Don’t let the title fool you into thinking this is a dry textbook about arcane microphone facts. On the contrary, Inventor of Stereo: The Life and Works of Alan Dower Blumlein reads at times like a spy novel, with Blumlein as one of the main characters.
Blumlein is well-known for his pioneering work in binaural recording (he gained a patent for it in 1931 at the age of 28). What makes this book so interesting is that it delves deeper into the life and achievements of Blumlein, from his pioneering work for the Columbia Gramophone Company and EMI, through his pre-war work in early forms of television, to his premature death during the war researching radar systems for the RAF.
In fact, Inventor of Stereo includes the first detailed investigation of the events surrounding the crash of Halifax V9977, the plane in which Blumlein and ten others were killed during a secret flight in 1942.
Engaging, enlightening and only slightly nerdy, Inventor of Stereo is a fascinating and enjoyable read.