslar, a European, had found a way to make the bulb last much longer by using alternating current. The two men could not agree but Edison had the backing of Morgan, the millionaire.
“ Brilliance” is an account of how Edison got caught up into the world of big business; how he devised the electric chair with the aim of ruining the reputation of his business rival George Westinghouse; and how, as a result, his self-esteem and his role as one of the world’s great inventors are called into question. This is an excellent piece of work by a New Zealand author best-known for his play ‘Ladies Night’, and his Bafta winning script for the film ‘The theory of everything’.