Krakatoa : The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
Krakatoa The Day the World Exploded August 27 1883 Author:Simon Winchester The bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World examines the enduring and world-changing effects of the catastrophic eruption off the coast of Java of the earth's most dangerous volcano -- Krakatoa. The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa -- the name has since... more » become a byword for a cataclysmic disaster -- was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event that has only very recently been properly understood, the eruption changed the world in more ways than could possibly be imagined. Dust swirled round die planet for years, causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid with lurid and unsettling displays of light. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogotá and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island's destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all -- in view of today's new political climate -- the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims: one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere. Simon Winchester's long experience in the world wandering as well as his knowledge of history and geology give us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event as he brings it telling back to life.« less
As usual, Simon Winchester has written a solid, interesting, educational book about a fascinating historical/scientific event. I enjoyed it overall, and certain parts - particularly the chapters that described the actual volcano and the aftermath - were quite exciting. Still, I think Winchester's books are getting a little formulaic, and they could use more editing. This is good book to pass the time on an airplane ride or a day off.
Full of fascinating information, some of it even related to Krakatoa! The author meanders a lot when he writes, and I suspect plagiarizes his own work.
Book written in 2003, he states early on that "Probably... it will be many years... before anything will befall the world...that will be as terrible as what took place..[at Krakatoa]..", yet the next year in the same part of the world almost 10 times as many people died in the tsunami as died in the 1883 explosion.
Simon Winchester presents the facts and the history behind this natural disaster. What I found most interesting was how far-reaching the effects of Krakatoa's eruption were, and the interesting ways they were able to prove it. Winchester presents this all in a reader-friendly style which is easy to understand even if you are not a geologist. Very enjoyable reading! Put it on your wishlist today!