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)
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!
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.
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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