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In Isaac's Storm, Erik Larson blends science and history to tell the story of Galveston, its people, and the hurricane that devastated them. Drawing on hundreds of personal reminiscences of the storm, Larson follows individuals through the fateful day and the storm's aftermath. There's Louisa Rollfing, who begged her husband, August, not to go into town the morning of the storm; the Ursuline Sisters at St. Mary's orphanage who tied their charges to lengths of clothesline to keep them together; Judson Palmer, who huddled in his bathroom with his family and neighbors, hoping to ride out the storm. At the center of it all is Isaac Cline, employee of the nascent Weather Bureau, and his younger brother--and rival weatherman--Joseph. Larson does an excellent job of piecing together Isaac's life and reveals that Isaac was not the quick-thinking hero he claimed to be after the storm ended. The storm itself, however, is the book's true protagonist--and Larson describes its nuances in horrific detail.
At times the prose is a bit too purple, but Larson is engaging and keeps the book's tempo rising in pace with the wind and waves. Overall, Isaac's Storm recaptures at a time when, standing in the first year of the century, Americans felt like they ruled the world--and that even the weather was no real threat to their supremacy. Nature proved them wrong. --Sunny Delaney
Larson does another great job of writing about a big event in history but it reads like a novel. All the people in the story become so alive with his writing. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Reader-Reader
Isaac's storm is a powerful look at the intersection of nature's forces and a bumbling human bureaucracy. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Ann
Its a pretty fascinating read and I enjoyed it. Like others, only criticism is that there were no maps and no pictures. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Kurt
Eric Larson's books are well-researched and engagingly-written. You really can't go wrong with his books. He brings history to life and keeps you turning the pages. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Canine Celebrity
I'm looking at the books below that you somehow think I read.......but have not.
This was a good book as it was shortly followed by the TV review of the Hurricane that hit... Read more
The author tackled a huge topic but managed to bring it to a personal level. Extremely interesting, especially in view of some of the super storms we've had the last couple of... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Jan York
I didn't think I'd like this book, although I've read several other Larson books and enjoyed them quite a bit. Weather just isn't much an interest of mine. Read morePublished 10 days ago by EMC