9780066212852

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

ISBN 10: 0066212855 / 0-06-621285-5
ISBN 13: 9780066212852
Publisher: Harpercollins
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis:

The bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World examines the enduring and world-changing effects of the catastrophic eruption off the coast of Java of the earth's most dangerous volcano -- Krakatoa.

The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa -- the name has since become a byword for a cataclysmic disaster -- was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event that has only very recently been properly understood, the eruption changed the world in more ways than could possibly be imagined. Dust swirled round die planet for years, causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid with lurid and unsettling displays of light. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogotá 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.

Simon Winchester's long experience in the world wandering as well as his knowledge of history and geology give us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event as he brings it telling back to life.


Review:

"Supremely well told; a fine exception to the dull run of most geological writing."

Kirkus, 02/01/2003

Review:

"Winchester is shrewd enough to realise that a very big bang is still only a bang. The interest of Krakatoa and of this book is conveyed best not in exclamation marks and jaw-dropping statistics, but through calm explanations and with the author's unerring instinct for telling detail....[T]he real achievement of this book is its quiet celebration of the irresistible power of the everyday."

Andrew Taylor, Literary Review, June 2003

 

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