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Publisher's Summary

In this interview, Simon Winchester, the international best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa, talks about his new book, A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906. In it, Winchester vividly brings to life the earthquake that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion. He also brings his inimitable storytelling abilities, as well as his unique understanding of geology, to this extraordinary event, exploring not only what happened in northern California in 1906 but what we have learned since about the geological underpinnings that caused the earthquake in the first place.
Be sure to listen to Simon Winchester's A Crack in the Edge of the World.
(P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"In this brawny page-turner, best-selling writer Winchester (Krakatoa, The Professor and the Madman) has crafted a magnificent testament to the power of planet Earth and the efforts of humankind to understand her." (Publishers Weekly)

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Winchester as Fascinating an Interviewee as Author

the title of this review pretty much states it all -- winchester, who is an excellent narrative historian, who artfully but with razor-sharp exactness, uses narrative to expand his inquiries to include the widest possible extent, here explains how his early geological studies influenced his last 3 works, and how he, like many geologists currently working in the field, has discerned what Winchester refers to as the "Gaia Effect" (Gaia being a human-neutral means of referring to planet Earth with the impllication that the planet MUST be considered as an all encompasing organic whole), in which the geological equivalent of the proverbial butterfly flapping its wings in the amazon and causing a dust storm in gobi desert is for episodic compensatory releases of tectonic stresses to follow one after the other -- on the other side of the world or the opposite edge of the more stable tectonic plate which caused the earthquake in a particular location to force the release of stress at other points, often extremely far removed from the first event. i recommend this interview with the same enthusiasm as i recommend ALL of Mr. Winchester's works, many of which are available on Audible

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • Westport, CT, United States
  • 03-15-09

biased....i just love this author

The combination of Simon Winchester's narration and his very creative use of the English language makes listening to his works and his words an absolute pleasure.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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simon winchester....the man with many hats.

if your a winchester fan as i am, you might want to sit in for a brief geography lesson on the san adrias fault line that caused the SF earthquake in 1906 as explained in this interview.

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  • James
  • Ventura, CA, United States
  • 04-27-13

Interesting.

Any additional comments?

What an interesting person and great writer. He brings science and history together so science isn't just an esoteric topic.

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  • Troy
  • Muncie, IN, USA
  • 06-12-06

Simon says ...

I wasn't as enchanted by this interview as I have been with some others on this site, but it was good. I was intrigued enough to go out and pick up an earlier work that Simon mentions. If you don't know much about this author, and how a geographical event can make a good non-fiction narrative, then you should tune in to this interview.

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