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Krakatoa Audiobook

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883

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Publisher's Summary

The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa (the name has since become a by-word for a cataclysmic disaster) was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly 40,000 people. Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event which has only very recently become properly understood, the eruption changed the world in more ways than could possibly be imagined. Dust swirled round the world 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 Bogota and Washington 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 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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (660 )
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4.3 (307 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nicolas Georgetown, TX, USA 01-07-05
    Nicolas Georgetown, TX, USA 01-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cumbersome"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Dallas, TX, USA 03-08-04
    Joel Dallas, TX, USA 03-08-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lets start at the beginning of time"

    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.
    thank you.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John McGinley 01-28-04

    JMcGoo

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    "Great Book!"

    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).

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul brooklyn, NY, USA 02-02-04
    Paul brooklyn, NY, USA 02-02-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not that great"

    a lot of backround. kinda drags. don't listen while driving.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bj ray 01-24-04
    bj ray 01-24-04 Member Since 2000
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    "Disappointing"

    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.

    17 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kandinsky2 New York, NY USA 09-15-15
    kandinsky2 New York, NY USA 09-15-15 Member Since 2009

    Joel

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    "A grand tour, superbly rendered"

    The iconic megacatastrophe, in rich and comprehensive context. Winchester's reading of his own elegant and and supple writing was an unmitigated pleasure.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 08-19-06
    Linda 08-19-06 Member Since 2005
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    "Think twice before purchasing"

    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.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joyce j perrone Apollo, PA USA 04-08-05
    joyce j perrone Apollo, PA USA 04-08-05 Member Since 2008
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    "very slow!"

    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!

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Penitas, TX USA 05-25-07
    Amazon Customer Penitas, TX USA 05-25-07 Member Since 2011

    Retama Thorn

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    "Interesting topic, terrible reading.."

    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....

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nancy Panama City, FL, United States 08-26-07
    nancy Panama City, FL, United States 08-26-07 Member Since 2015
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    "Far too much detail, lacks emotion"

    Author has a tendency to go off on tangents many of which barely stay on point. Listening at times is very laborious as the author elaborates on whatever extraneous topic seems to pop into his head. When finished I’m sure you’ll be able to pick up an easy three credits at any university that offers a geology course as the depth of detail covering the evolution of volcanoes as well as tectonic plates is the equal of any text book you’ll find on the subject. There is no connection to any main characters that typically draw the reader into a book so they can truly experience the emotional magnitude of the event as it effects the character.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful

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