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Customer Review

399 of 406 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved It, January 2, 2000
This review is from: Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History (Hardcover)
I've been a meteorologist for 20 years. Trained by Dr Bill Gray, I've walked in the eye of three hurricanes and flown in they eye of one. One recent book interest has been adventure stories including THE PERFECT STORM, INTO THIN AIR, ENDURANCE, etc. I had shyed away from ISSAC'S STORM because I couldn't imagine what Larson could tell me I didn't already know about the 1900 disaster at Galveston. I shouldn't have waited. Even the most seasoned weather geek will learn from this book. Like Carl Sagan, Larson has a knack for putting complex concepts in layman terms. I took away new simple descriptions of tropical meteorological concepts. However, that is not the genius of this book. Erik Larson did a wonderful job piecing together thousands of bits of information and crafting it all into a gripping read. What's missing? Photographs. Like SHIP OF GOLD IN THE DEEP BLUE SEA, this book is screaming for a companion book of photos. Eric said he waded through over 4,000; 250 of the best would make a super addition to this treatise. Rick Taylor, vorticity@aol.com
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 20, 2010 8:03:54 PM PDT
Magicbird says:
You're right, it would have been better if there had been more photos. Do you know where I can find more photos of the storm? I just got back to PA from Galveston, which is where I finished up my BS degree at UTMB many years ago. I was visiting my best friend who settled there. I've heard great things about the Galveston library but didn't have time to check it out personally, it wasn't a high priority at the time. I know a Galveston family that 3 generations ago shipped ice down the coast to Galvestonians for their 'ice boxes.'

Posted on Nov 9, 2011 12:50:08 PM PST
gilly8 says:
Along w/ missing photos, I was struck by the total arrogant ignoring of CUBAN weathermen who'd dealt w/ hurricanes for generations. Being darker skinned and of an "inferior" race/ class of people, their warnings were ignored. Hard to forgive anyone in a position of responsibility in Galveston for that!

Posted on Dec 6, 2011 10:03:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 6, 2011 10:04:15 PM PST
I feel sure you have read the recent, "Eyewall," by Buzz Bernard. Terrific book, along the same lines as all the above, and written, too, by a fellow meteorologist.

Posted on May 10, 2014 6:21:47 PM PDT
Bruce Martin says:
The book was a truly great read, but one must always take into consideration the demands of the publisher, which can humble even the best storytellers of all time. Photographs are EXPENSIVE, even B&W shots. The paper needs to be coated, not like the ink on a printed page, but a picture is worth a thousand words. I've read many books where photos don't really convey the destruction that is so evident to anyone on the ground who lived through these freaks of nature, because that is what a hurricane is. That they form at all is such a chance encounter, a thousand in one event, that when they do hit land, few people know how to react. You can hide from the wind, but you had better run from the water.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2015 8:07:34 AM PDT
anne s. says:
I used this book for my book club selection, as my grandma's family was from Galveston and lost 206 or 207 family members in the hurricane. She lived on P Street, between 32 and 33. Her family was engaged in coffee imports, wine making, and cattle ranching. Their large ranch encompassed a lot of land on the coast. Most of the rest of her family received a home on the shore as wedding presents from their parents and grandparents--lined up like dominoes--so when the storm came it wiped them all out. Larson notes in his book "the Ratisseau family tree was pruned to a stalk"--an apt description. For my book club meeting, I went to Google Images and put in the names of several of the buildings mentioned in the town map at the front of the book, and printed out "before" and "after" photos of the buildings. They really are striking and did make an impression on my book club members.

Posted on Jun 10, 2016 9:08:33 AM PDT
Bookworm says:
I totally agree. I have only yet read this book and Dead Wake. Photos improve any non-fiction reading experience immensely. One reviewer mentioned cost. I don't see how this would be a factor, given Mr. Larson writes best sellers--he and/or the publisher can spend a bit more to add photos, then charge a bit more to sell the books.
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