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The Deep Dark: Disaster and Redemption in America's Richest Silver Mine
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The Deep Dark: Disaster and Redemption in America's Richest Silver Mine

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  163 ratings  ·  30 reviews
For nearly a century, Kellogg, Idaho, was home to America’s richest silver mine, Sunshine Mine. Mining there, as everywhere, was not an easy life, but regardless of the risk, there was something about being underground, the lure of hitting a deep vein of silver. The promise of good money and the intense bonds of friendship brought men back year after year. Mining is about ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Broadway Books (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Chadwick Saxelid
Life in Kellogg, Idaho changed forever on May 2, 1972, when a fire in the Sunshine Mine took the lives of 91 men. The Deep Dark: Disaster and Redemption in America's Richest Silver Mine tells the nightmarish and grisly story of what happened. The how of it remains shrouded in mystery to this day.

I plucked Gregg Olsen's book off the shelf at the local library not knowing what I was getting myself into. But the coupling of the words disaster and redemption in the book's title gave me hope that som
...more
Andrea
I'd never had a physical reaction to a book I was reading, until I read this one. My family is from Wallace, Idaho so this kind of lifestyle is close to home. This tradgedy has been with me since I was two years old, and The Miner statue along I-90 makes me think of these men every time I pass. I read the first half of this book in one sitting, then I realized I was having a burning feeling in my chest and nostrils. I had to force myself to put it down and go to sleep. Gregg Olsen is an amazing ...more
Kevin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Anderson
My father was in that fire his name was Darol Anderson and he was also mentioned in the book.. My dads brother Robert Anderson lost his life in that fire also..Its such a sad tragedy and this book hit home and to the heart. I thought i was well written and such a accurate account of what happend. Im blessed to have my father alive today..He was a shift boss at the time and very few shift bosses made it out alive..I was lucky to have him here today..I think a movie should be made in honor of all ...more
Julie
I picked up this book on a whim, and I'm really glad I did. The book tells the story of a tragic mine fire in Kellog, Idaho. It follows many of the men up to and through the horrific event. The book is a little slow to get going, but once it does, the story is well-told and suspensful (even knowing how it turns out). I will admit that I did skip to tend to find out the cause of the fire, and I wish that that - the cause - had been made clear earlier on.
Gwen Burrow
I read this because I wanted to know what it'd be like to be trapped in a mine, and I got exactly what I wanted. Olsen occasionally struggles with shaping the narrative on the micro level, but does a great job juggling so many POVs at once and capturing the flavor of the 1972 disaster.
Sarah
This is a pretty straight-forward book; the title really says it all. A whole bunch of hardened, hard-working people performing incredibly dangerous jobs miles and miles underneath the surface of the earth when disaster strikes and silent death starts seeping through tunnels faster than a man can say “help."

My only complaint about this book is, as usual, related to a style preference more than actual faults on the part of the author. With the attention span of a goldfish, I have a tendency to g
...more
Carly
Nov 08, 2010 Carly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I'd never really thought about how terrifying being in a mine could be...until I read this book. Perhaps the book is not meant to terrify it's readers--but I'm impressionable :)

This is the very true (and very heartbreaking tale) of the Sunshine Mine (Idaho) in the 1970s. A fire started and carbon monocide quickly spread through the mine. Miners being miners (ie, tough, hard working, and not quick to give up work--which meant money), many didn't try to evacuate, but wanted to just wait it out unt
...more
Stacey Sykes
Oct 09, 2007 Stacey Sykes rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially those who live in the WA/ID pacific northwest region
On May 2, 1972 , 174 miners entered Sunshine Mine in Kellogg, Idaho, on their daily quest for silver. Sunshine was a fireproof hardrock mine, full of nothing but cold, dripping wet stone. There were many safety concerns, but fire wasn't one of them. When the alarm sounded, less than half of the dayshift was able to return to the surface. The others were too deep in the mine to escape. In 'The Deep Dark' author Gregg Olsen looks beyone an intensely suspenseful story of the rescue and into the wou ...more
Mary
Having lived in the area during this time, I really appreciated the personal nature of the book.
Paul Medici
Absolutely Fantastic
Angie Agerter
My Dad worked in the Sunshine mine during the time that this disaster happened. He thankfully wasn't working a shift at the time that this happened (if he had, I probably wouldn't be here today) Reading this book gave me a lot of questions about what he did in the mine exactly. And who he knew that worked there that died so sadly in this disaster.

Great read though. Highly telling of what happened underground & even in the families lives during that early May 1972.
Jana
I've read it twice! Having no knowledge of mining, I found this book to be captivating and informational. Olsen does a great job explaining the mine, the mining industry, and the lives of the miners. Being from a small town where one industry dominates the employment and economy of the area, I could relate to all the families. Fantistic story (albiet sad and frustrating at the same time) and thoughtful presentation.
Sue
I read this because I lived in the Spokane area when this happened. I still remember, when hope was essentially lost, two miners, Tom Wilkinson and Ron Flory were found. The whole disaster was essentially a result of poor safety regulations. The lack of safety equipment, the lack of exits, the hesitation to sound the alarm, all contributed to a true disaster. This is well written and I recommend it.
Eric Mccutcheon
I would say 3.5 stars on this one. The story was compelling and the lives of the miners are described in detail. I felt there were a few too many personal stories from a few too many "characters" that I became confused about who was who. When tension was building I needed to keep going back to see when I first was introduced to that person. Overall, a good quick read.
Jennifer
I love this book. The Idaho Silver mine district is very interesting to me, partially because my maternal grandfather died in the Morning Mine not far from the Sunshine mine. This is a wonderful Non-fiction book, I couldn't stop reading and now that I have finished I feel deep sadness for the miners and their families.This one will stay in my library.
Richard Musselman
I am a hard rock miner and have worked for Sunshine mining. This book keeps it in perspective. As a side note this terrible tragedy did bring safety reform and is used as a safety training aid at the mines. I have read this book twice and every time I smell smoke in my sleep and dream of the Underground!
Loretta
This was so captivating and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I felt hot, sweaty and scared "down in the mine" with the guys! I live near where this took place so it had a big impact on me. I know people that knew some of the miners. What a tragedy. I highly recommend this book.
Kirsten Elson
Good, but confusing, which probably lends credibility to how devastating it must be to be trapped in a mine, wondering where a fire might be. Can you imagine being trapped a mile underground? That's a chilling thought... I will likely re-read this one.
Gwen Johnson
This is an excellent account of the Sunshine Mine Disaster. It allowed me to look at the community I grew up in with a whole new set of glasses. The author's style is wonderful...I couldn't put it down.
:)
Valerie L
I was so excited to read this story - but unfortunately found the author had a hard time with descriptive words so he fell to cussing - frustrating, I stopped reading it.
Brie
Great book - very good insight into the life of metal miners in the northern Rockies. The writing style could have used some improvement but definitely an enjoyable read.
Dan Lester
Sad but vital, the story of miners who died in a mine fire in northern Idaho. A vital bit of Idaho history, and a fascinating book.
Dianna
Feb 10, 2008 Dianna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all history readers
Shelves: historical
This is about the Sunshine Mine Disaster in Kellogg Idaho on May 2, 1972 ... all Idahoans should read this book.
Sonya Carlson
Detailed history of a fire in a silver mine in Idaho in 1972. Seems like it could have been avoided
Elliott
A little over-the-top on the tough-guy talk, but conveys a complicated and intricate narrative pretty well.
Devereaux Library SDSM&T
91 men were killed in this 1972 fire in Idaho's Sunshine silver mine.
Frida María
Very haunting story, felt for all those 91 men who died.
Sprizee
I'd love to see this optioned as a movie.
Cheryl
Good read. A bookclub member had family lost in this event, so that made every word even more meaningful. Olsen is a great delieverer of fact without going overboard. Liked the book and feel so sad for the community's loss. c.
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Throughout his career, Gregg Olsen has demonstrated an ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

A New York Times bestselling author, Olsen has written seven nonfiction books, three novels, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.

The award-winning author has been a guest o
...more
More about Gregg Olsen...
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