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Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Isaac's Storm A Man a Time and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Author: Erik Larson
September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that com...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780375708275
ISBN-10: 0375708278
Publication Date: 7/11/2000
Pages: 336
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 209

3.9 stars, based on 209 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a very well-written, engaging look at a hurricane (yes, a hurricane) and the late 19th century attitudes on class, gender, and bureaucracy. This is Larson's best book & one of my favorites-I honestly couldn't put it down! The details of how the hurricane caused so much destruction are fascinating & Larson makes the story even more interesting by weaving in the story of Isaac and others in Galveston. In other words, Larson makes the hurricane personal via their stories & a map of the city that provides a visual of where the hurricane hit the island. Great, great, great book!
reviewed Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Very good book about the hurricane that put Galveston under water in the early 1900's. Larson is not a great writer (imho) but he has excellent story ideas, his research into little known factoids is very well done...this is a definite read for those who enjoy historical fiction.
reviewed Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
For those who did not live within the path of Hurricane Katrina and whose lives continue on unscathed, that destructive storm may begin to fade into the fog of history. Isaacs Storm resurrects the story of another incredible hurricane that should not be forgotten the monstrous storm that destroyed Galveston in 1900. The book follows meteorologist Isaac Cline through the languid days before the storm, details the politicking that lead to misleading forecasts about the strength of the storm, and follows moment by terrifying moment the storms almost incredible ability to destroy buildings and to swallow thousands of lives.

One needs to be patient with this story. Much as an eerie calm along the Galveston beachfront presaged an historically powerful storm, the story begins slowly, following the career of Isaac Cline to Galveston, and building moment by slow moment into the hell that the city became as the preternaturally furious storm came ashore. Seemingly minor and insignificant details will all make sense as Erik Larson paints a gripping and graphic picture of houses imploding, families washed away, and a literal mountain of debris plowing through Galveston behind a storm surge so powerful it beggars belief.

There are moments of déjà vue here. The silence from a whole city after the storm, the utter destruction of entire neighborhoods, the morbid and massive cleanup of bodies, flotsam, and jetsam. Galveston never fully recovered; the city of Houston usurped Galvestons ascendency after the storm.

Prepare to immerse yourself in the gripping prose you experience in Larsons book, Isaacs Storm.
reviewed Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History on + 352 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a really interesting book about the 1900 hurricane that killed 6000 people in Galveston TX.
reviewed Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History on + 275 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I simply could not put this book down. From the author of the Devil in the White City comes an historical novel about the turn of the century hurricane that hit Galveston and the people involved. Their egos and protection of turf in the weather bureau had a profound impact on the turn of events. Riveting!
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reviewed Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History on + 259 more book reviews
Liked this a lot, but actually didn't consider it Larson's top of the line. I think the subject matter simply wasn't as gripping. But the research is flawless, the personalities are enlivened - it was a really good read.
reviewed Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History on + 509 more book reviews
Interesting account of the storm. It seems others dispute the author's conclusions about Cline's actions before the storm, but you will still get a feeling for the terror of the event. The book would have benefited immensely by the addition of photos (which Larson references in the Notes at the end) and a greater detailed map of the city before and after the storm. He mentions many people and it would have been helpful to pinpoint their homes. Also he talks about some Galveston landmarks but doesn't go into details, which even searching the Internet were not forthcoming.
reviewed Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History on + 2 more book reviews
I could not put this book down! The author did a great job weaving together the stories of the people, the fledgling science of meteorology, and the newly minted National Weather Service. I got bogged down a little in some of the general details about hurricanes, but still found that information interesting. I read the last chapters in one sitting...riveted to my seat as Larson described what happened just before, during, and after the monster hurricane of 1900. I am even more grateful that I live today and have satellites that can at least watch for those storms. The Weather Service in 1900 put that hurricane in Florida--not the Gulf!

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