Issac's Storm: Book summary and reviews of Issac's Storm by Erik Larson

Issac's Storm

A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

by Erik Larson

Issac's Storm

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Book Summary

September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed over six thousand people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history--and Isaac Cline found himself the victim of a devastating personal tragedy.

Using Cline's own telegrams, letters, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the science of hurricanes, Erik Larson builds a chronicle of one man's heroic struggle and fatal miscalculation in the face of a storm of unimaginable magnitude. Riveting, powerful, and unbearably suspenseful, Isaac's Storm is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets the great uncontrollable force of nature.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Torqued by drama and taut with suspense, this absorbing narrative of the 1900 hurricane that inundated Galveston, Tex., conveys the sudden, cruel power of the deadliest natural disaster in American history." - Publishers Weekly.

"More than anything, this is a gripping and heartbreaking story of what happens when arrogance meets the immutable forces of nature." - School Library Journal.

"This unforgettable work is highly recommended for both public and academic libraries." - Library Journal.

"Although the subject is grim, this telling is a deftly told fable of folly and fate." - Booklist.

"The sophisticated reader may find the emotionalism unsettling, a lapse in literary judgment. But ultimately, as the accounts of just such situations multiply thumping like Mr. Young's furniture at the reader's consciousness - that series of questions universalizes the account of one storm in one place at one time. The storm, the place, the time, after all, could be here and now." - The Boston Globe.

"The meteorological journal Weatherwise cited a host of what it deemed factual errors in Isaac's Storm, which didn't prevent it from giving the book a rave review." - Salon.

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Author Information

Erik Larson Author Biography

Photo: Mary Cairns

Erik Larson is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, which hit #1 and remained on the printed list for 35 weeks. It was published in Britain, France, Italy, Poland, Australia and a number of other countries. Movie rights were optioned by Universal Studios and Tom Hanks' Playtone. Erik's book The Devil in the White City remained on the Times' hardcover and paperback lists for a combined total of over three years. It won an Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing and was a finalist for a National Book Award; the option to make a movie of the book was acquired in November 2010 by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Erik's research has taken him to far-flung locales, and down ...

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