Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Krakatoa is volcanic." Time
"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
"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
"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)
"A vivid reconstruction....Supremely well told: a fine exception to the dull run of most geological writing." Kirkus Reviews (Starred 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)
"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
"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
"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
"Winchester uses the disaster, which became a worldwide media event, to incorporate [several] stories...into one mightily fascinating book." Eric Wargo, Book Magazine
"A real-life story bigger than any Hollywood blockbuster." Entertainment Weekly
"Krakatoa is a pleasure from beginning to end." Boston Sunday Globe
"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
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
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