There is no mistaking the fact that Winchester is knowledgeable and engaging author with a sizeable repertoire of books to his credit: most of them about topics few authors would dare to tackle: Atlantic, Pacific. One would not be surprised to see him take on the Cosmos as a topic. (Done by someone else you say?
"Crack" shows the author to be not merely an accomplished writer of prose; in fact often enough Winchester's prose verges on poetry and lyricism. Who could have guessed that dull old Geology could become such a musical subject?
When it comes to the crack at the edge of the world, when it comes to California and the San Andreas Fault; when it comes to Plate Tectonics and the theory of Continental Drift one must, however, ask, is there anything new here? To a large measure: no. It would not surprise me to learn that this theory is now taught in Kindergarten with Plasticine and construction paper.
So, it the book still worth reading? By all means. It's about the details. Its about the personalities, the geologists, the scientists. What you learned in school was bare bones. This book is about the flesh. Dig in.
This book features an extensive bibliography.
Excellent coverage of major earthquakes, particularly American ones, and especially the1906 San Francisco 'Quake & Fire.
Although it saw a lot of popularity when it was published, to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the earthquake, the book is worth taking a look at now. Parts are technical, but still a good read if you're interested in the topic.
The author takes a seemingly dry topic of plate tectonics and manages to weave an interesting narrative. Very typical of this author's works. Worth reading.
Excellent book. It's not only about the great San Fran earthquake but earthquakes in general. The author really digs deep into what is happening, tectonically speaking, right now in SW California. Fascinating!
Yet another meticulously researched and brilliantly written report of a natural disaster that, like "Krakatoa", covers all aspects of and connections with the event.
Nervous on the West coast.
I got bogged down a bit in the first 1/3 of the book, which was fairly detailed geological history (which is not a bad thing, and Simon Winchester writes about complex scientific matters as clearly as can be hoped for), but I was much more interested in the social history in this book. Very detailed, very enjoyable. Some outstanding footnotes.
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