Book Discussion: Isaac's storm by Erik Larson

Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 10:00am

Fascinating yet ominous, Larson's book reads as if it were a firsthand account of the deadliest storm to hit the US. (The world has experienced worse storms, many near the Bay of Bengal and also in China and Japan, but this book offers a historically based account of what it must have been like to be in the very middle of a storm.) Larson begins with a basic meteorological account, sprinkled with the history of weather service, an account of past disasters, and the biography of Isaac Cline, the person in charge of the weather office in Galveston during the 1900 hurricane. A riveting book, with appalling accounts of the approaching storm and its subsequent effects, it draws the reader into the excitement and fears experienced during a life-threatening event. The account emphasizes that water is a bigger threat than wind, although pieces of debris flying at more than 100 miles per hour (wind velocity devices ceased to work above 100 mph) kept people from seeking safer havens. Any coastal residents who take this book to heart would certainly evacuate when a storm is imminent; everyone should have a plan for safety from every type of emergency. Recommended for everyone. Choice Magazine