Thursday, February 17, 2011
BOOK REVIEW - ISAAC'S STORM - By Erik Larson
Some books have so much educational value that it’s a plus when they also entertain, which was so with “Isaac’s Storm.” This book was somewhat of a documentary told in a sparkling way so that it felt like a novel. Erik Larson tells the story from 3 fronts even though they intertwine as the story moves along:
1. Isaac Cline’s life is developed from beginning to end as a weatherman, a medical student, a scientist, a Sunday School teacher and a family man. He was highly motivated, and even driven in all of his stewardships. He is a man I would like. But his competency was not above learning humility. And this humility takes place in the eye of a hurricane that he has studied all his life.
2. The second focus of the book was a history of American weather forecasting, including some wonderful stories about Christopher Columbus and his dealings with weather and in particular a hurricane. The telegraph created weather forecasting. The abilities, frustrations, and human ego involved in forecasting are laid out from the perspective of the US government trying to create a forecasting crew across the country. Isaac was a part of this group almost from the beginning.
3. The last and most interesting part of the story is the real basis of the book, the Galveston, Texas hurricane that took place in September of 1900. Upwards of 8,000 people were killed. This story is gripping, and tragic in its well researched details. Isaac Cline had been living and working in Galveston for many years when the Hurricane occurred. His life and career were forever changed by this event. Much of the detail comes from his eyes. I will never look at Hurricanes the same.
Thanks to my friend Jill Gerrish for recommending this Book. I would give it 4 stars.