If, like me, you watched the 2015 Dwayne Johnson movie *San Andreas* and spent the entire hour and 54 minutes shouting, "The science is wrong! The sciIf, like me, you watched the 2015 Dwayne Johnson movie *San Andreas* and spent the entire hour and 54 minutes shouting, "The science is wrong! The science is wrong!" then here is the antidote for you.
Despite a mediocre title and generic cover art, the text is quite exciting. Even though the author holds a PhD in the subject matter, he writes expertly for the layperson, and his own enthusiasm for seismology is infectious.
Covering the San Andreas Fault as if it were a movie star, Dvorak starts from its first discovery (by white men) and continues through its history up until its next projected rupture (59% chance of a 6.7 magnitude or greater earthquake between now and 30 years from now).
The biggest glaring omission was the extremely noticeable absence of maps. While Dvorak was good at illustrative descriptions, even I can't envision where all 700 of California's active faults are located. Even simple pencil scrawlings would have been useful. However, this was a very memorable book, and I look forward to reading his tome on volcanoes....more
I have given this book 3 stars because of the information it contains, some of it new to non - academic non-fiction, such as the oral histories of surI have given this book 3 stars because of the information it contains, some of it new to non - academic non-fiction, such as the oral histories of surviving African American Galvestonians. What keeps it at 3 stars is the poor writing that leads me to believe an editor never set eyes on the text. Missing punctuation, made - up words, excessive use of hyphens for dramatic effect, and starting copious numbers of paragraphs with "so" made this a very frustrating read.
I feel that authors of non - academic non-fiction still have the responsibility, in being a purveyor of knowledge and educational information, to make sure it is presented in, if not highly entertaining, at least marginally readable fashion. This book, while presenting good information, fails entirely to be readible. For example, periods at the end of sentences seem like basic features in a functional text.
Lastly, I remain bothered at Roker's insistence in penning a book about the Galveston Hurricane when it has already been covered, masterfully, by Erik Larson. While Larson is credited at the end of the book, I found little in this book that was new enough (save the African American oral histories) to warrant an entirely new book, especially one written so poorly. With Mr. Roker's experience in meteorology, there must be hundreds, or at least dozens of other uncovered stories about which he could write. While I did appreciate what I learned from this text, I would recommend that people save themselves the time and read Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm instead....more
Multi-faceted telling of the over 1,000 New Madrid earthquakes from 1811-1812. From the bio of Tecumseh to the inbred murderers from Thomas Jefferson'Multi-faceted telling of the over 1,000 New Madrid earthquakes from 1811-1812. From the bio of Tecumseh to the inbred murderers from Thomas Jefferson's family, this is a highly readable work of non-fiction that taught me more about the government's land grab from the Native Americans than I ever learned in school. There are moments that are a little rough and not quite polished, but overall this is an enjoyable read that educates as it goes....more