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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

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  230 Ratings  ·  41 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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Chadwick Saxelid
Nov 23, 2014 Chadwick Saxelid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jul 13, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing
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
Michelle Anderson
Dec 18, 2008 Michelle Anderson rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 07, 2016 Sandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Sometimes when I watch action movies dominated by really dark scenes, I get totally lost and have only a small idea of what is going on. Well, that was how I felt throughout a lot of this book. The author made an admirable attempt to describe the setting but it was like a labyrinth of dark rabbit holes in my mind. The Sunshine silver mine in Kellogg, Idaho, had many levels (all the way down to 5000 feet underground!) with over 90 miners working on various levels when a mysterious fire broke out ...more
Apr 04, 2010 Kevin rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2012 Julie rated it it was amazing
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.
Jill Crosby
Jul 22, 2015 Jill Crosby rated it really liked it
Great coverage of the industry-changing Sunshine Mine fire of 1972. I would've given this one 5 stars had it included pictures of the mining equipment used, the air-scrubbers employed by the miners as they fought for clean air in the face of a wall of deadly carbon-monoxide, maybe a more 3-D map of the mine's layout, pinpointing some of the areas described in the book. Overall, a solid read.
Gwen Burrow
May 25, 2012 Gwen Burrow rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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.
Mar 23, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very tragic story, well told. In May 1972, a fire broke out in a silver mine in Idaho. Many lives were lost and the telling of the story takes you right there into the mine with those men. You almost hold your breath trying to imagine the fear and panic as they tried to breath, trying to use respirators that worked poorly, if at all. I highly recommend this for people who like nonfiction and history. A previous book by the same author, Starvation Heights, got me to try this book and I would co ...more
Oct 27, 2015 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, audio
I happened upon this at the library, and since I have family in Idaho, I brought it home. I renewed it 9 times, that's almost 7 months, before we finally started it (which isn't really unusual for me.) With 11 CDs, this was more than 13 hours of listening, which created a lot of opportunity to get the hundreds of characters mixed up. Several times I just got bored, said "I've heard this already," and fast forwarded one track. It is the sad story of 91 men who died in an unusually rare hard rock ...more
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
Nov 08, 2010 Carly rated it liked it
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
Stacey Sykes
Oct 09, 2007 Stacey Sykes rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 13, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
Greg Olsen is one of my favorite non fiction authors. this story is set in Kellogg, Idaho in 1972. It tells the story of a mine collapse and how dangerous the job is. It is so tragic how so many men lose they're lives doing this work to make a living and support them selves and they're families.
Mar 16, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I live not far from where the Sunshine mine disaster occurred, but I didn't know much about it until I picked up this book on a whim. It is difficult to fathom what those men and women went through. I was drawn in by the way the tale unfolds in a minute-by-minute account of the tragedy. Engrossing and well-researched.
Sep 22, 2015 Stacey rated it it was amazing
Such a compelling story. Having grown up in Idaho I knew about the Sunshine mine and the accident but such vivid writing takes you right there while it's happening. I couldn't bring myself to put it down!
Robin B
Feb 21, 2016 Robin B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The writing puts you in the mine

I was Myrna's neighbor for over 20 years, and have recently gotten to know, Ron, you did a great job telling their stories.
Jacque Cullers
Apr 15, 2015 Jacque Cullers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was supposed to be reading Deep Down Dark for my book club but picked this book by accident. I'm glad I did. It is a tragic story and a fascinating piece of American history.
Jan 01, 2016 Robbie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Gregg Olsen's research was well done. His writing had you in the moment and at the scene of the tragedy as it took place.
Mar 06, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it
Having lived in the area during this time, I really appreciated the personal nature of the book.
Paul Medici
May 27, 2014 Paul Medici rated it it was amazing
Absolutely Fantastic
Angie Agerter
Feb 11, 2011 Angie Agerter rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, local
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.
Oct 30, 2012 Jana rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 20, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it
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
Mar 19, 2013 Eric Mccutcheon rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Sep 16, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Sep 17, 2011 Loretta rated it it was amazing
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
May 27, 2013 Kirsten Elson rated it liked it
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
May 15, 2008 Gwen Johnson rated it it was amazing
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.
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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 about Gregg Olsen...

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