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The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures Summary and Reviews

The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures

A True Tale of Obsession, Murder, and the Movies

by Paul Fischer

The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures by Paul Fischer X
The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures by Paul Fischer
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  • Published Apr 2022
    416 pages
    Genre: True Crime

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Book Summary

A page-turning history about the invention of the motion picture and the mysterious man behind it - detailing his life, work, disappearance, and legacy.

The year is 1888 and Louis Le Prince is finally testing his "taker" or "receiver" device for his family on their front lawn. The device is meant to capture ten to twelve images per second on film, creating a reproduction of reality that can be replayed as many times as desired. In an otherwise separate and detached world, occurrences from one end of the globe could now be viewable with only a few days delay on the other side of the world. No human experience—from the most mundane to the most momentous—would need to be lost to history.

In 1890, Le Prince was granted patents in four countries ahead of other inventors who were rushing to accomplish the same task. But just weeks before unveiling his invention to the world, he mysteriously disappeared and was never seen or heard from again. Three and a half years later, Thomas Edison, Le Prince's rival, made the device public, claiming to have invented it himself. And the man who had dedicated his life to preserving memories was himself lost to history—until now.

The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures pulls back the curtain and reveals the riveting story of both Louis Le Prince's life and work, dispelling the secrets that shroud each. This captivating, impeccably researched work presents the never before told history of the motion picture and sheds light on the unsolved mystery of Le Prince's disappearance.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Was the man who invented cinematography kidnapped and murdered on the orders of Thomas Edison? Film producer Fischer raises that possibility in this fascinating portrait of 19th-century polymath Louis Le Prince...Fischer points the finger at another culprit while admitting that the case may never be solved. Vivid character sketches, lyrical descriptions of the art and science of moviemaking, and a dramatic plot twist make this a must-read." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The author vividly renders the personalities and science involved in the production of early cinema, and he lucidly explains the complex technological challenges and breakthroughs...Though Fischer's ultimate conclusion about the circumstances behind Le Prince's death remains speculative, he offers and defends a plausible version of events...A fascinating, informative, skillfully articulated narrative of one of the forgotten figures in cinematic history." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"With a spellbinding, thriller-like presentation supported by painstaking research, Fischer puts forth evidence to try to unravel the mystery of Le Prince's life and death. Deftly organized facts, coupled with the technical minutiae of filmmaking, reveal fascinating details of Le Prince's life and the challenges faced in his work...Fischer's stellar, suspenseful narrative is a work of art unto itself that finally gives Le Prince—and the impact of his often overlooked, cut-short creative genius—his due." - Shelf Awareness

"The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures is partly a fascinating history, partly a surprisingly twisted whodunit, and entirely an insightful story of the very human intrigue and interests behind one of the most influential technologies of our time. Take a bow, Paul Fischer." - Deborah Blum, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Poison Squad and The Poisoner's Handbook

"The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures sheds surprising new light on the brutal 19th century inventor wars that led to something we now take for granted: our ability to watch people on celluloid act out stories that move us, make us laugh, make us cry, and change our lives. Paul Fischer brings the forgotten father of the modern movie, Louis Le Prince, to life in big-screen detail, and delivers a gripping tale that holds its own against any Hitchockian thriller." - Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author of Seinfeldia and When Women Invented Television

This information about The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Paul Fischer Author Biography

Paul Fischer is an author and film producer based in the United Kingdom. His first book, A Kim Jong-Il Production has been translated to date into twelve languages. It was nominated for the Crime Writers' Association's Nonfiction Book Award. It was chosen as an Amazon Best of the Year Nonfiction Selection, one of Library Journal's Top Ten Books of the Year, and one of NPR's Best Books of The Year. It was also nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award for History & Biography. Paul has also written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Independent, amongst others. In addition to writing, he works as a film producer and is an alumni of the Guiding Lights mentorship program. His first feature screenplay, The Body, based on a short film of his conception, was produced by Blumhouse and...

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