Monday, January 4, 2016

Isaac'sStorm

I recently read Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson (1999).


This is a non-fiction work in which EL details the events surrounding the deadly hurricane that all but wiped out Galveston, Texas, in 1900.  Isaac Cline (the namesake of the title) was the Galveston station chief of the fledgling U.S. Weather Bureau.  EL crafts a marvelous tale via innumerable primary sources, giving us a magnificent 360 degree view of the storm, in its context.

Galveston, primed to become the premier deep water port for the state of Texas (and at one point the most populated city in Texas), was virtually wiped off the map by the 1900 storm.  Though its citizens valiantly rebuilt, it never regained its esteemed status. 

EL masterfully writes non-fiction in a way that reads like fiction.  He skillfully captures the emotions, the political contexts, the rivalries and jealousies, the devastation, the courage displayed, and the heartbreak experienced.  

Larson is a simply magnificent.  I'll read anything he writes.  

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