Samantha Hunt at Literary Hub:
When I first encountered My Inventions it was as a free Internet download, an implausible work titled The Strange Life of Nikola Tesla. I dismissed the text as an invention itself, concocted by a flamboyantly imaginative fan of Tesla’s—a fairly common species. Sentences like, “When I drop little squares of paper in a dish filled with liquid, I always sense a peculiar and awful taste in my mouth,” convinced me that The Strange Life of Nikola Tesla was some sort of Internet hoax. The story it told was too weird to be his. An engineering genius would never draft such an unscientific text; one that reads as if it has been written by a carnival barker. “And now I will tell of one of my feats with this antique implement of war which will strain to the utmost the credulity of the reader.” Indeed.
But The Strange Life of Nikola Tesla is not a fabrication. Though that title was added after his death, the text is in fact Tesla’s work, first published serially in 1919 in the Electrical Experimenter magazine. These essays tell the story of Tesla’s early life, the rotary magnetic field, the Tesla coil and transformer. Each installment is a wondrous hybrid: part autobiography, part science, part ars poetica filled with earnest confessions and self-examinations frank as a child’s. Stories of his boyhood cunning in catching rats, dueling with cornstalks or attempting to fly off a barn roof mingle with sentences like, “It is a resonant transformer with a secondary in which the parts, charged to a high potential, are of considerable area and arranged in space along ideal enveloping surfaces of very large radii of curvature, and at proper distances from one another thereby insuring a small electric surface density everywhere so that no leak can occur even if the conductor is bare.”