One of Max Allan Collins' strange books where he uses real people in situations that they were really in and adds a mystery to it. I was so impressed...moreOne of Max Allan Collins' strange books where he uses real people in situations that they were really in and adds a mystery to it. I was so impressed with Jacques Futrelle (actually on The Titanic on his way to America) that I went out and bought a collection of his stories. All right, I didn't run right out but when I came across it I did pick it up. And I think I have read most of them before, in various places. (less)
In John Krakuaer's book "Into Thin Air" Beck was left for dead, hence the title. However, he turned up and his wife Peach didn't want to leave him dea...moreIn John Krakuaer's book "Into Thin Air" Beck was left for dead, hence the title. However, he turned up and his wife Peach didn't want to leave him dead. She mobilized their friends and one of them knew someone who knew someone (six degrees of separation) who was able to find someone who was willing to put a helicopter in the air and attempt to airlift him off of Everest.
What wasn't known in the other books about that tragic trip up the mountain in 1996 and he reveals here, is that he had blind on other trips up or down mountains - Danali and Antarctica. Then he had eye surgery but wouldn't wait for the laser surgery that wasn't far off, and he knew, as a doctor, just about how far off it was.
His description of how he came back physically and surgically is quite moving and possibly a little on the clinical side.
After ignoring his wife and family for this mountaineering bug he had he came very close to losing them. It is a wonder she didn't divorce him. But it's amazing what almost dying will do for a relationship. I think she gave him a year to straighten out and she stayed while he was going through his surgical problems.
And, in the midst of this, her brother who had watched over her all her life got cancer. And this book also details the fight they had with his health care company. He couldn't get the operation that might have save his life because he was dying. He was dying because he couldn't get the operation. It kind of health care fight today back to a human face - not that we actually see Howard's face for there are no pictures in this book, which I consider a drawback.
For much of the book he is talking about other mountains. The book is mainly him talking but there are also comments from his wife and kids and other relations and friends. Some of these people talk about how withdrawn he normally was until he started talking about climbing mountains and then he could go on and on. (less)
Let's face it, I enjoy a good disaster book. And this was one disaster I had never heard of. I've never been to Halifax. But I guess I'm half-Canadian...moreLet's face it, I enjoy a good disaster book. And this was one disaster I had never heard of. I've never been to Halifax. But I guess I'm half-Canadian.
This was one of the best. Well researched, possibly a bit graphic. But this was like a perfect storm of chain reactions - a disaster in the harbor, causes a tsunami, causes a blizzard. The explosion in the harbor should have been enough. MacDonald goes in to vivid detail of how the explosion impacted the surrounding area. Then, those who survived the explosion of two ships (one filled with armaments) were faced with the tsunami washing over their shores. Calls for help are going out. But then they get a blizzard. Both Canada and America are sending relief trains - only to be stalled by the blizzard.
This was a very vivid book and one of the best I have read recently. I could not put this book down.(less)
Fascinating story of the storm that changed the weather bureau. Before the storm it was a tiny little bureau that didn't pay any attention to what oth...moreFascinating story of the storm that changed the weather bureau. Before the storm it was a tiny little bureau that didn't pay any attention to what other places said about the storm. When the Cubans reported on it. They said - oh, they're only Cubans, what do they know (or words to that effect).
Well, this was a bad storm. Galveston was practically wiped off the face of the earth. And the Weather Bureau became more serious about their job.
Isaac was the local head weather guy in Galveston. Actually, he had been banished to Galveston by the folks in D.C. for taking his job too seriously.
But the part that takes place during the storm is really most vivid. The story of people trying to get home in 6 ft of turgid water is not something to be forgotten.
And Galveston (and other places) took their sea wall much more seriously after that. (less)
I like a good disaster story. I have some knowledge of sailboats and boating but no knowledge really of professional fishermen.
I found the Andrea Gai...moreI like a good disaster story. I have some knowledge of sailboats and boating but no knowledge really of professional fishermen.
I found the Andrea Gail part of the story fascinating. What it might be like in those last moments when a boat is being hit with either a rogue wave or the sisters.
But the people who were on the water, like those two girls, who had no idea of what they were doing, had no business being there. They lied about their experience to get a trip to Bermuda not knowing that their lies could put them in extreme danger. I am still angry about this - many years after having read the book. And, of course, I have seen the movie. But now I always turn it off when it gets to the part about these two stupid girls. In their panic, they almost cost the boat owner, who knew what he was doing (although I suppose this is debatable), his life. (less)
This was great. A lot of science was thrown in here. I found out more about hurricanes than I probably ever wanted to know.
Many personal stories in h...moreThis was great. A lot of science was thrown in here. I found out more about hurricanes than I probably ever wanted to know.
Many personal stories in here. I had previously seen a PBS documentary on the storm. And it told in detail the story of the Moores and their wild ride on the roof of their house ... after it came loose from the house. It is a terrifying story. You don't usually think of hurricanes in Rhode Island or even Long Island.
There is one horrendous story after another. My kind of book. I adore a good disaster book. Especially if it is non-fiction. It REALLY happened! People really survived this.
It is this storm that made people start checking the weather before they leave the house in the morning.(less)
The beginning of this book startled me so much I had to put the book down for a week or so. An old scientist involved in the Manhattan Project had bee...moreThe beginning of this book startled me so much I had to put the book down for a week or so. An old scientist involved in the Manhattan Project had been murdered by radioactivity and a couple of people at the lab were exposed to it in varying degrees. And that thought was scary - how you could be exposed to radioactivity and not even know it until it was too late.
Bill Brockton, who usually spends most of his time at his Body Farm, spent much of this book in Oak Ridge, a company town if there ever was one. Virtually everyone living there is involved in the nuclear business, or left over the building of the bomb. We learn a far amount of the history of the place. Everyone is suspicious of everyone.
This is the fourth in the series. We have followed Bill Brockton as he got over the death of his late wife, fell in love with Jess, lost Jess and here he appears to be falling for another woman. But she apparently looked a lot like Jess. So it’s questionable whether he was really falling for her or just looking for a replacement Jess. His lab assistant, Miranda, tells him, finally, that he has just got to get over Jess and let her go.
“…Each moment of your life is the sum total of all the prior moments. There’s not a single thing that happens to you that doesn’t leave its mark; doesn’t redirect your course somehow; doesn’t make you more fully who you are. It took every single step … to put you exactly where you are. …’”
Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but there were a startling developments here. And I didn’t have it figured.(less)
This was a little on the grisly side. What with the "Holy Ghost" (Holy Demon is more like it) removing people's teeth and eyeballs - usually they were...moreThis was a little on the grisly side. What with the "Holy Ghost" (Holy Demon is more like it) removing people's teeth and eyeballs - usually they were drugged or dead at the time.
Apparently Bonansinga has a series going about a FBI profiler named Ulysses Grove.
It was an okay book. I might well look for others in this series but would hope that they are not quite as grisly.
And on the plus side, for those who like extreme weather, this does take place in eye of the hurricane.
A couple of points though:
1. One problem is that his skin color appears to change quite often. At times he is carmel, other times chocolate or butterscotch and he does become ashy at one point. When he became ashy he was kind of turning blue and had been in the water for some time so maybe is conceivable. Maybe skin color changes, I don't know - my skin only changes if I am out in the sun too much and then I get redder or tanner.
2. Bonansinga says that New Orleans did a wonderful job one year after Katrina in putting the city back together. I was there for a conference three years after Katrina and it wasn't all that put back together. The hotel was moldy. Many restaurants not re-opened. But the ones that were open were very effusive and welcomed us with open arms. We would come in with a party of eleven and usually could get a table right away. We had a good time.
3. At the end of the book there is a gratuitous reference to two people who wore eye patches - Moshe Dian and Yule Brenner - funny, I thought their names were spelled Moshe Dyn and Yul Brynner and I didn't really remember Yul wearing an eye patch except maybe in the movies. He could have used Raoul Walsh who wore an eye patch for many years if he wanted to use someone from the movies. (less)