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

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

 

Staff Pick

Krakatoa is the eloquent narrative of the cataclysmic destruction in 1883 of the volcanic island of the same name. Killing nearly 40,000 people (mostly from the resultant tsunamis), this violent eruption was "the most violent explosion ever recorded and experienced by modern man." With his flair for conveying considerable detail in dramatic storyteller fashion, Winchester once again exhibits his great talent for recounting an episode in history that keeps readers fixed to the page.
Recommended by Michal D., Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"As with Winchester's other books, Krakatoa overflows with rich characters and vivid landscapes. His well-established love of words and etymologies enlivens descriptions and makes the familiar seem new....Winchester has created a lush, rich book which — forgive the cliché — vividly captures a bygone era." Doug Brown, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Simon Winchester, New York Times-bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman, examines the legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa, which was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France.

Barometers in Bogota and Washington, D.C., 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 significant of all — in view of today's new political climate — the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims, one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere.

Krakatoa gives us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event.

Review:

"Krakatoa is volcanic." Time

Review:

"Build[s] thrillerlike suspense....If you've ever sat through a dry geology lecture, Winchester's human-oriented volcanology will grip you." Ayesha Court, USA Today

Review:

"Krakatoa is...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." Richard Ellis, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"An erudite, fascinating account....[Winchester's] investigations have produced a work that is relevant to scholars and intriguing to others, who will relish it footnotes and all." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Review:

"A vivid reconstruction....Supremely well told: a fine exception to the dull run of most geological writing." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"Winchester is a teacher to the world....All readers, science-prone or not, will be delighted by this experience-expanding book." Brad Hooper, Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Simon Winchester has...written an exhaustive and often exciting account....In particular, it is outstanding in describing the sequence of events from...the moment of the first great explosion...to the immediate aftermath of the climactic blast." Kenneth Reich, The Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Part history, scientific detective story and travelogue....There are some problems in his coverage of events before and after the eruption, but this is a good read for anyone interested in Indonesia, geology or earthshaking catastrophes." Valerie Jablow, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"The author cuts a broad swath...but the telling is masterful and conscientious readers are rewarded by his elucidation of complex interrelationships." School Library Journal

Review:

"Winchester uses the disaster, which became a worldwide media event, to incorporate [several] stories...into one mightily fascinating book." Eric Wargo, Book Magazine

Review:

"A real-life story bigger than any Hollywood blockbuster." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Krakatoa is a pleasure from beginning to end." Boston Sunday Globe

Review:

"Winchester...is noted for his ability to turn scholarly history into engrossing narrative." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Winchester dramatically delivers...the book is absorbing." Daily News

Review:

"The rich and fascinating Krakatoa confirms [Winchester's] preeminence. Janet Maslin International Herald Tribune

Review:

"Winchester's exceptional attention to detail never falters." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Masterful build-up of literary and geological tension." The Economist

Synopsis:

Now in paperback comes the New York Times bestseller on the catastrophic eruption of the volcano Krakatoa in 1883, and its lasting and world-changing effects. 57 line drawings. 18 halftones & maps.

About the Author

Simon Winchester was a geologist at Oxford and worked in Africa and on offshore oil rigs before becoming a full-time globe-trotting foreign correspondent and writer. He currently lives on a small farm in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, an apartment in New York's West Village and in the Western Isles of Scotland.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Maps
Prelude 17
1 "An Island with a Pointed Mountain" 28
2 The Crocodile in the Canal 71
3 Close Encounters on the Wallace Line 93
4 The Moments When the Mountain Moved 191
5 The Unchaining of the Gates of Hell 241
6 A League from the Last of the Sun 285
7 The Curious Case of the Terrified Elephant 314
8 The Paroxysm, the Flood, and the Crack of Doom 330
9 Rebellion of a Ruined People 498
10 The Rising of the Son 531
Epilogue: The Place the World Exploded 575
Recommendations for (and, in One Case, Against) Further Reading and Viewing 603
Acknowledgments, Erkenningen, Terima Kasih

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060937362
Subtitle:
The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
Author:
Winchester, Simon
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
General
Subject:
Chemistry - Organic
Subject:
Natural Disasters
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Geology
Subject:
Earthquakes & Volcanoes
Subject:
Asia - Southeast Asia
Subject:
General History
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
April 2004
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.10x5.44x1.15 in. .84 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » Indonesia Malaysia and Singapore
History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Science and Mathematics » Geology » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Perennial - English 9780060937362 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Krakatoa is the eloquent narrative of the cataclysmic destruction in 1883 of the volcanic island of the same name. Killing nearly 40,000 people (mostly from the resultant tsunamis), this violent eruption was "the most violent explosion ever recorded and experienced by modern man." With his flair for conveying considerable detail in dramatic storyteller fashion, Winchester once again exhibits his great talent for recounting an episode in history that keeps readers fixed to the page.

"Review A Day" by , "As with Winchester's other books, Krakatoa overflows with rich characters and vivid landscapes. His well-established love of words and etymologies enlivens descriptions and makes the familiar seem new....Winchester has created a lush, rich book which — forgive the cliché — vividly captures a bygone era." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "Krakatoa is volcanic."
"Review" by , "Build[s] thrillerlike suspense....If you've ever sat through a dry geology lecture, Winchester's human-oriented volcanology will grip you."
"Review" by , "Krakatoa is...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."
"Review" by , "An erudite, fascinating account....[Winchester's] investigations have produced a work that is relevant to scholars and intriguing to others, who will relish it footnotes and all."
"Review" by , "A vivid reconstruction....Supremely well told: a fine exception to the dull run of most geological writing."
"Review" by , "Winchester is a teacher to the world....All readers, science-prone or not, will be delighted by this experience-expanding book."
"Review" by , "Simon Winchester has...written an exhaustive and often exciting account....In particular, it is outstanding in describing the sequence of events from...the moment of the first great explosion...to the immediate aftermath of the climactic blast."
"Review" by , "Part history, scientific detective story and travelogue....There are some problems in his coverage of events before and after the eruption, but this is a good read for anyone interested in Indonesia, geology or earthshaking catastrophes."
"Review" by , "The author cuts a broad swath...but the telling is masterful and conscientious readers are rewarded by his elucidation of complex interrelationships."
"Review" by , "Winchester uses the disaster, which became a worldwide media event, to incorporate [several] stories...into one mightily fascinating book."
"Review" by , "A real-life story bigger than any Hollywood blockbuster."
"Review" by , "Krakatoa is a pleasure from beginning to end."
"Review" by , "Winchester...is noted for his ability to turn scholarly history into engrossing narrative."
"Review" by , "Winchester dramatically delivers...the book is absorbing."
"Review" by , "The rich and fascinating Krakatoa confirms [Winchester's] preeminence.
"Review" by , "Winchester's exceptional attention to detail never falters."
"Review" by , "Masterful build-up of literary and geological tension."
"Synopsis" by , Now in paperback comes the New York Times bestseller on the catastrophic eruption of the volcano Krakatoa in 1883, and its lasting and world-changing effects. 57 line drawings. 18 halftones & maps.
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