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!
Kay M. reviewed Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883 on
Excellent account of an historical event and the underlying geology which caused it. In addition, the author goes into the social upheaval resulting from this devastating eruption. I strongly recommend this book and others by this author (The book Atlantic is equally fascinating)
Word of mouth promised that this is a well written book and it is true. Mr. Winchester has done a great deal of research and consulted with knowledgeable people worldwide, bringing to readers many obscure sources, some of which sometimes turn up in the 21st C. when a cache of old letters comes to light.
There is a great amount of detail, for example tracing how the news got out to the world, from locals to the Times of London and to the Lloyd's Agent in the Dutch East Indies onward to London, and thereafter in the worldwide press. This book deserves a better review but I was only to read it for an hour as I needed to wrap up the package for the shelf of the old soldiers' home.
Maps, illustrations, drawings, bibliography, and index.