Most significantly of all, in view of today's new political climate, the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-western militancy by fundamentalist Muslims, one of the first eruptions of Islamic killings anywhere. Simon Winchester's long experience in world wandering, history, and geology give this fascinating and iconic event an entirely new life and perspective.
©2003 Simon Winchester; (P)2003 HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc.
"Thrilling, comprehensive, literate, meticulously researched and scientifically accurate....It is one of the best books ever written about the history and significance of a natural disaster." (The New York Times Book Review(
"If you're looking for drama, you'll certainly find it here....Winchester manages a dry and ironic delivery, very much in keeping with his writing style. But the main point of interest when the dust has settled is the far-flung ramifications of this eruption upon world events. This is a winner." (AudioFile)
"All readers, science-prone or not, will be delighted by this experience-expanding book." (Booklist)
There is not a single boring paragraph in the entire book. The author covers a myriad of subjects, directly and indirectly related to the Krakatoa eruption. Each chapter is fascinating. The reader is so in tune with the spirit of the book that he seemed to have written it himself. And, after checking with the book information, I see that he did! I'm glad I didn't miss this one.
While many of the stories that the author shared were interesting, this could have been slimmed down considerably. He goes into incredibly long-winded accounts of uninteresting stories several times. It would have been much better to establish some main characters and follow them thoughgout the timeline rather than bouncing around with many small almost irritating accounts.
Well! over all its an interesting book but i never thought i would get such a detailed history lesson of the region. I am better for knowing about the pepper trade'the dutch and the day to day life of the inhabitants then i was before i started.
I wish i was still taking geology i got a better explination of plate techtonics here then i did from my college instructor.
all in all very good but it might have been a thought to get a dramatic reader to voice the book <james eral jones does krakatoa> just a thought.
in closeing i did learn much more then i expected a good listen.
Beautifully told. He mentions Frederick Church's painting whose sky was inspired by the afterglow from Nov to Mar. Not mentioned is the sky in the famous painting "The Scream" which was also inspired by that same sky effect seen worldwide, despite having been painted a decade later (see Sky and Telescope magazine a month or two ago).
The iconic megacatastrophe, in rich and comprehensive context. Winchester's reading of his own elegant and and supple writing was an unmitigated pleasure.
I am a big history novel buff. Having the historical facts right is important and interesting,. However delivering those fact in a coherent and interesting manner is the basics of what makes a great novel which this is not. The time line is difficult to follow, the details become overwhelming to the point you have to take notes to follow along. If you are looking for historical economic facts in minute detail, if all your pencils must be sharp and all your socks are labeled Monday through Sunday you might enjoy this book. If you are looking for a good historical novel take a pass on this one.
After reading Audible's interesting book on Pompeii and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, I was inspired to learn more about Krakatoa. However, this book appears to spend the first few hours discussing trading practices of the Dutch and Portugese in a slow and pedantic fashion. I can't comment on how interesting or not the author's writing on the eruption and its impact on life in the region was--I simply couldn't hang in there for that. This is dull and monotonous reading and was a very disappointing selection on my part.
When are authors going to learn that they are not also READERS! This book is painfully dry. With all the detail, I felt like I was back in a college class with one of the painfully monotonous professors. I was totally looking forward to this, and totally disappointed. Could NOT get thru it lest I fall asleep at the wheel of the car!
Why does someone who reads think that a scientific topic deserves a monotonous tone of voice? I simply could not listen long to this narrative without shutting my CD off. Too bad....
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