Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$0.01
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: This book is almost new and shows only very slight signs of wear. Blue Cloud Books. Hot deals from the land of the sun.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Fire Mountain: How 30,000 Perished and One Man Survived the World's Worst Volcanic Disaster Hardcover – July 1, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover, July 1, 2003
$4.82 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In an excellent work of history and social commentary, Morgan chronicles the events leading up to and the aftermath of the devastating 1902 eruption of Mount Pel‚e on the Caribbean island of Martinique, along with the life of the local city's only known survivor, a laborer named Ludger Sylbaris. The blast destroyed the city of St. Pierre and its 30,000 inhabitants in a matter of hours. Morgan, both a seasoned English journalist and a playwright, accordingly combines a nose for meticulous detail with a storytelling flair, giving his account an intense personal angle that enlivens the history. His introduction to turn-of-the-century St. Pierre is told from the point of view of a visiting photographer, and it is replete with the crisp images characteristic of Morgan's style: "He sits under a burning blue sky, watching n‚gociants dicker over quarts and kilos, eighths and sixteenths. He is fascinated by a sack of raw sugar, sweating syrup from every pore.... There is a constant reek of coal fires, of sun-roasted brick and rotten meat." Morgan has an equally good eye for the nuances of the colonial island's relationship with France, the political shortsightedness that allowed many warning signs to be ignored and the inevitable opportunists who took advantage of the situation afterward. Those include Barnum & Bailey's Circus, who hired Sylbaris and touted him as "the Most Marvelous Man in the World." The idea of him stripping off his shirt to reveal his puckered skin to onlookers at the behest of a sideshow barker is just one of the scenes that reverberate from this engrossing book.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

'As a miniature study in colonialism and as an lesson in what happens to enlightened values under duress - almost an adult Lord of the Flies - his book is hard to beat' Financial Times 'Peter Morgan is an able storyteller, giving good detail on the social and political life of the island' The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1st Ed. (U.S.) edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582341990
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582341996
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,187,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
75%
4 star
25%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Science, history and human tragedy collide in a heart-stopping tale of natural catastrophe." - from the dust jacket.
Author Peter Morgan makes a canny choice in his book "Fire Mountain" by focusing on the life of the single survivor of the volcanic eruption of Mount Pelee in Martinique in 1902 that completely destroyed the city of Saint-Pierre. By telling the story of the incredible survival of Ludger Sylbaris and his subsequent career as a sideshow oddity in the Barnum & Bailey circus, Morgan warmly humanizes what otherwie would have just been another run-of-the-mill disaster story.
Morgan carefully reconstructs the events leading up to the destruction of Saint-Pierre, describing the city and the colorful personalities in what was then a French colonial town. Called the "Paris of the Caribbean," it was caught totally unprepared when Pelee began erupting a few months before the final disaster. The residents convinced themselves that they were far enough away to be safe before the mountain exploded in much the same manner as Mount St. Helens, utterly erasing the city from the map.
In the aftermath, resucuers picking over the rubble made a startling discovery. Ludger Sylbaris somehow managed to survive the disaster in a solitary confinement cell in the local jail. Though horribly burned, he became an instant celebrity. When Barnum & Bailey made him a part of the so-called "Greatest Show on Earth," he became the first black man ever to grace the stage of the segregated show.
Morgan is an excellent histroian and a good storyteller, and the book contains numerous photographs and illustrations to help the reader. At just over 230 pages of narrative, this is a highly readable and very enjoyable work.
Comment 5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on November 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in two sittings,barely able to put it down. Peter Morgan's description of the ill-fated Saint Pierre painted pictures in my mind. The horror of that fateful day in 1902 I felt was portrayed in an honest yet respectful manner. The only thing I was disapointed with was that there wasn't as much information on Ludger Sylbaris as I had anticipated. Despite this I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone interested in history or volcanoes.
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a book I could not put down and have read over multiple times. If you like fact based dramas and have an interest in volcanos, then this should be right up your alley. If Hollywood or better yet PBS made a movie based on this book and stayed close to the author's narrative, it would be one of the better movies of all time. And it really happened !
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
yay
Comment 0 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse